If you suffered a work-related injury in Indiana, you may be eligible for compensation. Read on to learn about your rights following an Indiana workplace injury.
Your First Line of Defense: Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that reimburses workers for injuries, illnesses, and disabilities they develop in the course of employment. Indiana State law requires the vast majority of businesses to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
What Can Workers’ Comp Reimburse You For?
Workers’ compensation programs in Indiana typically include the following benefits:
- Medical care
- Income/financial benefits
You could be eligible for different types of workers’ comp payments depending on the nature and severity of your injuries, including:
- Temporary Total Payments: Up to 500 weeks
- Temporary Partial Payments: Up to 300 weeks
- Permanent Total Payments: Up to 500 weeks
- Permanent Partial Impairment Payments: Duration based on medical assessment
Note that workers’ compensation benefits don’t cover pain and suffering, so it’s important to maximize your payout under the other categories. An experienced Indiana workers’ compensation lawyer can advise you on how to do that.
Keep in mind, you only have 30 days after the accident to file your workers’ compensation claim.
For Additional Compensation, Consider a Third-Party Work Injury Claim
Workers’ compensation protects injured workers by ensuring they have a right to reimbursement without having to sue their employers or prove negligence. However, workers’ comp also protects employers by limiting the type and amount of compensation you can seek and barring you from taking your employer to court.
This is unfortunate, as personal injury settlements can be considerably higher than workers’ comp benefits — in part because they allow you to seek compensation for additional losses such as pain and suffering.
One way around that limitation is to bring a separate negligence lawsuit against a third party. This lawsuit can run parallel to the workers’ comp claim against your employer.
Examples of potentially liable third parties include:
- Premises liability. If you suffered injuries on someone else’s property while performing your regular work duties, you might be able to sue the owner for failing to keep the premises reasonably safe.
- Auto accidents. If you were involved in an auto accident that wasn’t your fault while on the clock, you may be able to sue the other driver for your damages.
- Defective equipment or products. For injuries caused by defective or unsafe products, you could go after the product manufacturer or designer or the maintenance company that serviced the equipment.
- Subcontractors. A subcontractor is employed by a contractor to provide services to another company. If a subcontractor was responsible or contributed to your work-related injury, you may be able to file a third-party suit against them.
An Indiana work injury attorney can investigate your accident and let you know whether you have grounds to initiate a separate third-party claim.
How Are Workers’ Comp and Third-Party Injury Claims Different?
Third-party lawsuits are settled out of court or adjudicated by a judge or jury in civil courts and require you to prove negligence. In contrast, the Workers’ Compensation Board handles workers’ comp cases on a no-fault basis.
Third-party claims can also provide compensation for additional damages not covered by workers’ comp, including:
- Future financial losses
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages
Did You Injure Yourself on the Job in Indiana? Call Us.
At Stewart & Stewart Attorneys, we don’t have a magic wand to turn back time and make your injury go away, but our skilled lawyers can help you seek fair compensation for your medical treatment and other losses. If you’ve suffered an Indiana workplace injury, call 1-866-926-2419 to request your free case evaluation.