Archive for the ‘ Workers’ Compensation ’ Category

15
Oct

What is Covered by Indiana Workers’ Comp Benefits?

October 15, 2018

Getting hurt in any capacity is a tough thing to deal with, but getting hurt at work creates a bigger problem that many people never want to face. An on-the-job injury usually results in lawyers, laws and benefits that are not as easy to get as one may think.

Whether you work in a high-risk industry or at a desk job, your company should have workers comp insurance. If they don’t, all employees in the state of Indiana are still eligible for workers’ compensation should they get hurt on the job. A valid injury can be anything from injury due to a faulty machine to a slip-and-fall on an uneven pavement.

If you are injured at work, it’s important to know what is covered by Indiana workers’ compensation to ensure you get everything you deserve.

If it is proven that you were hurt while working and your injury will cause you to miss seven or more days of work, workers’ comp will provide you with lost wages on a temporary basis. The amount you will be paid is a percentage of your average weekly pay, and it will continue until you are able to return to work, in any capacity, or finish your treatments with your doctor. If you are able to return to work, but not necessarily in the same job or able to do as much as you were before because of your injury, you can apply for permanent partial impairment. This will provide you with a partial check every week as long as it is proven by your physician or the physician assigned by the insurance company that your injury will hinder you from working to your full potential.

For some unfortunate employees, their injury is so severe that returning to work may never be in the cards. For them, they will have to try to receive permanent disability, which will allow them to receive workers comp’ checks for the rest of their life. This type of disability is hard to get, and without an attorney, it can be nearly impossible.

For any employee injured at work, Indiana workers comp benefits will cover temporary disability or wage replacement, permanent disability, death benefits, medical treatments (as approved by the insurance and/or physician), job training or job assistance and mileages to and from the doctor’s office. The amount you receive is dependent on your injury and how long you will be away from work and/or your current position. In all matters of injury, Indiana will not cover any pain and suffering.

If you were injured at work and seeking workers’ compensation benefits, it may be wise to have an attorney by your side to help navigate the complicated process. Stewart & Stewart has worked on many workers’ comp claims and helped employees get what they deserve. Give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.

17
Sep

What Do I Do If I Am Injured on the Job in Indianapolis

September 17, 2018

If you have been injured on the job, contact Stewart & Stewart today.When an employee is injured on the job, their first reaction is usually fear. Fear that they will lose their job for reporting the accident, fear that their injury will make them unable to work and fear that they will lose their lifestyle and income. And while all of these fears are completely reasonable and common, there is no need to fear losing your job or losing your income if you take the right steps.

In Indiana, we have the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act, which entitles an employee to paid medical care and benefits should they be injured while on the job. Your company is also required to carry worker’s compensation insurance, so when you do find yourself hurt on the job, that insurance will cover your medical care and lost wages. In order to have the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act work in your favor and get a part of the worker’s compensation insurance, you must follow these steps.

1.    Tell Someone Right Away

If you wait to report your injury, you could lose out on all that workers comp has to offer you. As soon as you get injured, you need to stop what you are doing and report your injuries to your boss, manager or supervisor. You should not only verbally tell them of your injury, but also give a written notice so you have proof that you reported it in a timely and efficient manner.

 

2.    Get Medical Help

If your injury is dire, do this one first. But if you can let your boss know of your injury before you head to the doctor, this can wait until the incident is reported.  This is because a lot of workers’ comp insurance requires employees to see a certain doctor and if you see a doctor not approved by the insurance, you may not be able to receive payment for your treatment. If you have an emergency, there is no need to wait: get to the nearest hospital and get treatment immediately. Emergency injuries are exempt from the must-use doctor rule until follow up treatments are needed.

 

3.    Hire an Attorney

Sometimes, a workers’ comp claim is straightforward: you get injured, tell your employer, and receive the proper benefits. But, unfortunately, this is often not the case. Employers will sometimes try not to pay you what you are owed and can give employees the runaround to avoid hefty payments. If you feel you are not getting what you deserve or being treated properly, it’s imperative that you hire an experienced workers’ comp attorney before your case gets too out of hand.

 

4.    Get Rest

For many, the worst part of their workers’ comp claim is the injury that prevents them from going to work. Sitting at home and resting can be difficult for those who want to provide for their families and feel productive. But resting is the best thing you can do right now for you, your family and your job. If you overexert yourself or go back to work too soon, you are at a higher risk of further injury and in turn, you could make the situation much worse. Listen to what the doctor tells you, do the proper treatments, and let yourself have this time to relax.

If you were injured at work, contact the attorneys at Stewart & Stewart. We have helped tons of employees with their worker’s comp claims and will be there for you every step of the way. Contact us at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.

13
Aug

Do I Need an Attorney for My Workers Comp Claim?

August 13, 2018

Do I Need an Attorney for My Workers Compensation Claim?After you are injured at work, the first thing that’s probably going through your mind is that you are scared. You just got hurt, and you realize that because of your injury, your livelihood is going to take a hit. But even if the injury is severe, people are often most worried about losing their jobs. Maybe you have seen six other people that have been hurt at work and now all those people aren’t there anymore, so you get nervous about the consequences of hiring an attorney. You may be afraid that doing so will cause you to lose your job or be looked at as the complainer, but while these are valid fears, you need to watch out for yourself.

If you’ve suffered an injury and you think there’s going to be time that you’re going to miss from work and you think you’re going to have to be receiving some significant medical care, the earlier an attorney gets involved, the more they can protect your rights. Often, when employees try to play by the rules, and see an employer-approved doctor without the help of an attorney, they get released before they are ready. When this happens, employees are often left with pain and suffering that requires them to continue to miss work, and it’s often at this point that an attorney is considered. When an attorney is hired at this point, they will be working to undo what has already been done, which is a much harder task.

An attorney can’t control what doctors you go to or what treatment you get, but if a referral is made to a specialist or if a doctor has you on restrictions, then an attorney will make sure that the benefits are paid and the referrals are honored.

If you’ve been injured at work and are considering hiring an attorney to help you process a worker’s comp claim, contact Stewart & Stewart. Give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.

4
Aug

3 Things Every Employee Should Know About Employment Law

August 04, 2018

Employment Law is the law concerning employers and their employees. Employment laws are different from state to state, but there are also federal laws that encompass the entire country. Many of these laws protect the employer, but the majority of them are put in place to protect the employee. If you are working in Indiana, or in the United States as a whole, it’s important to be aware of these three vital aspects of employment law.

At-Will

Not all states are at-will states, but for Indiana workers and states who are at-will, it’s one of the most important things to understand. Employers will often tell employees that since their state is at-will, they can fire you at any time for any reason. But, it’s important that people know that at-will does not mean they can discriminate against you or fire you because you are injured or part of a protective class. The problem is that is usually comes up when they know they’re doing things they aren’t supposed to and they want to convince the person they are allowed to do it. If you feel you are being terminated for your protective class, or any of the listed reasons, it’s important to hire an attorney right away.

Document Everything

Put all of your complaints in writing. If it’s not in writing, it essentially didn’t happen. So, be sure to put all verbal complaints in writing. Even if an employee is taking notes in their notebook or actively writing things down, that can be used as evidence, but it’s better if they’ve made reports and communicated with the employer because it shows that they gave the employer a chance to fix it. Most people think this is too aggressive and if they do this, they are going to get fired. The problem is, they are probably going to get fired either way so it’s best to have it in writing. Sometimes this also saves their position because the employer knows they have to follow the right steps.

Don’t Sign Anything

Oftentimes, when employers are firing someone, they trick people into signing documents. They say they won’t get their vacation days if they don’t sign, and people often sign because they are overwhelmed. But, it’s often a release or a document that says they can’t do anything like sue or get remedies. Don’t let them force you to sign anything, and understand that there is never a reason where you have to sign. If they let you take the document, take it to a lawyer, if they get hostile and refuse to let you leave or get aggressive, start recording on your phone and make it uncomfortable for them and they will let you leave. Don’t sign termination notices if you don’t agree with them. Never agree to terms you don’t understand and don’t believe them when they tell you to sign something just for your vacation because it’s usually not.

If you’ve been wrongfully terminated in Indiana, contact the experienced wrongful termination attorneys at Stewart & Stewart. Give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.

2
Aug

What is the Indiana Minimum Wage Law?

August 02, 2018

Minimum wage is a hot topic surrounding every profession around the country. Many have been lobbying for higher minimum wages, while others feel the increase is unnecessary at the present time. And while everyone is discussing the topic, it is actually up to each individual state to set the minimum wage laws for themselves.

In Indiana, the minimum wage is currently set to $7.25 per hour. This is complying with the current federal minimum wage law, which is also set at $7.25. All employers are required to abide by this law and failure to do so can lead to extensive penalties.

For jobs involving tips, like a waiter or valet driver, the minimum wage is $2.13. Federal law says that the amount they earn in tips must equal or exceed the regular federal minimum wage for them to be considered a tipped-only employee.

In addition to regular and tipped employees, there are also other laws underneath the minimum wage laws regarding trainees or internship level hires. An employee who is considered an apprentice, or someone who is working to learn from their employer, must be paid minimum wage unless their work is required to receive a certification or license. The same is true for disabled workers, unless they work in certain sectors of a nonprofit organization, and for learners. Medical students who have completed their full four years of medical school and are working as residents are exempt from this in Indiana. If an employee is training and under the age of 20, their minimum wage in Indiana is set to $4.25 an hour for their first 90 days.

In addition to these, there are a lot of laws, exemptions, and exceptions for certain employers and employees. If you feel you have been unfairly paid or that your employer is withholding your wages, it’s imperative that you contact a wage and hour attorney today. Stewart & Stewart are experts in wage and hour, specifically for Indiana residents, and are here to fight for your rights concerning the Indiana minimum wage, overtime work, and compensation. Give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.

13
Jun

What Do I Need to Do If I am Injured on the Job?

June 13, 2018

Getting injured on the job is something no one wants to deal with, but unfortunately, it is much more common than we may think. Whether your job requires a lot of manual work that puts you at a higher risk for injuries, or you have a desk job where the chances are much lower, getting injured at work can happen to anyone. Once injured, a person will go through a difficult battle of getting the medical attention the need, the wages they deserve and the rights to certain benefits. If you’ve been injured on the job, here are the first things you need to do.

Get Medical Help

If it’s a serious injury, you need to make sure you are taken to the emergency room or to see a medical professional right away. The emergency room will tell you to follow up with your primary care doctor or a specialist of some kind, which is the next step.

One thing that injured workers in Indiana need to know is that the employer or their insurance company has the right to essentially “direct their care.” Often times, they’ll go to an emergency room but after that, they’re sent to an occupational medical center or a med-tech to follow up. No one is telling you not to go and get treatment. If your employer is not stepping up to the plate and you have some sort of emergency situation, obviously go and get the treatment you need, but remember that an employer in Indiana has the right to essentially choose the doctors and the medical providers that follow up with you and that are in charge of giving you your treatment.

Report the Injury

The most important thing that someone should do when they’re injured on the job is to make sure to report the injury. Often times, there’s some sort of dispute as to how the injury was reported or what kind of injury was reported, or whether or not it was witnessed. The biggest thing to do if you get hurt at work is to make sure somebody knows about it. Make sure your boss knows and that you comply with whatever guidelines that your employer establishes. Often times, there’s an employee handbook that everyone has to have, and everyone has to have read or reviewed, and there’s a protocol for reporting an ‘on the job’ injury. It’s imperative that you make sure that protocol is followed.

If you fall and you land on numerous parts of the body, make sure all of your injuries are included in your initial report. Each part of your body that’s hurt, or that you suspect there’s some sort of injury to, needs to be reported. Often times, someone will report, “Oh, I fell down.” In this instance, they may end up with an injury to their neck, to their back, to their shoulder, or to their knee, and if it’s not expressly stated in there then by the time they get to their doctor and get evaluated, the insurance company will say, “Hey, we’re covering your knee because that’s what you told us right off and we’re not covering your hip or your back,” or whatever it might be that ends up hurting a few days down the road when the swelling goes down on the knee. Just make sure that whatever you hurt, whatever gets injured, that it’s all clearly reported to your employer.

Hire an Attorney

If you’ve suffered an injury and you think there’s going to be some time that you’re going to miss from work and you think you’re going to have to be receiving some significant medical care, the earlier an attorney gets involved, the more they can protect someone’s right to their benefits. Many people want to please their employer and they try to play by the rules by not hiring an attorney. But then they try to go to the doctors and all of a sudden, six weeks down the road, they’re released. They’ve seen maybe a doctor once or twice and the doctor just sent them packing on their way and yet they still have pain and they still can’t return to work. It it usually at this point someone will look to hire an attorney, but it is much harder to undo what’s been done than to try and control the situation from the outset. But, no matter when you look to hire an attorney, it’s essential to have representation so that you make sure you’re getting the benefits that you are entitled to.

If you have been injured on the job, contact the trusted attorneys at Stewart & Stewart. Give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.

Comments Off on 2 Common Workers’ Compensation Myths
11
Apr

2 Common Workers’ Compensation Myths

April 11, 2018

Workers’ compensation is a vital safety net for employees throughout Indiana who suffered on-the-job injuries or illnesses and can’t return to work for long periods of time. Almost all businesses in Indiana are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, and it can help families keep their heads above water while their loved ones are recuperating from health complications suffered at work.

Over the years, many myths have spread about workers’ compensation. It can be difficult to separate fact from fiction, especially if you’ve never needed to file for workers’ compensation benefits. At Stewart & Stewart, our Indiana workers’ compensation lawyers want to help injured workers like you understand the system, how it works, and how it can benefit your family.

When you get in touch with us, we’ll walk you through the application, filing, and appeals process while clearing up common myths, such as:

  1. Filing a workers’ compensation claim means suing your employer – While your employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, filing a claim doesn’t mean you are suing the company. Instead, you are filing a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Board of Indiana.
  2. Getting rejected by the workers’ compensation board means you’re ineligible for benefits – It’s common for workers to be rejected for workers’ compensation benefits when they first apply, as many small oversights, errors, and technicalities can jeopardize otherwise concrete claims. However, you still have a chance to appeal the board’s decision, and we can help.

Don’t stay in the dark about workers’ compensation benefits and how you can obtain them for yourself and your loved ones. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation to learn more and to start your path towards getting the money you deserve.

Comments Off on Why Do You Need a Lawyer after a Workplace Injury?
21
Mar

Why Do You Need a Lawyer after a Workplace Injury?

March 21, 2018

Getting hurt on the job can be result in serious, painful, and disabling injuries. You may be unable to go back to work for weeks or months, and when you’re not working, you’re not earning the paychecks your family depends on.

Indiana requires that almost all employers in the state carry workers’ compensation insurance, but business owners may be hesitant to confirm that injuries occurred on company property or while working. In addition, the workers’ compensation system isn’t always fair, and injured workers frequently fall through the cracks and are left with no benefits at all.

At Stewart & Stewart, we know that how difficult the process can be for injured workers and their families. That’s why having an experienced Indiana workers’ compensation lawyer on your side can make all the difference.

You can count on our legal team to:

  • Help protect you from threats or retaliation – Employers sometimes threaten workers who get hurt on the job, while others retaliate after injured employees file workers’ compensation claims. We know those tactics, and we’re always prepared for them when representing victims like you.
  • Maximize your chances of getting approved – Even the most cut-and-dry claims can get rejected by the workers’ compensation board. Having an attorney on your side means you won’t have to worry about small mistakes or oversights jeopardizing your claim, because we work hard to make sure every case we handle is complete and accurate before we submit it.

Don’t leave your future up to chance or in the hands of just any law firm. Call us today for a free consultation.

Comments Off on Why Do Workers’ Compensation Claims Get Denied?
7
Feb

Why Do Workers’ Compensation Claims Get Denied?

February 07, 2018

Nearly all employers in Indiana are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. The system is designed to cover workers when they get hurt on the job and can’t return to work for long periods of time.

To prevent the system from being abused, the Indiana workers’ compensation board makes it difficult to get approved, especially for people who don’t follow the state’s guidelines for applying for benefits or whose claims lack evidence and proof that their injuries are severe or happened at work.

Unfortunately, the difficult approval process means that many valid claims slip through the cracks and can get denied. Some of the most common reasons for claim denials include:

  • Delays in filing claims – Unlike personal injury claims, the amount of time you have to file a workers’ compensation claims is often measured in days, not years. When injured workers wait too long, they jeopardize their chances of getting benefits.
  • Employers disputing that injuries occurred at work – Workers who fail to tell their supervisors or managers about their injuries right away are more likely to get denied, especially if a formal injury report was never created. That gives their employers leeway to deny that their accidents ever happened.

Stewart & Stewart knows how difficult it is for injured workers to succeed when filing claims in a workers’ compensation system that seems rigged against them. Don’t be another statistic—our Indiana workers’ compensation attorneys know the system and how to maximize chances of success. Call today for a free consultation to get in touch with our experienced legal team.

Comments Off on Report Even Minor Injuries to Your Employer
17
Jan

Report Even Minor Injuries to Your Employer

January 17, 2018

Many employees are hesitant to report even serious workplace injuries to their employers, let alone minor ones. They may feel uncomfortable telling their supervisors or managers about what happened, especially if their company prides itself on the number of days that have passed since the last on-the-job injury.

At Stewart & Stewart, we’ve helped many workers who faced debilitating pain, loss of mobility, and weeks, months, or years of lost income because they ignored minor or moderate injuries. The severity of many injuries is subjective, and what may seem like a minor injury to you may actually be severe enough to be considered disabling.

Always report any injuries you suffer at work to your supervisor for the following reasons:

  • Minor injuries can worsen. Injuries involving muscles, tendons, and any part of the spinal cord can quickly get worse over the course of hours or days. But if you wait too long to tell someone at work about the accident, you may lose your chance to file a claim for workers’ compensation.
  • Minor injuries can shine a light on unsafe working conditions. If you were injured at work while performing a certain task or while working in a specific environment, a lack of safety protocols or equipment may be to blame. Alerting management of your injury may help others avoid getting hurt in similar situations.

It’s important to not try and “tough out” work-related injuries, as many are susceptible to worsening over time. An Indiana workers’ compensation lawyer is here to help if you were hurt at work, and we’ll do everything we can to protect your rights to the money you deserve. Call today for a free consultation.