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How Does the Workers’ Compensation Process Work?

Jun 14, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

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The workers’ compensation process is fairly straightforward in Indiana. Indiana workers’ compensation laws are designed to compensate workers for workplace injuries. This is meant to give workers time to heal properly before returning to work or to compensate them for long-term injuries that prevent them from returning to their normal work.

But to get access to these benefits, you’ll need to follow the process for notifying your employer about the incident. We’ll explain the process for filing a workers’ compensation claim, what workers’ compensation covers, and what to do if your employer doesn’t cover all your expenses.

Reporting a Workers’ Compensation Claim

To be eligible for workers’ compensation coverage, you’ll need to notify the employer of the workplace accident within 30 days. Alternatively, if you aren’t aware of an injury until later, you’ll need to file a report within 30 days of discovering the injury. Failing to meet the 30-day deadline could mean a claim denial.

The sooner you report your injury, the sooner you’ll start getting workers’ compensation benefits, so don’t delay this process. Insurance companies can become suspicious of claims when there is a long delay between the accident and your report.

When a workplace injury leads to your being away from work for more than a day, your employer will complete a report to their insurance company. Your employer must complete this process within seven days of your missing work. You’ll get a copy of this report.

Once your employer has completed this paperwork, the insurance company will file a report with the Workers’ Compensation Board of Indiana. From this point, the insurance company has 29 days to respond to your claim by denying or accepting it.

If you’re unsure whether your employer filed a report about your injury, you can check with the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Board.

What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover in Indiana?

  • Reimbursement for necessary medical treatment resulting from your workplace injury
  • Mileage traveling to and from your medical appointments
  • Lost wages at two-thirds of your average weekly salary (with a maximum of $780 per week) until your doctor deems you’re ready to return to work. There is a maximum of 500 weeks of coverage.
  • Partial disability income if you are only able to return to work part-time or on light duty and make less than your normal wages. This is two-thirds of the difference between your normal weekly wages and your adjusted wages for up to 300 weeks.
  • Permanent total disability benefits for up to 500 weeks for individuals who cannot return to work. This payment is based on the degree of your impairment or loss of the use of various body parts. Indiana uses a scale to determine your impairment degree to calculate payments.

What Happens if Workers’ Compensation Doesn’t Cover All My Expenses?

If your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company denies your claim or fails to cover certain expenses, you can appeal the decision. You’ll need to visit the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Board and file an application for adjustment.

Then, the board will hold a hearing with a judge to decide how to handle your appeal.

It’s wise to seek a workers’ compensation attorney to guide you through this process and ensure timely payment for your bills. If your appeal fails, you’ll be in a tough financial position that you want to avoid.

Schedule a free consultation with Stewart & Stewart for legal advice on your workers’ compensation claim process today. We’ve handled numerous workers’ compensation cases and we’ll make sure to get the results you deserve.

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