You have two years from the date of the injury to file a workers’ compensation claim in Indiana. However, you must file a written notice/report of the accident within 30 days of the accident or the discovery of the accident. Failing to meet these timelines might result in denial of your claim.
Gain a better understanding of eligibility for workers’ compensation, how to file a claim, and when to file a claim to guide you in the process.
Eligibility for Workers’ Compensation
Indiana law requires that most employers maintain workers’ compensation insurance to cover their team when injured during the normal course of their employment duties. It also provides protection for employees who get sick due to their job duties.
However, if you are an independent contractor at the time of the workplace injury, you might not be eligible for workers’ compensation coverage. Independent contractors, sole proprietors, and real estate agents can choose to purchase workers’ compensation coverage but will not have it from an employer.
Other industries have options for purchasing insurance on behalf of their employees, These include companies who rely heavily on volunteers, such as nonprofits. Inquire about workers’ compensation coverage when you begin working with a company to see if you need to purchase insurance on your own.
Workers’ compensation benefits can include compensation for the following aspects related to workplace injuries.
- A percentage of your usual wages – up to two-thirds your regular pay or a maximum weekly wage of $600.
- Continued employee benefits
- Medical bills
- Lost capacity to work long-term
How to File a Claim
Filing a workers’ compensation claim in Indiana is fairly simple. It includes just a few steps.
- Get medical attention. Don’t delay seeing a doctor for treatment. You can visit your primary care doctor and get referrals to experts from there.
- Notify your employer of your workplace accident. You must do this within 30 days.
- Your employer then has 7 days from the date of receiving notice of your accident to complete an employer’s report of injury form. They’ll file this form with their insurance provider. If your employer does not complete this form, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights.
- The insurance company will then file a report with the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Board. This begins the investigation into your claim. An investigator will likely contact you to learn more. But the investigator will also do independent research, including checking your social media feeds and even photographing your activities. The insurance company has 29 days to review the information and make a decision about your claim.
- If your claim is denied, you can appeal the decision. This starts with learning the reason for the denial to explore your options for resolving the issue. You only have two years from the date of your accident to appeal a decision.
When to File a Claim
Anytime you experience an accident while in the course of your daily work activities, you should notify your employer. Even if you are not aware of a serious injury at first, it’s wise to complete the paperwork in case you discover something related to the accident later.
Even minor injuries can become more serious with time. Follow all prescribed processes and procedures your employer sets forth for workers’ compensation claims. Avoid unnecessary claim denials and protect your right to benefits.
Wondering whether you’re being treated fairly in your workers’ compensation case? Stewart & Stewart offers free case evaluations to guide you in the best next steps for your claim.