If you or your loved one has been injured while on the job or developed a work-related illness in Indianapolis, you are likely to have questions about your benefits and what the future holds for you. Nearly every injured worker who our attorneys meet with has certain questions about obtaining worker’s compensation and what he or she should expect.
As experienced Indianapolis worker’s compensation attorneys, attorneys Randy Klezmer and Nathan Maudlin act as advocates for injured workers who are having difficulty obtaining worker’s compensation benefits. We focus our practice on worker’s compensation and construction accidents and have been helping injured Indianapolis workers for more than two decades. From handling thousands of cases, Klezmer Maudlin PC has developed a deep understanding of this area of Indiana law. Because of our extensive experience, a legal publisher asked us to write the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Law and Practice manual, a reference book that other attorneys rely upon for guidance in this area of law. We have put together some general answers to worker’s compensation questions we that frequently hear. Yet we know that every case has unique factors. We are available for free consultation to review the details of your work-related injury or illness and answer your specific questions.
What is Worker’s Compensation?
Worker’s compensation is a type of accident insurance that most employers in Indiana are required by law to provide for workers. It is private insurance and it covers employees who are injured in workplace accidents or who develop work-related illnesses or diseases. It is a no-fault system, meaning injured workers receive benefits regardless of who was at fault in the workplace accident. Both full-time and part-time employees are covered by worker’s compensation benefits.
Worker’s Compensation provides multiple types of benefits:
- Medical care and rehabilitation for traumatic injuries and occupational illnesses;
- Wage replacement benefits while you are disabled and unable to work;
- Compensation if you lose the use of body parts and have a permanent impairment;
- Death benefits to the dependents of an employee killed in a work accident.
Workers who are injured on the job and then told they are not eligible for worker’s compensation because their employment is not covered by Indiana’s Worker’s Compensation Act should consult with an experienced worker’s compensation attorney. You should not accept a denial of your worker’s comp claim without speaking with a lawyer.
How much does worker’s comp pay in Indiana?
Workers’ compensation will cover all reasonable medical treatment costs associated with your work-related injury, including hospital bills, medicine, prosthetics, physical therapy and mileage reimbursement for travel to treatment.
You may also receive payments to replace lost income if you are temporarily disabled and cannot work. You may also receive compensation if your workplace injury creates a permanent disability such as the loss of a limb, loss of vision or other impairment.
If you are left with a permanent disability, you may be entitled to compensation. Your doctor will assign you a rating based on the degree of your permanent impairment once your recovery reaches a plateau. You will then receive compensation for your permanent disability based on your degree of impairment.
Does worker’s comp pay for lost wages?
You are entitled to compensation for your loss of wages while you cannot work. If your work-related injuries leave you temporarily disabled and unable to work, you will receive wage replacement benefits based on two-thirds of your average weekly wage for the past 52 weeks.
The maximum weekly wage replacement payment is $780 per week, as of 2016. The Indiana Legislature sets the reimbursement rate. Worker’s compensation benefits are not taxable.
You are entitled to continue receiving temporary total disability payments (TTD) until your doctor says that you are ready to return to work or that you have reached the maximum point of medical improvement. The benefits are available for up to 500 weeks.
If you recover enough to return to work part-time or to perform light-duty work and you earn less than before the work accident, you may be entitled to temporary partial disability payments to make up a portion of your lost income. Temporary partial disability payments are calculated at two-thirds of the difference in your average weekly wages before your injury and after you returned to work. Temporary partial disability payments are available for up to 300 weeks.
How long do you have to file a workers’ comp claim?
If you have been injured on the job, you are required to notify your employer within 30 days of your injury. The sooner you notify your employer, the quicker you should start receiving benefits.
You should try to notify your supervisor or company human resources office verbally as soon as possible and follow-up with written notification. Keep a copy of the notification letter and all correspondence with your employer and the insurance provider regarding your worker’s compensation claim.
Indiana law requires employers to file an injury report with the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board if an accident results in the death of an employee or causes an employee to miss more than one day of work. The employer is required to file the report with its insurance provider with seven days of the injury or death. The insurance provider is then required to report it to the Worker’s Compensation Board. Request a copy of the work accident report that your employer filed.
When does worker’s comp start paying?
If your work-related injury prevents you from returning to work for more than seven days, then you are entitled to weekly wage replacement benefits from worker’s compensation, starting on the eighth day.
The worker’s compensation insurance provider is required to mail the first payment within 15 days of the date of the injury. The payments are made in weekly installments.
If your injury involves a lengthy recovery and you miss more than 21 days of work, you will be retroactively reimbursed for the first week of work that you missed.
It is important to see the doctor and follow the doctor’s guidance and keep follow-up appointments.
Get Answers about Your Worker’s Comp Injury Claim
At Klezmer Maudlin, PC, our compassionate and experienced Indianapolis attorneys are dedicated to helping injured workers. Don’t take “No” for an answer if your employer or an insurance company tries to deny your worker’s compensation benefits. Let us review your injury and explain your legal options during a free consultation.