Worker’s Compensation

January 4th, 2010


Common Questions

Q.  Q.  If I am injured, do I need to worry about losing my job?
A.   Usually, your employer will rehire you once you are medically cleared to return to work. If your employer does not rehire you, your employer’s decision may be completely legal and leave you without recourse. However, under both the Americans with Disabilities Act and Indiana law, you may have recourse if your employer refuses to accept you back to work. To find out if you are protected by federal and Indiana law, contact our office and we will discuss the legal options available to you.  

Q.  If I am automatically covered by the Indiana Workers Compensation law, why do I need an attorney?
A.  Indiana’s Worker’s Compensation laws are written in a way which tends to favor the employer as opposed to the injured employee. A free legal consultation with an attorney experienced in the Indiana worker’s compensation system will help you to better determine whether or not your rights are being protected and whether legal representation is needed at this time.  

Q.  To what benefits am I entitled if I get injured?
A.  Generally speaking, Worker’s Compensation Benefits, include:

  • Payment for medical expenses
  • Lost wages (called temporary total disability benefits)
  • A settlement if the employee suffers a work place injury that becomes permanent. Catastrophically injured worker’s can also recover additional worker’s compensation benefits referred to as permanent total disability benefits.

However, each case is different. We can help you determine and receive all of the benefits to which you are entitled. Please contact our office to discuss the specifics of your case.

Q.  Do I have to go to the doctor my employer sends me to? Or, can I go to my own.
A.  It depends. The Indiana law states your employer has the right to direct medical care. This means that your employer or your employer’s insurance company can choose doctors that treat you for your injuries. You need to attend the appointment with your employer’s doctor(s) in order to avoid possible termination of your benefits. On the other hand, if you are unhappy with your employer’s doctor, the law allows you to request an independent medical examination at a specific point in your case. In some cases, the law also allows you, to obtain treatment with your own doctor. However, merely refusing treatment with the employer’s doctor just because you do not like him/her is not a sufficient reason.

Q.  What if my employer does not have worker’s compensation insurance?
A.   Employers who fail to carry worker’s compensation insurance can be penalized under Indiana law. Irresponsible employers can be subject to an award of double damages by the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board and can be prosecuted by your local county prosecutor. In addition, if your employer had contracted with another company in performing work on which you were injured, it is likely that another company could be responsible to pay worker’s compensation benefits to you.

Q.  How much is the attorney fee?
A.  Our attorney’s fee is limited under the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act. According to Indiana law, attorneys can only charge a percentage of any recovery received and cannot charge you an up front fee for services. In some cases, you may be asked to assist in the payment of any out of pocket expenses. Under the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act, attorney fees are limited to $200.00 plus 20% of the first $50,000.00, and 15% of any remaining balance.

Q.  Can I sue my employer for the accident?
A.  The Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act does not allow an injured worker to sue your immediate employer for a work accident. However, you may bring a lawsuit against third parties (these include employees of other companies, general contractors on construction sites, or any other person or company) if the third party’s negligence was a cause of your accident. We can help with a lawsuit against a third party.

Q.  What if a dangerous machine caused my injury?
A.  Workers injured due to defective equipment or machines may be eligible for monetary damages from the manufacturer, seller, and/or designer of the defective product. Your attorney will consult with design experts to determine whether the injured worker is eligible to receive additional damages that the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act does not provide. These damages can include full lost wages, future lost wages, pain and suffering, and compensation for permanent disfigurement.   

Q.  I am a medical provider? How can I make sure worker’s compensation insurance pays my bill?
A.  Medical providers often fail to secure their right to recovery out of the worker’s compensation claim. Klezmer Maudlin will file medical provider claims with the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board in order to ensure that settlement of the injured worker’s claim includes proper reimbursement to the medical provider. Without this assistance, providers may learn that the claim has settled without payment of the provider’s bill.   

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