Worker's Comp Basics
What Is Worker's Comp?
Worker's compensation is an insurance benefit program designed to provide coverage for medical care and lost income when employees are injured at work. The coverage is mandated by states and governed in the state of Indiana by the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board. The “no fault” WC system operates as a type of agreement between employers and labor. The employers agree to provide compensation to employees who are injured or die on the job. In exchange for that, employees injured at work file a worker’s compensation claim rather than sue their employer.
What Injuries Are Covered By Worker's Compensation?
With a few exceptions, most workplace injuries, including traumatic injuries and occupational illnesses, are covered by workers’ compensation. Each state operates slightly differently so there are variations on what is and what is not covered. In Indiana, farmers, police officers, firefighters, and independent contractors may not be covered, but this should be clarified via consultation with an attorney. Injured enployees, whether they think they are covered or not, should contact an experienced worker's comp attorney to ensure protection of their rights.
Commonly Covered Workplace Injuries
- Spine & spinal cord injuries
- Back & neck injuries (including herniated, lumbar, or cervical disk injuries)
- Shoulder & joint injuries (including rotator cuff)
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Head injuries & concussions
- Reflex sympathy disorder (RSD)
- Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)
- Repetitive motion injuries (RMI)
- Eye or vision loss
- Hearing loss
- Chronic pain injuries & occupational diseases
- Quadriplegia & paraplegia
- Catastrophic injuries, disfigurement, or scarring
- Burn injuries
- Broken bones
- Chemical or hazardous material exposure
- Nerve damage
- Injuries resulting in surgery
- Fatal injuries/death
Types of Worker's Comp Benefits
There are a variety of ways that benefits apply to injured employees. A core component of a workers' compensation claim is coverage for medical care. This may include doctor appointments, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and surgery.
Often a workplace injury prevents employees from returning to work temporarily and sometimes even permanently. Worker's compensation helps recover a portion of lost income or wages for people hurt on the job. When injured workers suffer permanent loss of of function a permanent partial impairment (PPI) rating is appropriate. There may also be permanent total disability (PTD) benefits available for workers who will never have the capacity to return to gainful employment. In the most unfortunate situations, a workplace injury may be fatal. In that case, death benefits may be available for family members.
Rights of Injured Workers
Employees injured on the job have certain legal rights including the right to file a claim for their injury or illness, the right to pursue medical treatment, the right to wage replacement, compensation for permanent impairment, in addition to other rights. To maximize workers' compensation benefits, it is imperative that employees understand their rights as injured workers. These rights may vary by state, so the best way for injured employees to safeguard their rights is to hire an Indiana worker's compensation lawyer.
Employers are required to purchase worker's compensation insurance that provides benefits to employees who are injured, become ill, or die while on the job. Employers also have a series of duties that are required of them including posting a notice of compliance, providing emergency medical attention, and completing a written report for each workplace accident that occurs. Employers may not discriminate, harass, or terminate an employee in retaliation for the employee's pursuit of worker's compensation benefits.
Workers Comp FAQs
Have additional questions? Read Frequently Asked Worker's Compensation Questions (FAQs) or contact attorney Charles Carlock today.
Fighting For Injured Workers Since 1993
If you have been injured on the job in Indiana, attorney Charles Carlock accepts worker's compensation cases throughout the state and has represented thousands of people who have been hurt on the job. With a legal practice committed solely to injured workers, you can be sure that you have someone who is there to fight for you. Email or call Charlie today.