Many blue-collar jobs require that workers place themselves into dangerous positions or handle hazardous materials, and injuries in these settings are a serious and ever-present risk. White-collar jobs can also leave employees susceptible to workplace injury, albeit often of a different variety.
Workers’ compensation insurance provides a safety net to all people who are injured while at work. Unfortunately, the insurance providers who administer these policies may not always offer benefits that fit the worker’s needs. An Indianapolis workplace injury lawyer can help those hurt on the job. A distinguished workers’ compensation attorney can work with the insurance companies to fight for the compensation you deserve.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Almost all employers in Indiana are required to obtain a workers’ compensation insurance policy. This policy provides emergency income to people injured while at work. To qualify as eligible for workers’ compensation, an employee’s accident must happen while working or performing a work-related function—in other words, while the worker is on the clock.
Workers’ compensation provides benefits for all injuries, regardless of source or fault, that occur while an employee is at work. That being said, this policy generally excludes all breaks, meals, and commutes. A claim may be denied if the worker was engaged in horseplay when injured. Since this activity is not considered work, it is not covered by workers’ compensation.
Potential Benefits for Employees
Indianapolis workplace injury lawyers know that benefits can be issued for both temporary and permanent disabilities. Most claims involve a worker being unable to perform their job for a set period of time but eventually returns to full health. These cases result in the issuance of temporary disability benefits.
Workers with temporary disability benefits are paid at two-thirds of their average weekly wage up to a maximum of $780 per week. These benefits are issued for a maximum of 300 total weeks when a worker cannot return to their job.
A permanent disability payment may be made if the injured suffered a permanent loss of ability to work. Indiana published a schedule of payments that corresponds to the lost functionality in body parts, which can be found here. If the worker is found to be totally disabled for the rest of their lives, they are issued weekly payments of two-thirds of their average wage for a total of 500 weeks.
Disagreements Over Worker Benefits
It is not uncommon for the insurance company to offer a workers’ compensation benefit package that the injured employee finds unsatisfactory. In some cases, the insurance company may not believe the injury is permanently disabling or may deny coverage altogether.
In the event of a disagreement over benefits between the insurance company and an injured worker, the Workers’ Compensation Board of Indiana provides alternative dispute resolution options in the form of mediation sessions, where the parties attempt to settle the claim with the help of an impartial mediator. If this fails, the Board may hold formal hearings to adjudicate the claim. Either way, workers have the right to legal representation at these sessions.
Talk to an Indianapolis Workplace Injury Attorney
Indianapolis workplace injury attorneys offer their services to all people injured on the job who wish to dispute their benefits packages. Individuals can get help understanding the effect their injuries have on their future ability to work.
By combining this information with an extensive knowledge of workers’ compensation law, attorneys strive to help clients obtain the benefits they deserve after a workplace injury. Contact an Indianapolis workplace injury lawyer to learn how an attorney can help.