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Indianapolis Workers Comp Lawyer
Injured at work? If you have questions about workers compensation coverage in Indiana or specific questions about your claim, contact an Indianapolis workers comp claim lawyer.
Few people are prepared to deal with taking time off work for an illness or injury caused by an on-the-job accident. Fortunately, nearly every employer throughout the state, with few exceptions, is required to carry workers compensation insurance coverage for all regular employees.
This coverage is designed to protect you in the event that you suffer a work illness or injury and will need to temporarily or permanently be away from work. If you have additional questions about the details of your claim or would like help appealing a denied claim, reach out to a qualified Indianapolis workers comp lawyer with Kooi Law. We can help you gain access to the benefits you deserve.
Qualifying for Workers Compensation in Indianapolis
To be eligible for workers compensation benefits, you first must be employed. From the first day of your employment, you should be able to receive benefits if you are injured or fall ill at work. The length of time you’ve been with the company or how many hours you work each week should be irrelevant.
Next, you must be sure to report your illness or injury to your employer within thirty days; you could be denied if you file at a later time. To qualify for workers comp, the injury must have occurred while you were on the clock and performing the responsibilities of your position.
If you are in violation of company policies when injured—intoxicated, under the influence, or working off the clock, for example—if you were committing a crime when injured, or if you failed to disclose a pre-existing condition that exacerbated or caused your illness or injury, your claim for workers comp benefits in Indianapolis could be reasonably denied.
If you have a loved one who was employed with the company and passed away as a result of a work-related injury, his or her workers comp benefits could be paid to you if you were considered one of their dependents.
Common On-the-Job Injuries
The injuries you might suffer at work can be severe, and they can vary almost as widely as the type of accident you suffered. What type of injuries does your workers comp insurance cover? Typically, this compensation covers any injuries you suffered at work that require medical attention or prevent you from performing your job.
For example, you might have suffered a serious cut that required stitches. You were injured at work, and so the costs to have your stitches placed and removed should be the responsibility of your employer. A brain injury, however, could leave you unable to work in the capacity you once did. You’re unable because of your work accident, so you might require permanent disability benefits.
If you’re injured at work, you might have suffered some serious injuries that left you unable to work. Below are a few examples of work accident injuries that could keep you from your job:
- Muscle strains and sprains
- Broken bones
- Head trauma
- Back and spine injuries
Covering Work-Related Illnesses
However, it’s not just injuries that can keep you from work. You might have come home with a serious illness because of your job and now you’re struggling to return to work. Some materials used in production can have short- and long-term health effects.
For example, many workers have been affected after working with asbestos over time. Some workers have developed mesothelioma, a serious lung disease that can be deadly. Other illnesses, such as allergic reactions or diseases related to toxic substances, can leave you with long-term problems.
These illnesses are typically covered by your workers comp benefits. If something on the job affected your health, you shouldn’t have to pay out-of-pocket for the suffering you’ve experienced. Speak to your doctor about any work-related illnesses and seek workers comp with your lawyer’s help.
What Your Work Comp Benefits Will Cover
Workers compensation benefits are available to cover your income while you are unable to work, in addition to the medical costs that accrue as a result of your work injury. The state does not expect employees who suffer a work illness or injury to be responsible for their medical bills.
The workers comp insurance company will be required to cover hospital bills, co-pays, the costs of prescription medicines, rehabilitation services, physical or occupational therapy, and transportation costs to and from your doctor visits.
When you are considered to be temporarily totally disabled, meaning you are currently unable to work but are expected to make a recovery significant enough to allow you to return to work, you will be able to collect 66 percent of your weekly annual salary—not to exceed $600 per week. Permanently disabled individuals will collect a larger portion of their prior weekly earnings.
Once you’ve been approved for work comp benefits, you can begin receiving your benefits as soon as fifteen days from the date of the injury. However, you should not expect to be able to collect benefits until you have been out of work for a period of at least twenty-one days. Your workers comp lawyer in Indianapolis can help you understand all of the benefits you’re entitled to.
The Workers Compensation Process
When you’ve been injured, you might be worried about the length of the process between your injury and receiving your workers compensation benefits. Fortunately, the process should be handled quickly, so you and your family shouldn’t have to suffer from financial strain of no income and accruing accident-related costs.
First, you’ll notify your employer as soon as possible that an accident happened and that you want to file for workers compensation. This must happen within thirty days or you could be denied compensation. At this point, the claim is the responsibility of your employer.
They’ll need to notify the insurance company within seven days of your notice. Once they do so, the insurance company will investigate your claim and determine whether you’re eligible for benefits. Then, they’ll determine how much your compensation is worth.
Once their investigation is complete. They’ll send you a letter approving or denying your claim. If your claim is approved, you’ll be ready to recover with your benefits. If they deny your claim, don’t panic—you still have a chance to appeal.
Appealing a Denial
If the insurance company has denied your claim, the first thing we should do is answer any objections the insurer has and supply any additional supporting documents and medical information that may not have already been submitted.
If we are unable to resolve the issue in this manner, our likely next step is to get in touch with the Workers Compensation Board of Indiana to discuss alternative resolution options.
In the event that your Indianapolis work comp claim is still denied, we can file an application for an adjustment to your claim and have it submitted directly to the Workers Compensation Board for review. An initial denial doesn’t mean you’re stuck without income while you’re out of work. Many denials go on to become approved after an experienced attorney gets involved.
Indianapolis Workers Comp FAQ
When you’ve suffered a work injury, it can be confusing and difficult to recover. You’ll have questions, whether you’ve just been injured or if you’ve already received a denial letter. Every case is unique, so you might be struggling to get the answers you need. Fortunately, our firm can give you the personalized answers you need for your claim.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to an Indianapolis workers comp claim lawyer at our firm if you have any questions about your claim or benefits. In the meantime, we’ve answered some common questions below.
How long can I collect workers comp?
As a general rule, you will be able to collect workers compensation benefits until you are medically cleared to go back to work. This time period will have a wide range for each individual and go from as little as a week or two to the rest of your working life (usually age sixty-five) if you are permanently disabled.
What is a pre-existing condition?
These are conditions or disorders that you were diagnosed with prior to becoming employed with your current employer. When you are first hired, you will be required to disclose any ailments that could prevent you from being able to fulfill your work responsibilities. Examples of pre-existing conditions could include back injuries, forms of cancer, or epilepsy.
Do specific injuries or illnesses disqualify you from benefits?
No. Workers compensation benefits are benefits paid to you due to a work injury or illness. As long as you were open and honest about any pre-existing conditions you had, you are more than likely entitled to collect workers comp for your work injury.
How much can I expect to collect?
The amount claimants can collect will depend on their annual salary. Across the board, workers comp reimburses you for around two-thirds of your lost income. This percentage will also depend on how severe your injury is. For instance, if you lose a limb, you’ll be more likely to collect a large portion of your lost income, in contrast with a more minor injury.
Can I work a second job while receiving workers comp?
The purpose of workers compensation is to replace your income while you are recovering from an injury or illness caused directly by the work you do for your employer. Therefore, if you are able to work a different job, you may still be able to collect reduced benefits until you are able to return to your pre-injury position—or you may be disqualified from receiving benefits altogether.
What if I was denied for not being injured enough?
This is a common reason insurance companies deny Indianapolis workers comp claims. The insurer or your employer feel that your injury shouldn’t prevent you from continuing to complete your job. We can always answer any objections they have with additional supporting medical documentation, or we can submit to an independent medical exam and file an appeal.
Get in Touch with an Indianapolis Workers Comp Attorney
If you’ve been denied the workers compensation benefits you’re entitled to, or if you have additional questions concerning a specific injury or illness you suffered on the job, contact the attorneys at Kooi Law today. Our team has years of experience handling workers compensation claims and can offer support and guidance for your case.
You can schedule a free claim evaluation with an Indianapolis workers comp lawyer today by calling 317-569-1335 or by filling out the contact form at the bottom of the page.