If you get injured on the job in Indiana, it’s important to understand the state’s workers comp laws because your employer’s workers compensation insurance may be the only way you can get medical benefits and wage replacement while you’re out of work.
Most employers in Indiana are required to carry workers compensation insurance because this insurance protects employers from liability if an employee gets injured while working, and it also financially protects employees. Your first step after getting injured at work should be to notify your employer of the injury and seek medical treatment from an authorized workers comp doctor.
Eligibility for Indiana Workers Comp
Eligibility for Indiana workers comp benefits is straightforward. Kooi Law, a law firm that handles many workers comp cases, explains that employees can file for workers comp benefits in Indiana as long as their injury happened at work and the injury wasn’t caused by third-party negligence.
If the work injury was caused by a manufacturer defect or another third party, the employee may have to file a lawsuit to recover compensation. It’ll take evidence such as photographs and witness testimony to prove negligence against the negligent third party in court.
Workers Comp Benefits You Can Receive
Workers comp benefits include medical benefits and disability benefits. As long as your workplace injury wasn’t an emergency, you should see an authorized workers comp doctor. Your medical expenses and any prescribed medications for treatment will be fully covered until the doctor decides that you’ve reached the appropriate amount of care.
You can also receive disability benefits for lost income while you’re out of work for your injury. Disability benefits will provide two-thirds of your average weekly wages in income, and you can receive temporary disability benefits until the doctor decides that you’re able to return to work.
If you can’t return to work, you may receive permanent disability benefits for up to 500 weeks once your temporary disability benefits run out. You must then apply for social security disability if your injury prevents you from working indefinitely.
What to Do if Your Workers Comp Claim Is Denied
Although getting approved for workers comp seems simple, the process can be complex. You may need the help of an attorney to appeal your claim if it gets denied when you first file it; however, a denial should never discourage you from moving forward with your claim.