Filing a workers’ compensation claim in Bloomington, Indiana should be easy but that it isn’t always the case. Sometimes employers and/or their insurance companies deny or delay workers’ comp claims. This can make it much more difficult for an employee who is already struggling to recover from a painful workplace injury. In many cases, the employee is out of work, bills are piling up, and the stress is beginning to take its toll on the employee and the entire family.
Before you become overwhelmed by a Bloomington workers’ compensation claim that is not proceeding smoothly in a timely fashion, contact the workers’ compensation attorneys of The Ken Nunn Law Office for a free consultation by calling 1-800-CALL-KEN or 1-800-225-5536.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), almost 3 million nonfatal workplace illnesses and injuries were reported in 2014. This represented about 3.2 illnesses or workplace injuries per 100 full-time workers in the private sector. Approximately 722,300 injury and illness cases were reported for state and local government workers which works out to about 5 cases per 100 full-time workers.
The national rate for injuries and illnesses is 3.2 cases per 100 full-time workers. Indiana’s rate is higher at 3.8 cases per 100 full-time workers.
In order to protect employees who are injured in a workplace accident or become ill because of their job, workers’ compensation laws were enacted to provide basic benefits. Each state has its own set of laws regarding workers’ compensation that differs slightly.
Workers’ compensation is an insurance program designed to provide medical, income, and rehabilitation benefits for employees who are injured on the job. The focus is to help the employee heal from a workplace injury so that he or she can return to work. Workers’ compensation will also pay death benefits to the dependents of a worker who is killed while on the job.
Indiana’s workers’ compensation laws require most employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance; however, some employers may not meet their legal obligations for a variety of reasons. If you have been hurt on the job, you need to report the incident to your employer immediately and ask for the name and contact information for your employer’s workers’ comp carrier.
What Should I do if I am Injured at Work?
In order to protect your right to receive workers’ compensation, you must take certain steps if you are injured at work.
- Immediately notify your employer of the accident and/or injury. You have 30 days to file a report with your employer; however, it is best to report the accident and injury as soon as possible. If you fail to report the injury before the deadline, you lose your right to receive benefits.
- If you need emergency medical attention, you can go to the emergency room or choose a doctor for your treatment. However, your employer and/or its insurance company has the right to choose the medical providers for you. If you feel you are not receiving quality medical care of the medical provider is “working for” the insurance company, contact an attorney immediately.
- Your employer must file a Report of Injury if your accident requires you to miss more than one day of work within seven days of the accident. If your employer fails to file a report or notify its insurance carrier, you should contact a workers’ compensation attorney immediately. You can check the status of your claim and determine if a report has been filed by checking the Workers’ Compensation Board’s website.
- If you are out of work for more than seven days, you are entitled to receive weekly income benefits. The rate of payment is 2/3 of your average weekly wage for the past 52 weeks prior to the accident not to exceed $600 per week.
The process should be straightforward but there are often delays in receive benefits and insurance companies deny valid claims. Because you could lose your right to receive compensation if you fail to follow all procedures, it is often helpful to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney for assistance filing a claim.
A Bloomington Workers’ Comp Attorney You Can Trust
If you have been injured on the job, it is in your best interest to consult with an attorney before you provide any statements or sign any documents regarding your workers’ compensation claim.