Q. What benefits am I entitled if I get injured?
A.Typically Workers’ Compensation Benefits, include:
- Payment for medical expenses
- Lost wages (called temporary total disability benefits)
- A settlement if the employee suffers a work place injury that becomes permanent. Catastrophically injured workers can also recover additional workers’ compensation benefits referred to as permanent total disability benefits.
However, each case is different. We can help you determine and receive all of the benefits to which you are entitled. For more information contact us using the form on the left column on this page or call our office at 1-800-809-3776.
Q. If I am injured, should I worry about losing my job?
A. Usually, your employer will rehire you once you are medically cleared to return to work. If your employer does not rehire you, your employer’s decision may be completely legal and leave you out of a job. However, under both the Americans with Disabilities Act and Indiana law, you might have recourse if your employer refuses to accept you back to work. To find out if you are protected by federal and Indiana law, contact Klezmer Maudlin by completing the form on the left column of this page, or call our office at 1-800-809-3776.
Q. Can my employer fire me while I am off of work recovering from a workplace injury?
A. There is no prohibition in the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act. Prohibitions against termination are covered by Indiana’s labor laws, which favor allowing employers to fire at will.
Q. If Indiana requires my employer to cover work injuries, why do I need an attorney?
A. Indiana’s Workers’ Compensation laws are written in a way which tends to favor the employer as opposed to the injured employee. A free legal consultation with an attorney experienced in the Indiana workers’ compensation system will help you to better determine whether or not your rights are being fully respected and whether legal representation is needed. Hiring an attorney during your claim can decrease the number of disputes and increase the speed of resolving any disputes that may arise.
Q. Can I trust the insurance company to pay me what is owed under Indiana law?
Q. How do I file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Board?
A. If a claim is denied, the employer or the workers’ compensation insurance carrier must let the employee as well as the Workers’ Compensation Board know through a written form called a Report of Claim Status/Request for Independent Medical Examination (Form 38911) within 30 days of the employer’s knowledge of the accident. Thereafter, the injured worker has the right to file a claim on his or her own with the Board, but this must be done within 2 years from the date of the work accident. To file a claim, the injured worker must complete and send to the Board an Application for Adjustment of Claim (Form 29109). The injured worker may also want to contact an Ombudsman at the Board (Ombudsman Division - 1-800-272-2922) for further information about this application and the process of self-representation.
Q. What are the time limits for filing a workers’ compensation claim in Indiana?
A. In general, two years is the timeline for filing a claim in an Indiana workers’ compensation matter. It is extremely important to note when this period of time begins running, as it differs depending on the type of accident and injury. The law states that an injured worker has two years from the date of the accident to file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Board of Indiana. On the other hand, if the accident is the unexpected consequence of performing one’s job duties, such as a repetitive trauma injury, the Court has held that the two year time constraint begins “when the injury is discernible by the employee,” which is usually the date that the injured worker first seeks treatment for the work injury. In the case of a worker who has died as a result of the work accident, the dependents have two years from the date of death to file a claim. Time limitations for Indiana workers’ compensation claims can be very tricky, but they are VERY important to understand for your particular claim. You should consult an attorney to further explain these limitations.
Q. What should I do if my employer forces me to do work that is not within my restrictions?
A. There is no single or simple answer to this question. The Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act does not specifically prohibit violations of work restrictions.
Q. Can I go to my own doctor or do I have to go to the doctor my employer chooses?
A. It depends. The Indiana law states your employer has the right to select the medical providers. You need to attend the appointment with your employer’s doctor(s) in order to avoid possible termination of your benefits. On the other hand, if you are unhappy with your employer’s doctor, the law allows you to request an independent medical examination at a specific point in your case. Only in extreme and very rare cases of abuse can the injured worker select the medical providers. However, merely refusing treatment with the employer’s doctor just because you do not like him/her is not a sufficient reason. For more information about choosing your own physician, contact us by using the form on the the left side of this page or call us at 1-800-809-3776.
Q. How can I find out my employer’s workers’ compensation insurance information?
A. Employers are required by law to post the name, address, and telephone number of their workers’ compensation insurance carrier in an obvious area within the workplace (for example, in the breakroom). You may also ask your employer for this information. If your employer says they do not carry workers’ compensation insurance and you have been injured on the job, you can contact the Workers’ Compensation Board of Indiana to verify whether your employer has workers’ compensation insurance.
Q. What if my employer does not have workers’ comp insurance?
A. Employers who fail to carry workers’ compensation insurance can be penalized under Indiana law. Irresponsible employers can be subject to an award of double damages by the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Board and can be fined and ordered to cease doing business in Indiana. In addition, if your employer had contracted with another company in performing work on which you were injured, it is likely that another company could be responsible to pay workers’ benefits to you. To find out whether or not damages can be obtained from your irresponsible employer or if another party might be responsible for workers’ compensation benefits, please contact us by using the form on the the left side of this page or call us at 1-800-809-3776.
Q. How much are Klezmer Maudlin’s attorney fees?
A. Our office does not charge for a consultation. All Indiana Worker’s Compensation attorneys charge the same because fees are set by Indiana law. Klezmer Maudlin can only charge a percentage of any recovery received and will not charge you an up front fee for our services. Under the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act, attorney fees are limited to $200.00 plus 20% of the first $50,000.00, and 15% of any remaining balance. With limited exceptions, we also will collect our out-of-pocket expenses from the recovery and not from you. If you hire us with an offer already given to you, we will typically agree not to charge an attorney fee unless we recover additional money. For example, if you hire us with an offer already of $5,000.00 and 3 months later we tell you we can only get you $5,000.00, we will typically not charge you. We will discuss this in more detail at the initial meeting and put our agreement in writing. If you have any questions regarding our attorney’s fee, please contact us by using the form on the the left column of this page or call us at 1-800-809-3776.
Q. Can I sue my employer for the accident?
A. The Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act does not allow an injured worker to sue the employer in the traditional sense for a work accident. The employee is limited to seeking review by the Workers’ Compensation Board. However, you may bring a lawsuit against third parties (these include employees of other companies, general contractors on construction sites or any other person or company) if the third party’s negligence was a cause of your accident. Klezmer Maudlin can help with a lawsuit against a third party.
Q. Can I recover money for pain and suffering for a workplace injury?
A. Generally, no. The only exception is when your injury was caused by something or someone other than your employer. These cases are not dealt with under the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act, and would be a separate lawsuit.
Q. What if a dangerous or malfunctioning machine caused my injury?
A. Workers injured due to defective equipment or machines may be eligible for monetary damages from the manufacturer, seller, and/or designer of the defective product. Klezmer Maudlin will consult with design experts to determine whether the injured worker is eligible to receive additional damages that the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act does not provide. These damages can include full lost wages, future lost wages, pain and suffering, and compensation for permanent disfigurement.
Q. If I received unemployment for my work injury, does that affect my claim for lost wages?
A. Possibly. If you claim your period of unemployment as time off for the work injury, then it is possible that you may not receive temporary total disability benefits for this same period of time. In other words, workers’ compensation will not pay you more than the difference, if any, between what you were paid through unemployment and what you should have been paid through workers’ compensation.
Q. What if I do not accept my PPI rating?
A. It is important to note that the injured worker does not have to accept the workers’ compensation doctor’s permanent partial impairment (PPI) rating. YOUR RIGHT as an injured worker is to negotiate a higher settlement if you think the injury is serious enough that a second opinion from another specialist would likely result in a higher PPI rating.
Q. Should I request an independent medical examination (IME)?
A. If you feel strongly that you need a second opinion on your work injury, you may consider requesting an IME through the Workers’ Compensation Board of Indiana. This option would be available to you once you were released from the workers’ compensation doctor to return to work. You can learn more about independent medical examinations here.
Q. How do I cover my loss of income if my workers’ compensation claim is denied?
A. In order to prove you are entitled to lost wages, you will need to make sure that you obtain an off work slip for each of the days that your doctor orders you off work as a result of your work injury. This is especially important to do if you treat with different doctors each time you receive treatment particularly at facilities such as a veteran’s hospital or a public hospital. Further, in order to not jeopardize your job, you should consider using paid vacation time, sick days, or personal days when you need to be off for the work injury, or you can file for short-term/long-term disability benefits if this is offered by your employer. You can also request up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off through The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) if both you and your employer qualify for FMLA.
Q. Are federal employees covered by the Workers’ Compensation Act?
A. No, federal employees fall under the federal workers’ compensation system. Not all workers’ compensation attorneys are familiar with the federal workers’ compensation laws, so make sure you ask about this in your initial conversation with an attorney.
Q. What should I do if a debt collector keeps harassing me about unpaid medical bills?
A. If a collector keeps contacting you regarding unpaid bills and you have already filed an Application for Adjustment of Claim (Form 29109), then you should advise the collector that they need to contact the Workers’ Compensation Board about filing an Application for Adjustment of Claim for Provider Fee (Form 18487) and keep a record of their attempts. The Board may fine them for such activity.
Q. Am I eligible for Permanent Total Disability benefits after my work injury?
A. If an injured worker no longer has the job on which he or she was injured, and if it is likely that without this job, the injured worker would have a hard time getting another available job that is regular and continuous, then he or she will likely be awarded permanent total disability benefits. A vocational expert will most likely be called on to help make the permanent and total disability determination for the injured worker. A psychologist may also be needed to evaluate the worker’s state of mind.
Q. What happens if an injured worker dies as a result of his or her work injury?
A. If an injured worker dies as a result of his or her work accident, then benefits will go to the worker’s dependents. Those that fit the definition of dependents are eligible for a total of 500 weeks of lost wages at 66 2/3% of the deceased’s average weekly wage. The employer and/or workers’ compensation insurance carrier is also obligated to pay any medical benefits and up to $7,500 for burial expenses.
Q. Is my work injury eligible for future medical treatment?
A. Future medical treatment is only considered when an injured worker has sustained permanent injuries from the work accident. A doctor who has treated the injured worker will need to state very specifically the type of treatment required, period of time treatment will be needed, and cost of the future treatment. Then, the Board will consider these things in light of their effect on the injured worker’s impairment. If the injured worker is awarded future treatment, it will be for the sole purpose of limiting of reducing his or her extent of impairment. This does not mean, however, that an injured worker who is left with any degree of impairment from his or her work injury will automatically be awarded future medical treatment by the Board.
Q. How often will I receive my disability check and what if I don’t receive it in time?
A. Your first pay check should arrive about 14 days after the first day you were unable to work. You should receive your disability pay each week; the Board would have to order your paychecks to be sent in any other installment (for example, bi-weekly or monthly). If you do not receive your check on time, make sure the doctor has still ordered you off work or on restrictions that your employer is unable to meet, and then contact the insurance adjuster assigned to your case or consult with your attorney.
Q. How long will I receive medical treatment for my workers’ compensation claim?
A. You will receive medical treatment until you are released from the doctor at maximum medical improvement, which basically means your condition is as good as it will get and will not significantly improve with more treatment.
Q. Why has a nurse case manager been assigned to my workers’ compensation claim?
A. When the workers’ compensation insurance carrier orders medical treatment for an injured worker, a nurse case manager (also known as a rehabilitation nurse) may be assigned to attend the appointments with the injured worker. Although it is legal for the insurance carrier to do this, you have the right to request that the nurse case manager remain outside while you have your physical examination with the doctor. You also have to right to require that the nurse case manager speak to the doctor in your presence.
Q. Are temporary employees covered by the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act?
A. Yes, the Act covers temporary or leased employees. Most likely, the company that leases or temps you would be the one liable for workers’ compensation benefits should you be injured at one of your places of employment.
Q. If I am driving to or from work and I am involved in an auto accident, will this be covered under the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act?
A. It depends on the situation. You may be covered if your work time begins when you leave your home and ends when you return, AND you were in a direct route to or from work, as opposed to making a pit stop to run a personal errand. Employees are generally not covered while traveling to and from work, if the place of employment is at a fixed location. However, travel to remote work sites may be compensable. If an employee is injured while being transported to or from work/work sites in vehicles provided by the employer, then the employee is probably covered. Accidents occurring while traveling to or from work in the employee’s personal vehicle may be covered if the travel is required for work.
Q. Are prosthetic devices covered under the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act?
A. Artificial braces and devices are to be provided by the employer when the work accident claim has been accepted. This includes instances where the injured worker already had a prosthetic part that was damaged or destroyed in the accident. Thereafter, replacements or necessary repairs for normal wear and tear will be paid out of the Second Injury Fund.
Q. Does the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act cover psychological injuries?
A. Yes, the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act covers psychological injuries as long as they meet the injury by accident, arising out of and in the course of employment standard. In order to prove this, the employee will likely have to undergo comprehensive psychological testing.
Q. What does it mean when an employer or insurance carrier acts in “bad faith” or lacks “due diligence?”
A. The Workers’ Compensation Act gives the Workers’ Compensation Board the authority to determine if an employer or the employer’s workers’ compensation carrier acted in bad faith or lacked due diligence in handling an injured worker’s claim. These terms simply refer to the responsibility of employers and workers’ compensation insurance carriers to handle claims with persistence, attentiveness, and in good trust. If an employer or their insurance carrier is found to have acted in bad faith or lacked due diligence, the Board can impose fines which are to be paid to the injured employee between the amount of $500 and $20,000.
Q. If I have a second job, will I be paid for my lost time there, as well?
A. It depends. If you had the second job prior to the injury AND it is very similar to the job you were injured on, then you may likely be entitled to disability pay for this loss of income as well. In these situations, it can be argued that the earnings from the second job should factor into the calculation of your average weekly wage.
Q. Will I be reimbursed for travel expenses for doctor’s appointments related to my work injury?
A. If the doctor your employer’s insurance carrier selects is outside of your county of employment, then you will receive gas money or money for food when making trips to see their doctor. The pay per mile is a rate set by the State of Indiana. The current rate is $0.44 per mile. Your meals and lodging may also be reimbursed depending on the length of travel required. If you do not have a car to get to the doctor’s appointment, and it is a doctor selected by the insurance carrier, then the insurance carrier may make arrangements for you to get there. The adjuster for your claim should be contacted to discuss this further.
We serve clients from all over Indiana, including Indianapolis, IN | Fishers, IN | Carmel, IN | Noblesville, IN | Plainfield, IN | Greenwood, IN | Franklin, IN | Richmond, IN | Anderson, IN | Muncie, IN | Marion, IN | Kokomo, IN | Lafayette, IN | Terre Haute, IN | Bloomington, IN | Columbus, IN | Martinsville, Lebanon, IN | Ft. Wayne, IN | Evansville, IN | South Bend, IN | Hammond, IN | Gary, IN and the counties of Marion County, IN | Hamilton County, IN | Boone County, IN | Hendricks County, IN | Morgan County, IN | Johnson County, IN | Shelby County, IN | Hancock County, IN | and Madison County, IN .