Steps to Take in Handling a Workers’ Compensation Claim
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If you are or a loved one is injured at work, here are a few key steps to take to start your workers compensation claim.
First of all, report the injury right away to your employer. At that point, your employer is required by law to file a First Report of Injury with its workers compensation insurance carrier. Your employer is also required to furnish an attending physician to treat you for your work related injuries.
Under the Indiana Workers Compensation laws, your employer has the right to pick the attending physician. As long as that physician says that you need medical care, treatment or testing, the insurance company for your employer is required to pay 100% of the cost of all treatment. This treatment includes any necessary medications, parking fees and mileage outside the county of employment. If that physician takes you off work for seven days or more, you are entitled to a weekly workers compensation check until you either return to work on light duty or until you reach a state of what we call maximum medical improvement (when your condition reaches a point at which it is medically quiescent).
Once you reach the point of maximum medical improvement, if you cannot return to any reasonable types of employment, you are eligible for the highest benefit available under Indiana law which is called permanent total disability. Permanent total disability, or PTD, is a weekly check for life.
If you CAN return to reasonable employment and your injury is permanent, you are entitled to a settlement. The value of the settlement is based upon the degree of impairment suffered. This degree of impairment is assigned by a doctor. If you disagree with the doctor’s determination, you have the right to seek your own impairment (called a permanent partial impairment rating). Also, your settlement can include additional compensation for any future medical needs that a physician says you will have due to the work accident.
In Indiana, you have two years from the date of accident, or two years from the date that compensation was last paid to file for a court date. To do this, you need to file a form called the Application for Adjustment of Claim with the Indiana Workers Compensation Board.
If you’ve been injured at work, contact an experienced workers compensation lawyer from Klezmer Maudlin, PC to help you from start to finish and get the settlement you deserve.