Worker’s Compensation: We Are Here For You
Whether you fell at work, you were injured by a piece of equipment, or you were hurt on a construction site, you deserve to receive all the benefits that are owed to you under Indiana’s Worker’s Compensation Act when you are hurt at work. Our attorneys at Greene & Schultz Trial Lawyers in Bloomington, Indiana, have significant experience representing injured workers, especially construction workers and factory workers. You don’t need to go up against your employer and the insurance agencies alone.
Below are frequently asked worker’s compensation questions.
I was hurt at work. What should I do?
Notify your supervisor immediately, even if you do not think the injury is serious. Ask them to complete an accident report and get a copy of it.
My employer won’t turn my claim in to worker’s comp. What should I do?
You may need to file a formal claim against your employer. The forms are available on the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board’s website www.in.gov/wcb. If you aren’t sure what to do, call Greene & Schultz Trial Lawyers.
What types of benefits can be received through worker’s comp?
In general, if you miss work, you receive two-thirds of your weekly wages. Worker’s comp also covers all of your medical expenses, including travel to and from appointments. If you suffered a permanent injury at work, you may qualify for a lump-sum payment for a schedule loss. You may also receive vocational rehabilitation or training if you cannot return to your job.
Why would worker’s comp in Indiana be denied?
There are many reasons your employer may deny your claim, including:
- You missed the deadline for reporting the injury.
- You did not complete the worker’s compensation forms and process correctly.
- You were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time.
- Your willful negligence caused the injury.
- They don’t want their insurance rates to rise.
These are just a few examples; you should speak with an attorney about your specific case.
How long can an employee be out on worker’s comp?
According to the Worker’s Compensation Board of Indiana, you can be on worker’s comp for two years from the date of the injury or two years from the date of the last compensation paid. It is a good idea to check with a lawyer, however, to learn about your case.
Can an employee be terminated while on worker’s comp and not working?
Your employer can’t fire you just because you filed a worker’s comp claim. Keep in mind, however, that Indiana is an at-will employment state, which means employers can fire people for any reason as long as they are not discriminating against them. There are other reasons your employer may terminate you during this time if the injury means you cannot work the required hours set forth in certain types of work policies. You may want to check to see if this applies to you.
Can receiving worker’s comp affect future employment?
It is illegal for a prospective employer to decide not to hire you just because you filed a worker’s comp claim. They also cannot ask about previous worker’s comp claims or disabilities. Doing so would be discriminatory.
What is TTD?
TTD stands for temporary total disability. When a work injury temporarily disables you from working you may be eligible to receive a wage replacement benefit while you recover from your work injury.
How will my TTD rate be calculated?
To calculate your TTD rate, take your total earnings for the 52 weeks prior to your accident and divide by 52. This is your average weekly wage. Your TTD rate is 2/3 of your average weekly wage subject to a statutory cap. The cap depends on the date you were hurt on the job.
I don’t like the doctor that I was sent to through worker’s comp. Can I go to my own doctor?
The Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act allows the employer or it’s insurance company to choose the doctor for which it will pay. If you want to see your own doctor, worker’s comp will not pay for it.
What is a Nurse Case Manager?
A Nurse Case Manager is a Nurse that is hired by the insurance company to coordinate your medical treatment and report to the insurance company where you are in your treatment plan. A good Nurse Case Manager can be very helpful to your recovery but a poor Nurse Case Manager may attempt to interfere with or influence your medical treatment.
Do I have to let the Nurse Case Manager come to my doctor appointments?
Yes, but you do not have to allow them in the examination room.
What is MMI?
MMI stands for Maximum Medical Improvement. This is the point in your recovery that the doctor determines that additional medical care will not result in additional improvement.
What is an IME?
IME stands for Independent Medical Examination. If your TTD benefits are terminated because you have reached maximum medical improvement, you may be entitled to an IME for a second medical opinion from a doctor appointed by the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board.
What is a PPI rating?
PPI stands for Permanent Partial Impairment. If you still have a loss of physical function after you reach maximum medical improvement you will receive a PPI rating. A PPI rating is a percentage number assigned by a doctor that represents your permanent loss of physical function.
What if I disagree with the doctor about my PPI rating?
You can get a second medical opinion from another doctor. Worker’s comp will not pay for this second opinion.
What if someone other than my employer is responsible for my work injury?
In addition to your worker’s compensation claim, you may have a legal cause of action referred to as a “third-party claim” against the party or parties responsible for your work injury.
I have an old injury that only began bothering me when I was injured at work. Will this injury be covered, even though it is a pre-existing condition?
Yes, if your work accident aggravated a pre-existing injury, it should be covered.
My employer wants me to come back to work. Should I?
If your employer has work for you that meets the restrictions the doctor has given you, you should return to work.
What if I am injured at work and my employer does not have worker’s compensation insurance?
If your employer does not have worker’s compensation insurance, you can make a claim directly against the employer. Indiana law allows for penalties against any employer in Indiana who fails to carry worker’s compensation insurance.
What if my employer has a job for me that meets my restrictions but I do not take that job?
If you choose not to accept the light-duty position that you are offered, your wage replacement benefit (“TTD”) will be suspended.
Can I take a new job with a different employer while I am receiving worker’s compensation benefits?
Yes, but you will no longer receive TTD benefits.
Can I be fired for filing a worker’s compensation claim?
No. Indiana law prohibits an employer from firing an injured employee in retaliation for filing a worker’s compensation claim. If you believe that your employer fired you in retaliation for filing a claim, contact the Indiana Department of Labor to file a complaint. Your employer may, however, be able to fire you if you are unable to complete the duties of the job.
I have received a bill from the worker’s comp doctor. Do I have to pay the bill?
No. You are not responsible to pay for the medical treatment from the doctors or providers chosen by your employer or its insurance company.
What about my pain and suffering?
Indiana worker’s compensation law does not compensate injured workers for pain and suffering.
What is Permanent Total Disability?
Permanent Total Disability is when you are permanently disabled from working at any job. If you are permanently totally disabled, you are entitled to 500 weeks of TTD benefits. After 500 weeks, you may apply for additional benefits from the State of Indiana through the second injury fund if you are still totally disabled.
My restrictions prevent me from returning to my job. What should I do?
If you were injured on the job and cannot return to what you used to do, you may be entitled to Vocational Rehabilitation training from the State of Indiana. These services can include training you for a different vocation.
My relative was killed on the job. Am I entitled to benefits?
If you are a dependent of the deceased worker, you may be entitled to benefits. If a deceased worker has no dependents, workers’ comp will still pay the medical expenses and up to $7,500 for funeral expenses.