An Indiana Work Comp Injury can be devastating for Indiana Workers and their families. An on the job injury can cause Indiana employees to lose time away from work, time away from their families and love ones, and thousands of dollars in medical bills. The Indiana Work Comp Lawyers of Crossen Kooi have a practice dedicated to restoring the lives of employees that are hurt on the job, and our Indiana Workers’ Compensation attorneys are well versed in the complexities of the Indiana Work Comp Laws that must be navigated to ensure that injured Indiana Employees maximize their recovery and get their lives back on track.
Generally speaking, the Indiana Work Comp laws require employers to maintain workers’ compensation insurance or a self-insured program that covers claims filed by injured workers. While there are exempt employees ( railroad workers, realtors, household employees in a primary residence, farm workers, prisoners and some ambulance, police and firefighters, etc), most employees injured on the job are covered under the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act.
Injuries Covered by the Indiana Work Comp Act
Most injuries that occur in the course and scope of an Indiana employee’s work are covered by the Act. These may include injury to the person or death. As a practical matter, the cause of the accident rarely effects the compensability of a claim. Whether by accident or negligence, injuries or personal injuries in the workplace are generally covered. While there are exceptions to this (intoxication, horseplay, deliberate indifference to a posted work rule), most issues that arise between an employee and their employer generally tend to involve the extent of the injury or Permanent Partial Impairment rating (PPI).
In our firm’s experience with liability issues, there are some common areas where employers attempt to escape culpability. While this list is not all-inclusive, it includes:
- Intentional actions by employees in supervisory roles
- Intentional actions or horseplay that was not initiated by the injured worker
- Repetitive Motion injuries
- Injuries that occur on the premises of the employer (parking lots, entrances and exits)
- Injuries that occur when taking breaks or lunch on the employer’s premises
- Congenital injuries such as heart attacks or psychological injures
Benefits provided by the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act
If liability is established and your claim is deemed to be statutorily compensable, the benefits you may be entitled to include medical care, temporary or permanent total disability payments, and in the case of loss of life, statutory dependents are entitled to death benefits. Medical care includes payment of medical expenses reasonably related to the injury. In Indiana, the employer directs medical care; thus, the employer decides where you obtain medical care and when you must go (provided the care is reasonable).
Under the current Act and for an injury occurring today, an injured employee would be entitled to TTD payments for a statutory maximum of 500 weeks. The TTD payment amount is equal to two-thirds of your AWW (average weekly wage). TTD benefits begin if you are unable to work for 8 days. If you are still unable to work 22 consecutive days following your initial date of injury, you may be entitled to reimbursement of the first 8 days as well .
Benefits of hiring a qualified and experienced Indiana Work Comp Lawyer
Employers are required by statute to be represented by an attorney at a Hearing on the merits of a claim. Given this requirement, most insurers hire counsel as soon as the claim is filed so as to begin preparing their defense for Hearing. Given a defense attorney’s involvement in the case, it can be greatly prejudicial to an employee to proceed to Hearing without representation. Defense attorneys are well-versed in work comp laws and have the knowledge to take advantage of an employee seeking to represent themselves before the Board. The converse is also true. An Indiana work comp attorney retained by an employee can assist greatly in presenting the facts and evidence and take full advantage of the statutory protections that have been established for the benefit of the employee.
If you or a loved one has been injured at the workplace, get the benefits and representation you deserve by contacting our Indiana Worker’s Compensation Lawyers.