ACCIDENTS ON THE JOB: Just How Does The Law Work?
Indiana has a strong history of producing workers that are tough and ready to meet a challenge at work. However, when an Indiana worker is injured on the job, they often face a greater challenge. Getting hurt at work can take a worker away from the challenge they are used to, and replace it with a challenge that is unfamiliar to them.
Remember this: Insurance representatives are trained to handle these claims. So put the team of GOODIN ABERNATHY attorneys to work on your side.
If you are injured at work and facing a challenge to get back on your feet. You don’t have to face it alone.
Today, workers compensation laws are covered under the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act. Employees who are hurt on the job can apply to the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Board for assistance. The Board administers and rules on any application. Here are some important considerations for any injury at work:
An Injured Employee Should Report the Event to Their Employer
An Employee injured at work should report the event to their employer as soon as possible. Under the Act, the Employer is then responsible for then reporting the injury with the Board.
Medical Treatment and Permanent Injuries
Because the injury occurred at work, the Employer is responsible for providing medical care to the Employee for the injury. The Employer generally has its insurance company coordinate the medical care for the employee. Thus, the Employer or its insurance company will schedule doctor visits for the Employee and pay for the costs associated with attending these appointments. The Employee is not free to choose their own doctor and have the Employer or insurance company pay for the treatment unless there is an emergency. Indeed, typically the Employer or its insurance company will not pay for medical treatment the Employee received without the Employer’s prior knowledge and authorization. However, the Employee always has the right to seek medical attention at the Employee’s own expense.
The Employer or insurance company provides medical treatment to the Employee until the Employee has reached what is known as Maximum Medical Improvement or MMI. Once the medical care provider hired by the Employer deems the Employee at MMI, the Employer’s obligation to continue to provide medical treatment to the Employee generally terminates. In some cases, a finding of MMI means the Employee has fully recovered from their injury. In other cases, a finding of MMI means that that the Employee has not fully recovered from the injury but that there is nothing left, medically, that can be done for the employee. In this second situation, the medical care provider will assign the Employee what is known as a Permanent Partial Impairment rating or PPI rating. An Employee who receives a PPI rating is entitled to compensation for that rating. The Workers’ Compensation Act identifies the amount of compensation as it correlates to the PPI rating.
Disability and Wages
The Workers’ Compensation Act addresses three (3) types of disability claims. These types of disability claims are categorized as: Temporary Total Disability or TTD; Temporary Partial Disability or TPD, and Permanent and Total Disability or PTD.
TTD is paid during the time the Employee is totally unable to work while the Employee is recovering from an injury. TTD is paid a rate of two thirds (2/3) of the Employee’s average weekly wage. TTD payments do not start immediately. When an injury prevents an Employee from working, TTD is paid starting on the eighth day that the Employee is unable to work. If the Employee is still unable to work for twenty one (21) days after originally being off from work, the Employer will go back and pay the Employee TTD for the first seven days that the Employee was unable to work.
TPD is paid when the Employee cannot perform all the hours or actions required by the Employee’s original job, but can perform some types of limited work or can work some limited hours. TPD is paid at the rate of two thirds (2/3) of the difference between the employee’s pre injury job and post injury job average weekly wages.
PTD is provided when the Employee can no longer perform any reasonable employment. PTD awards are paid for 500 weeks at a rate of two thirds (2/3) of the Employee’s average weekly wage.
The GOODIN ABERNATHY attorneys will explain all of this to you in a simple and easy consultation. Put an experienced legal team on your side!
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