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Indiana Worker’s Compensation: A Review of Rights and Benefits by Craig Van Schouwen

Indiana Worker’s Compensation: A Review of Rights and Benefits

Indiana worker’s compensation serves as a safety net for employees hurt in work-related accidents.  It is designed to protect both workers and employers. It ensures employees receive necessary medical treatment and financial help and shields employers from potential lawsuits.  Understanding the ins and outs of Indiana’s worker’s compensation system is essential to help both employers and employees navigate the process effectively.  This guide reviews key aspects of Indiana’s worker’s compensation system and explores the rights and benefits it provides.

Indiana Worker’s Compensation:

Indiana’s worker’s compensation laws are governed by the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act.  The Act outlines the rights and responsibilities of both employees and employers in the event of a workplace injury. Most employers in Indiana are required to provide worker’s compensation insurance for their employees.  This is true regardless of the size of the company or the number of employees.

Key Benefits:

Medical Care: Injured employees are entitled to reasonable and necessary medical treatment for work-related injuries.  Among other things, this includes doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, and medications.  To be allowed, these benefits must be both reasonable and necessary and flow from the work accident.  In most cases, the injured employee must seek medical attention only from healthcare providers authorized by the Employer or its worker’s compensation insurance carrier. Medical providers document the injury and provide treatment related to the work injury.

Temporary Total Disability: Employees temporarily unable to work due to their injuries may receive temporary total disability benefits or TTD.  This is typically paid at two thirds of their average weekly wage.  However, the amount is     capped for higher wage earners.  These benefits provide some level of financial support while injured workers treat their injuries and remain off work.

Permanent Partial Impairment: If an employee has a permanent impairment from their injury, they are eligible for permanent partial impairment benefits. This benefit is based on the measurable loss of function the employee has suffered as a result of the work injury.   The Worker’s Compensation Act then assigns a value to that loss of function.

Employer Responsibilities:

Indiana Employers have specific obligations. Most employers must carry worker’s compensation insurance to cover their employees in the event of work-related injuries.  They must also promptly report workplace injuries to their worker’s compensation insurance carrier. Failure to report incidents in a timely manner may lead to penalties.

Worker’s Compensation Claim Process:

The process of starting an Indiana worker’s compensation claim typically involves the following steps:

Report the Injury: The injured employee notifies their employer of the injury as soon as possible. Employers should then provide necessary forms and guidance to begin the claim process.

Medical treatment, TTD and PPI: The employer or its worker’s compensation insurance carrier, provider reasonable and necessary medical treatment along with disability benefits if appropriate. When medical treatment has concluded permanent partial impairment may be determined

Claim settlement: Typically, the insurance carrier decides whether to accept or deny a claim.  In disputed cases, an Application for Adjustment of Claim is filed, and the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board may step in to resolve the matter through a hearing process.  In certain cases, the parties are able to resolve their disputes themselves or may even hire a Mediator to assist in settlement.

The worker’s compensation process can be time consuming and frustrating.  Attorneys at Blachly, Tabor, Bozik & Hartman have represented individuals hurt in work accidents for over 40 years and have handled thousands of cases.  If you need help with your worker’s compensation claim or would like your questions answered, please contact our experienced team at Blachly, Tabor, Bozik & Hartman.  We help clients throughout Northern Indiana including Valparaiso, Portage, Chesterton, Hobart and Merrillville.  Attorney Craig Van Schouwen understands and can explain the process and will help secure the benefits you deserve.

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