Work Injury Lawyer: Evansville, Indiana Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others, but injuries can happen anywhere. In the state of Indiana, employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance in case their employees get injured on the job.

While many companies do care about the health and safety of their workers, there are some businesses that may try and avoid paying out benefits to increase their profits. These businesses often hire or already employ experienced legal teams which use a multitude of tactics to escape liability. Hiring an Evansville work injury lawyer is a good way to ensure that you are not taken advantage of after suffering a work-related injury.

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that provides wage replacement and medical benefits to employees when and if they are injured on the job. Employers retain workers’ compensation insurance plans that cover medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages for employees who’ve been injured on the job.

In cases where an employee suffers fatal injuries, benefits are paid to their survivors. Better known as workers’ comp, this insurance covers employees from their first day at work. If you suffer an injury, you are required to report the accident within 30 days.

For injuries that require you to miss more than seven days of work, you may be entitled to receive weekly income benefits, which usually get mailed out within 15 days of the date of the injury. Workers’ compensation checks are not taxed, so they are paid out at a rate of two-thirds of your typical earnings.

What Is a Work-Related Injury?

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an injury is defined as work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment contributed to or caused the injury. If you are injured at work, you should first receive a medical examination. Not only is your health and safety the priority, but medical records can also become important to your workplace injury case.

Common Work-Related Injuries

Many workplaces can be dangerous, at least some of the time, and all sorts of injuries may occur. Below, we’ll cover some of the most common work-related injuries.

  • Trips and falls: When working around slippery liquid and in cluttered workspaces, it can be very easy to slip and injure yourself.
  • Work vehicle-related accidents: If you are a driver or operate certain machinery for your job and get into a crash, you may be eligible for compensation. You can also earn benefits if you are injured while traveling for work.
  • Caught in moving machinery: Large industrial contraptions can pose a great risk to employees working nearby, especially if the machinery malfunctions in some way.
  • Fire or burns: Employees who work around electrical equipment and flammable substances are at a higher risk of being burned or caught in a fire, which can lead to compensation if caused by a company’s negligence.
  • Explosions: Explosions are often the result of improper maintenance or gross negligence and can severely injure those involved. If you’re injured in an explosion, make sure an investigation is conducted that proves who was at fault.
  • Repetitive overexertion injuries: Some occupations require you to do the same movements over and over for long periods of time, straining the muscles. If you begin to develop a chronic issue from repetitive tasks, you may be liable for compensation from your employer.

For employers, the best way to protect employees and prevent injuries is to maintain a healthy and safe workplace. Ensuring your workers have proper protective equipment and adequate training should be a priority.

Can I Sue My Employer for Negligence?

Your ability to successfully sue your employer for negligence in a work-related injury case is dependent upon the details of the incident. You may not be able to sue your employer unless you can prove they intentionally did something to injure or harm you.

That is why it is important to speak with an experienced attorney to discuss the details of your workplace injury. Based on your case evaluation, your attorney can provide you with the next steps and a clearer path forward to compensation.

Indiana Workers’ Compensation Law

Current Indiana workers’ compensation law is controlled by the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act. While there are many different aspects of this legislation, there are three main pieces that an employer is responsible for.

First, an employer is expected to provide the employee with any necessary medical care. If the employee is refused medical care, they will be able to choose which doctor they want and get reimbursed later. If the employer is compliant, they can choose the doctor to which the employee goes for care. If your employer tries to avoid paying for your medical expenses after a work injury, reach out to Tuley Law Office for a case consultation to see what your rights are.

Second, if an employee misses work as a result of their injury, the employer must provide benefits based on pre-injury wages. Though often called “lost wages” or “lost income,” these benefits are formally called Temporary Total Disability (TTD) or Temporary Partial Disability (TPD).

TTD is paid out to employees who cannot work at all during their recovery time because the severity of the injury is debilitating. TPD is paid out to employees who are still capable of doing some work but not the full amount they could perform prior to their injury.

The third and final requirement occurs when the employee’s injury has improved the most it can possibly improve. According to Indiana workers’ compensation law, this is called Maximum Medical Improvement, or MMI. If the injured employee reaches MMI but still has some form of limitation that has not gone away, he/she may be eligible for additional compensation.

MMI benefits can come as Permanent Partial Impairment (PPI) benefits or Permanent Total Disability (PTD) benefits. As the name suggests, PPI is awarded when the lasting disability only partially disables the employee, whereas PTD is awarded when the disability leaves the employee unable to do any work ever again. You can see why PPI and PTD may warrant additional benefits, as they reduce your future potential income.

If you were injured in an Evansville workplace accident and believe you may be eligible for permanent benefits, contact a Tuley Law Office workers’ compensation lawyer today.

Who Is Covered Under the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act?

Workers’ compensation generally covers all injuries or illnesses that occur at the workplace or in the course of employment. Workers’ compensation covers traumatic injuries and illnesses that are a direct result of an accident at work or on the clock.

Under the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act, all employees are covered by the workers’ compensation insurance that employers are required to purchase. Employers who do not purchase workers’ compensation insurance can face penalties.

Independent Contractor Coverage

The rules of the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act are only designed to cover “employees,” however, the state of Indiana does not define independent contractors by their title. Instead, the courts in the state use a 10-factor test to determine whether or not you are still eligible for benefits. This test examines how much control your employer still has over the details of your work. If your daily activities are constantly supervised, or your employer supplies the tools and place of work you use, you may still be entitled to recover damages.

Even though your employer may attempt to label you as an independent contractor, they may just be trying to escape liability for your injuries. You should reach out to an Evansville attorney to see if you are eligible for benefits or not.

Types of Workplace Injury Compensation

Workers’ compensation benefits are a bit different from compensation received in other personal injury cases. Workers’ compensation varies in the ways it is paid out, including the following:

Medical Care

Workers’ compensation pays for hospital and other medical expenses necessary to treat an injury acquired during work hours. Medical care generally covers doctors’ visits, medication, and surgeries.

Lost Wages or Income

One important aspect of workers’ compensation is the partial payment of benefits for lost wages. If you are unable to work and must receive TPD or TTD, your employer is only responsible for covering two-thirds of your original wages. If you were making $200 a week, you would now only be making $133 dollars each week.

If you had more than one job, workers’ compensation in Indiana will also only cover a portion of your wages from the job at which you were hurt. If you have a lasting injury, you may want to reach out to an Evansville workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss the best plan of action.

Rehabilitation

Rehab benefits, such as physical therapy, are covered by workers’ compensation. Care and training to regain any skills you may have lost are also covered. If you have become unqualified to perform your job as a result of your injury, vocational rehab is covered as well.

Lasting Disability Benefits

If you have healed as much as possible from your injury but still have lasting physical disabilities, you may be liable for additional compensation. You can also receive compensation for stress and anxiety after a workplace accident.

Death Benefits

When employees pass away as a result of work-related injuries, workers’ compensation may cover funeral expenses as well as benefits to dependent family members.

Workers’ Compensation Process in Indiana

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system designed to compensate workers who experience an injury on the job or on the clock. In order to receive these benefits, workers must take certain steps required by Indiana law.

If you have been injured at work, you must first inform your employer within 30 days or your injury claim may be denied. The sooner you report your injury, the quicker your workers’ compensation benefits will go into effect.

In emergency situations, your medical treatment should be immediate. In non-emergency situations, you must comply with workers’ comp guidelines in selecting a doctor. All necessary medical treatment for the work-related injury will be covered by workers’ compensation.

If you are having difficulty with your employer following an injury, or you are having trouble obtaining workers’ compensation, contact the Evansville workplace injury attorneys at Tuley Law Office today. Our experienced legal team can provide you with the legal guidance you need to receive your workers’ compensation benefits.

Sustaining Multiple Injuries in a Workplace Accident

You should always keep track of all injuries that result from a workplace accident. Even if you have one primary injury which is causing large issues, you should ensure that you inform your doctor of all minor pains as well. This way you will have those injuries on record if they ever cause a future problem. If you do not mention injuries when they happen, your employer may attempt to argue that they are not related to your work injury.

Statute of Limitations: How Long After a Work Accident Can You Sue?

Following personal injury law, the statute of limitations for workplace injuries is two years from the date of the injury or accident. In the unfortunate case that the victim of a work injury dies at the time of the accident or after, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit is two years after the date of death. For example, if an injury victim was injured on January 1, 2020, but dies in the hospital from related complications on March 15, 2020, their loved ones have until March 15, 2022 to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury

It is important to note that workers’ compensation and personal injury are not the same things. If you believe that a third party was responsible for your injuries, you may be able to pursue additional damages through a personal injury case.

Check out our article on Workers’ Compensation vs. Personal Injury to learn more about the potential benefits you could receive in addition to your workman’s comp benefits.

Reach Out to an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer at Tuley Law Office in Evansville, Indiana

Work injuries can be debilitating and, in a worst-case scenario, fatal. With many of these accidents resulting in a serious financial impact on the victim and their loved ones, they can be life-altering in just a matter of moments.

If you or a loved one have suffered a work-related injury, contact the experienced workers’ compensation lawyers of Tuley Law Office today for a no-cost case evaluation.

Have questions about your case?

Contact us