Columbus, Indiana, Worker’s Compensation Attorney
Workplace injuries can happen to anyone, and our worker’s compensation lawyers are here to help. If you’ve been injured on the job, the help of an experienced Columbus, Indiana, worker’s compensation lawyer may make all the difference. Contact our attorneys today to learn about your rights and schedule a consultation.
Thousands of Hoosiers suffer workplace injuries in Indiana every single year. Many of these injuries lead to worker’s compensation claims and, in some cases, disputes between employers and their employees over benefits. What you say and do after you’ve been injured on the job can result in your claim being rejected. Don’t assume your work-related injury will result in a benefits award.
At Coriden & Coriden, LLC, we have helped many of our clients resolve disputes over worker’s compensation claims. Just as mistakes happen in the workplace and people become injured, mistakes can be made after a claim is filed. Often initial benefit rejections can be turned around when we get involved, because we can clear up misunderstandings and provide additional information. With the right documentation and expert medical opinion, what may have seemed like an uphill struggle for benefits may become a much easier road to travel.
You need to protect yourself after a workplace injury. Depending on your employer, its insurance company and the facts of your situation, your claim may be fairly and reasonably handled without serious issues. Or your claim may hit a wall of resistance. Your employer and its insurance company may fight you every step of the way. Don’t assume everything will go smoothly and you’ll be treated well. Contact Coriden & Coriden, LLC to learn about worker’s compensation law, your rights and what you should do to give yourself the best chances of getting benefits.
Common Workplace Injuries
Workplace injuries come in many forms. Here are just a few of the most serious injuries that a worker may suffer in Indiana. If you are seriously injured in a workplace accident, you may need long-term medical care and rehabilitation; you may suffer a permanent disability and be out of work for an extended period of time. In these circumstances, getting help from a worker’s compensation lawyer may be critical for you and your family.
An electric shock occurs when a worker comes into contact with an electrical energy source. Electricity flows through a portion of the body causing a shock. The damage can range from no injury at all to permanent disability or death.
What injuries are suffered, and their degree, depends on a number of variables. They include the type of current (AC or DC), the amount of current and the pathway the electricity takes through the body. Exposure to high-voltage electricity (greater than 500 volts) could result in serious injuries.
The injured worker may show no external evidence of injury or may have obvious, severe burns or even be suffering cardiac arrest. Burns are normally most severe at the points of contact with the electrical source and the ground. If the worker was thrown from the electrical source due to muscular contraction, there could be soft tissue injuries, broken bones or a spinal injury. The worker may also have suffered internal injuries, especially if he or she is experiencing shortness of breath, chest pain or abdominal pain.
Electrocutions are one of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s “Fatal Four” causes of workplace deaths. Electrocutions can cause serious burns, internal damage and death. In the workplace, they are most often caused by failure to provide adequate protection to employees, malfunctioning equipment or carelessness of other workers. Electrocution may occur to employees who regularly work with high voltage electrical lines or be caused by commonly used extension cords or defective office equipment. A spilt liquid or water along with an electrical source could be a deadly combination.
People with head injuries at work may need a worker’s compensation attorney.
Traumatic Brain Injury
The Brain Injury Institute (BII) states that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of work-related TBI, with falls in second place, and the number is increasing. One reason could be that the number of workers older than 65 has increased in the last 30 years by more than 100%.
The BII states that the industries with the highest risk of TBI include construction, transportation, agriculture, forestry, fishing and emergency medical services. The types of accidents that can cause TBI include falling objects, slip-and-fall accidents, machinery and equipment accidents, truck accidents and toxic chemical exposure.
If you work on construction, you should have a hard hat, but it will protect you only if you wear it properly and it’s not damaged or of inferior quality or construction. Depending on the hazard, a hard hat will give you only so much protection.
A worker disabled on the job will need a worker’s compensation attorney.
Serious injuries at work to the brain and spinal cord can result in paralysis. These injuries have a huge impact on quality of life and can cost millions of dollars over a lifetime of care. There are many types of paralysis:
Complete: You can’t move or control paralyzed muscles at all. You also may not be able to feel anything in those muscles.
Partial or incomplete: You still have some feeling in, and possibly control over, your paralyzed muscles.
Localized paralysis: Impacts a specific area, like your face, hands, feet or vocal cords.
Generalized paralysis: Is more widespread and is classified by how much of the body is impacted. The type usually depends on where your brain or spinal cord is injured. This can be monoplegia (paralysis affecting one limb); diplegia (impacting the same area on both sides, such as(arms, legs, or both sides of the face); quadriplegia (when all four limbs are paralyzed); or tetraplegia / paraplegia (paralysis from the waist down).
Worker’s compensation benefits can assist with the long-term care needs of injured workers. Contact us to explore Indiana’s worker’s comp benefits.
When paralyzed at work, an employee should consult a worker’s compensation attorney.
Loss of Limbs/Amputation
Amputations in the workplace often occur in industries that use heavy equipment, but they can also occur because of a serious vehicle accident. This could involve the loss of fingers, hands, arms, toes, feet or legs.
Workers involved with any mechanical motion are potentially at risk for an amputation injury. The most common hazardous motions resulting in amputations are rotating, reciprocating, transversing, cutting, punching, shearing and bending. When body parts are crushed, compressed, caught between, or struck by objects, amputation may occur.
Amputations happen most often when equipment is unguarded or inadequately safeguarded. These injuries frequently involve forklifts, doors, trash compactors, powered and non-powered hand tools and materials-handling work.
Because of the hazards associated with operating heavy machinery, many workplace amputations happen in industries like manufacturing, construction, warehousing and other high-risk work environments.
When a back injury at work happens, an employee should research worker’s comp lawyers.
Lower Back/Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can lead to permanent disability, paralysis and death. When injuries occur in the lower back, they can also involve spinal cord damage, herniated discs and ruptured discs. Spine and back injuries can be caused by falls, equipment malfunctions, on-the-job vehicle accidents and falling objects.
These accidents are often caused by poorly maintained work areas or equipment, and bad lighting can make it difficult to see trip hazards. When floors are cluttered or slippery because they’re not kept clean and clear, workers may slip and fall on ground level. Some back and spine injuries are caused by a fall from a ladder, scaffolding, machinery or cat walk.
If you or a family member has suffered one of these injuries, or another serious workplace injury, it’s important to protect your legal rights and your family’s financial well-being. Contact Coriden & Coriden, LLC today.
Occupational diseases are any chronic disease caused by or due to activities or environmental factors at work. It may take years for these illnesses to develop, but they are still compensable. There are many different types, with a variety of causes. These diseases are generally caused by…
- Long- or short-term exposure to toxic chemicals, gases, particles, dusts or biohazards
- Environmental extremes, such as temperatures and loud sounds
- Long-term, repetitive motions
- Poorly designed workplaces without proper ergonomics.
Conditions can include hearing loss, blindness, skin conditions, respiratory problems including asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, allergic reactions, cancer, cardiovascular disease and heart attack. If you work in healthcare and you’re exposed to and contract a serious, contagious condition, you may qualify for worker’s compensation benefits. A physical injury caused by psychological trauma at work is potentially compensable if what caused it arose out of and was in the course of employment.
Every year, millions of American workers report being victims of workplace violence, according to the National Safety Council. In 2017, workplace assaults resulted in 18,400 injuries and 458 fatalities. That year, homicide was ranked the fourth-highest cause of workplace death.
Violence in the workplace has become more common and all-too-often deadly. Attackers could be fellow employees; former employees; family members or spouses of employees; domestic partners, girlfriends or boyfriends; current or past customers; or someone entering the workplace to commit a robbery or theft.
- Attackers may be driven by mental illness, revenge, office politics gone out of control or arguments that get out of hand.
- Those working in healthcare are often attacked by patients or their family members.
- Those working in law enforcement and corrections may deal with violence as a regular part of the job.
- Delivery drivers are mugged, and convenience stores are common crime scenes.
- Female employees involved in abusive relationships are frequently targeted at work. Violence is the leading cause of death for women who die in the workplace, and 42% of women murdered in the workplace are killed by a family member or domestic partner, according to Entrepreneur Magazine. A recent study shows that women were the victims of 77% of non-lethal workplace assaults.
There are situations which can put a worker at a higher risk of being the victim of violence:
- Exchanging money with the public
- Working with volatile, unstable people
- Working alone, in a small group or in isolated areas
- Working where alcohol is served
- Working late at night or in high-crime areas
Poor management practices can also be a risk. If disputes between employees are allowed to fester, if bullying is permitted or if measures aren’t taken to reduce the risk of crime (through use of lighting, locks, security cameras, and reporting incidents to law enforcement), there may be a greater chance of suffering an injury due to workplace violence.
Worker’s Comp Lawyers
The appeals process is more complicated than an initial claim.
Ask Our Worker’s Compensation Attorneys What the Appeals Process Looks Like
When there is a dispute between an employer and employee, or an insurance company and the employee, there is often a need to build a convincing case that clearly shows the causes and extent of an injury. If the parties can’t work out their differences after the initial claim is filed, it may be resolved with the help of a Columbus, IN, worker’s compensation lawyer through mediation at the Worker’s Compensation Board. If that can’t be achieved, there can be a hearing before a board member, and that outcome can be appealed to the full board. That decision could be appealed to the Indiana appellate and supreme courts. To help you through this process, speak to a worker’s compensation lawyer in Columbus, Indiana, at the Coriden & Coriden, LLC law firm.
How Much Money Is Paid in an Indiana Worker’s Compensation Claim?
Payment in workers’ compensation typically includes two-thirds of a worker’s wages if they are unable to work, in addition to all medical expenses related to the injury, including hospital bills, prescription drug costs, rehabilitation and repayment for costs of travel to and from medical facilities.
There are several factors that might determine how much an employee will receive. For example, if an employee is still able to work, they might be given a role that doesn’t require the same physical demands as the role they had prior to their injury. If that new role means less pay, they can still be paid partial benefits.
What Makes a Good Columbus, IN, Worker’s Compensation Lawyer?
The right worker’s compensation attorney for you is the one you trust with your claim. One you feel confident in and comfortable working with. You know this attorney is working to help you and will make sure you get the best outcome possible. He or she…
- Knows Indiana’s workers’ compensation laws inside and out
- Will fiercely advocate for you
- Will provide aggressive legal representation
- Has a track record of success
- Has encountered many different types of cases, so there is little chance of being surprised if something unusual comes up
- Will answer your questions and provide you with guidance
- Will provide excellent, timely, personal service
- Will treat you with honesty and respect
- Will act professionally at all times.
The worker’s compensation attorneys at Coriden & Coriden, LLC have represented thousands of clients in worker’s compensation claims, from initial filings to appeals at the Supreme Court of Indiana. We’ve helped thousands of others with their claims, and we can help you, too.
Does an Injury Qualify for a worker’s Compensation Claim in Indiana?
When a worker is injured on the job, they are entitled to worker’s compensation benefits if…
They are employed by a business that carries workers’ compensation insurance.
Their injuries weren’t caused by their own misconduct, such as drug use or alcohol impairment.
The injury occurred while the employee was doing their job or was on the clock.
This last point comes with many exceptions and depends on the nature of the work. For example, if a worker is required to travel for their job, they might be injured in a vehicle crash and still be entitled to worker’s compensation benefits.
worker’s compensation not only covers traumatic injuries due to accidents, but it also covers industrial illnesses.
Worker’s Compensation Lawyer
What Should Workers Do after Being Injured on the Job in Indiana?
If you’ve been injured on the job, you should…
Remain calm. If others are around you, tell them you’ve been hurt and warn them, if you think what injured you may injure others. Notify your supervisor as soon as possible, preferably in writing. It’s very important to put your employer on notice of your injury. Otherwise they may claim your injury was not work-related.
Seek immediate medical treatment. Your employer may have a designated clinic or hospital for employees to use. If you feel you need it, ask for an ambulance to take you to the hospital.
Keep copies of everything related to the injury in the hours, days and weeks that follow. This includes your symptoms, what your physicians and physical or occupational therapists are telling you, the medications you’re taking, how the injury is impairing your life and any communications with your employer or its insurance carrier.
Contact a Columbus, Indiana, Worker’s compensation lawyer if there is a dispute with the employer or insurance company. You have legal rights and responsibilities, and they do, too. You may be doing or saying things that are harming your interests without realizing it. They may be more cooperative if they obtain information or medical records that make a stronger case for your claim. They may also be breaking the law and trying to take advantage of your ignorance of the worker’s compensation system and the fact that you don’t have legal representation.
The Importance of Seeking Medical Treatment after a Workplace Injury
Workers who have been injured in an on-the-job accident need to seek immediate medical treatment. It’s vital that workers look after their health and avoid the possibility of worsening an injury. Seeking medical treatment also ensures that an injury is documented by a professional. This visit will be central to a worker’s compensation claim, if one is needed.
Featured Article: Overview of Indiana Worker’s Compensation Laws
The attorneys at Coriden & Coriden, LLC have represented many clients in these disputes, and we will fight for you to ensure that your best interests are being represented. While worker’s compensation laws can get complex, there are a few key things that you need to know. READ ARTICLE
Indiana Worker’s Compensation State Laws
To learn more about the specifics, call the worker’s compensation attorneys at Coriden & Coriden, LLC or visit the Worker’s Compensation Board of Indiana.
Indiana’s worker’s compensation requirements are similar to those in other states. Most employers are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance. Employees are covered from the first day on the job. Workers are entitled to compensation for medical bills and lost wages, if applicable.
What are Employees’ Obligations after Suffering a Workplace Injury?
worker’s compensation covers employees from the first day on the job. Aside from instances of employee misconduct, an employee is entitled to compensation if their injury was suffered on the job. However, to make sure the process goes smoothly, it is important that an employee notify their employer of the incident that led to the injury as soon as possible. It is also important for an injured worker to seek medical treatment immediately.
What if an Employer Doesn’t Have Coverage?
If an employer doesn’t have worker’s compensation coverage, they are more vulnerable to injury-related lawsuits from workers. Workers might opt to file a personal injury claim to receive compensation for their injuries.
If an employer denies coverage because they claim a worker is a contractor and not an employee, then the worker might seek to prove that have been misclassified and, thus, are entitled to benefits.
Are Employees Protected Against Retaliation?
Workers fired or forced out of their jobs by a Columbus, Indiana employer because they filed for or received worker’s compensation benefits may be able to sue their former employer for damages. The state’s courts have filled in a gap in the worker’s compensation statute, which had failed to clearly give protections for employees. The state Supreme Court in 1973 ruled, however, that lawsuits for “retaliatory discharge” based upon the employee’s filing of a worker’s compensation claim are allowed in Indiana.
Who is Covered by worker’s Compensation Laws?
Employees are generally guaranteed worker’s compensation benefits, but independent contractors are not. Being treated as an employee but being classified as an independent contractor or a subcontractor (known as misclassification) means you are not covered by the employer’s worker’s compensation insurance. The employer’s claim that you’re not an employee can be disputed, or you may be able to sue the employer in a personal injury lawsuit.
Types of Worker’s Comp Claims and Qualification
To better understand what compensation can be expected when a worker’s compensation claim is filed, talk with our worker’s compensation lawyers. Among possible benefits of a worker’s comp claim are:
- Medical Bill Compensation
- Payment for medical treatment and time missed from work
- Worker Injury
- Payment for medical treatment and injuries that prevent a worker from resuming their full job responsibilities
- Medical Bills
- Payment for costs of medical treatment only
- Lost Wages
- Payment for medical treatment and the loss of all work capacity.
What to Expect from the Claims Process
The workers’ compensation claims process can seem intimidating if you’ve never experienced it before. However, it’s important to understand that many people in Indiana go through this every day.
If your initial claim has been rejected, despite your having provided the medical records and information your employer or its insurance carrier asked for, disputes can be resolved through the Worker’s Compensation Board’s Informal Dispute Resolution process. If that fails, your case is assigned to a Single Hearing Member of the Worker’s Compensation Board for determination of all the disputed issues.
Each party presents evidence at the hearing. To obtain benefits, you would have the burden of proving that an accidental injury occurred in the course and scope of your employment. After the hearing, the Single Hearing Member prepares and serves an award (his or her decision) on the parties. It spells out which issues aren’t contested by the parties, findings of fact and conclusions of law.
If either side is dissatisfied, an appeal can be filed with the full Board. An appeal is not a new hearing. Both sides make legal arguments, based on the facts found at the hearing, to the full Worker’s Compensation Board, made up of six Single Hearing Members and the Chairman. After the hearing, they prepare and serve a written decision upon the parties. Any further appeal of this decision can be made to the state Court of Appeals. That decision could potentially be appealed to the Supreme Court of Indiana.
If you are a worker who has suffered an injury and you’d like help with your claim, consider contacting a Columbus, IN, workers’ compensation attorney at Coriden & Coriden, LLC.
If you are disabled – either temporarily or permanently — from your injury, workers’ compensation benefits will cover two-thirds of your wages while you are unable to work. While these benefits won’t heal injuries or cover your full wages, they will provide much-needed financial assistance while you wait for your injuries to heal.
Many Expenses Are Covered in an Indiana Workers’ Compensation Claim
- 66.6 percent of an employee’s weekly wages – if the injury disables the worker and requires time off
- Hospital bills
- Ongoing care
- Prescription medications
- Mileage for the distance travelled to and from the doctor’s office.
Fault shouldn’t be a concern in a worker’s compensation claim except in instances involving misconduct. worker’s compensation insurance is a no-fault program, which means it is designed to cover workers regardless of who was at fault. The Columbus, Indiana, worker’s compensation attorneys at Coriden & Coriden, LLC provide legal representation to both employees and employers and provide consultation regarding options in a work injury case.
Employers and employees often have close working relationships, and it’s normal for either party to feel a sense of dread when imagining taking legal action against the other. However, it’s important to understand that legal action in worker’s compensation cases is simply about fairness. There’s nothing wrong with asking for fair treatment.
Indiana Worker’s Comp Lawyer
Get Help Today from our Columbus, Indiana, Worker’s Comp Lawyer
At Coriden & Coriden, LLC, our experience is a valuable asset to our clients, and we can give you knowledgeable, skilled representation in all stages of a dispute. We also understand the stress you’re going through and will provide you excellent personal service. Coriden & Coriden, LLC will deal with your employer and its insurance company so you can focus on recovery and getting back to work. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you.
No matter what side of a claim you are on, a worker’s compensation dispute might seem like an intimidating process, but it doesn’t have to be. With the help of a worker’s compensation attorney, you can be sure that your interests are being represented.