Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Are Here to Help You Get The Benefits You Deserve
If you’ve been injured on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ comp is an insurance program that is intended to provide medical, rehabilitation and income benefits for workplace-related injuries; but, too often, awards are disputed or denied altogether by employers and their insurance companies.
Workers’ comp premiums are paid by employers, and since premiums go up when benefits are paid out, employers often dispute claims to avoid paying. Workers’ compensation insurance companies are out for profit and also want to pay out as little as possible, and they have high-powered lawyers on their side, working to deny or dispute benefits. In addition, Indiana rules and procedures for getting workers’ comp are complicated. Making mistakes in filing your claim or saying or doing the wrong thing can result in your claim being rejected.
Fortunately, you do not have to fight for a workers’ comp settlement alone. If you’ve been injured on the job, an experienced District 4, Indiana, workers’ compensation lawyer can help you get the benefits you deserve.
At Coriden & Coriden, our team of workers’ comp lawyers has helped many clients resolve disputes over workers’ compensation claims. When we handle your case, we make sure everything is done correctly and in a timely manner; and by providing additional information, we can often reverse initial benefit rejections and clear up misunderstandings and mistakes.
Protect yourself after a workplace injury — call Coriden & Coriden at 812-375-9800 as soon as possible to learn about workers’ compensation law, your rights, and the best way to proceed with getting the benefits you deserve.
How a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in District 4, IN, Helps You Get Benefits
Indiana law requires most businesses to have workers’ compensation insurance for their employees who are injured while working at their job. Workers are covered from the first day on the job.
To help you get benefits, our District 4 workers’ comp lawyers can:
- Make sure you know what to say and do after you are injured to meet Indiana requirements and prevent hurting your case
- Ensure all claim forms are filled out correctly, in a timely manner
- Investigate how the accident happened, interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence such as photos, videos, and work and medical records to help prove your claim
- Dispute denials and negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement
- Represent you at any hearings. Disputes not resolved through the Informal Dispute Resolution process require filing an Application for Adjustment of Claim (SF 29109) within two years of the date of injury. The case is then assigned to a Single Hearing Member of the Workers’ Compensation Board for determination of all unresolved issues.
- Prepare your case and argue on your behalf if a claim goes to trial
- Handle any appeals.
Workers’ Compensation Board District 4, Indiana, Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Knows the Benefits You May be Entitled To
Indiana workers’ compensation insurance provides both medical and financial benefits to workers and to the family of a worker who is killed on the job.
To get benefits, you must meet certain requirements:
- You must be a covered employee. Indiana law requires employers to purchase workers’ compensation insurance for all employees, including temporary employees and minors.
- Your injury or illness must have resulted from employment-related tasks.
- You must notify your employer as soon as possible after you’ve been injured, and within 30 days of the injury, or your claim may be denied.
- You should let your employer know about your injury before seeking medical care, unless the injury is serious, in which case you should get treatment immediately.
- You must file all required forms within the required timeframes; these can be found on the Indiana workers’ compensation website.
In a successful workers’ comp claim, benefits should cover some of your income while you are unable to work, in addition to the medical costs that result from your work injury. Benefits may include:
- Two-thirds your average weekly wage during the time that you are found unable to work by the insurance company’s authorized physician. This is not to exceed $600 per week, if you are considered temporarily totally disabled — meaning you are currently unable to work but are expected to recover enough to return to work. Permanently disabled individuals not expected to return to work may collect a larger portion of prior weekly earnings, and the percentage may increase with the severity of the injury.
- Payment for permanent partial impairment, or a partial disability classified by the insurance company’s authorized physician.
- Payment of medical expenses to physicians authorized by the insurance company, and reimbursement of related out-of-pocket expenses, hospital bills, co-pays, the costs of prescription medicines, rehabilitation services, physical or occupational therapy, and transportation costs to and from your doctor visits.
- Retraining benefits for new jobs if employees are unable to return to their previous position.
- Beneficiary expenses for funeral and burial expenses to beneficiaries of an employee who dies as the result of work-related illness or injury.
As a general rule, you will be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits until you are able to go back to work or reach age 65 if you are permanently disabled.
When our Coriden & Coriden lawyers handle your case, we will work to make sure you receive all benefits you are entitled to.
Workers’ Compensation Board District 4 Workers’ Comp Attorneys Answer Your Questions
It’s natural to have questions when dealing with a work injury. Here are some answers to questions our lawyers are often asked:
What Happens if My Claim is Disputed or Denied?
Once upon a time, the aforementioned benefits were easily available to injured workers, because, after all, getting workers back on the job as quickly as possible is what everyone wants. Today, however, claim disputes or denials are part of the process. So, do not get discouraged if a Claims Examiner initially denies benefits. About 70 percent of denied claims are paid within a year, mostly because a District 4 workers’ compensation attorney successfully appeals the claim.
Basically, at the initial stage, the Claims Examiner only hears one side of the story, especially in terms of the damages the injured worker sustained. However, at an appeal hearing, an attorney can introduce evidence, challenge evidence, and make legal arguments. Furthermore, the Administrative Law Judge who presides over the hearing is a legal professional who has more experience, and is more detached, than a Claims Examiner.
In fact, because the environment at an appeal is so different, workers’ comp insurance companies often settle disputed claims before having an ALJ hearing. These resolutions give victims more control over the outcome and end cases sooner.
Denied workers have additional options in Indiana. Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, these options could include:
- Initiate an informal dispute by filing a Request for Assistance (State Form 45442) with the Workers’ Compensation Board of Indiana
- Hire a mediator, a trained and neutral party who attempts to come to a resolution of disputed issues
- File an Application for Adjustment of Claim (SF 29109) to schedule a formal hearing before a member of the Workers’ Compensation Board
There’s a chance an ALJ appeal could fail. If that happens, our District 4 workers’ compensation attorneys could file an application for an adjustment to your claim with the Workers’ Compensation Board of Indiana and obtain a review that could have the initial denial overturned. There can be a hearing before a board member; that outcome can be appealed to the full board; and that decision could be appealed to the Indiana appellate and supreme courts.
How Much Can I Get in a Workers’ Comp Settlement?
We discussed the basic financial components of a workers’ comp settlement above. The “average” workers’ compensation settlement in District 4 is a bit like the “average” price of a car in District 4. There are so many different kinds of cars that the average price is almost meaningless.
An attorney’s negotiating skills, however, matter a lot. Lawyers must know when to compromise and when to stand firm. Otherwise, your settlement could be unnecessarily delayed or be less than the maximum available.
Additionally, a workers’ comp settlement should account for all future medical expenses, if any. If that’s not the case, the victim could be financially responsible for these future expenses.
What industries are at highest risk for work-related injuries or illnesses?
Numerous industries carry a higher risk of work injury. If you were injured at work in District 4, Indiana while working in one of these industries or in any other sector, you are entitled to seek the full amount of workers’ compensation. The highest risk industries include:
- Construction: This industry is extremely competitive. A few dollars here or there could be the difference between making money and losing money on a certain job. Many construction companies see worker safety as an unnecessary cost. Furthermore, to these companies, some safety measures, like fall-prevention harnesses, slow workers down.
- Fishing: This industry, which is limited in Workers’ Compensation Board District 4, routinely sits atop those “most dangerous jobs” lists. Typically, the closest medical facility is not very close in these situations. So, moderate trauma injuries often become severe injuries.
- Energy Development: The energy development sector is very competitive, especially regarding fossil fuel alternatives. This industry, especially the coal mining in the eastern part of the state, is also inherently hazardous.
- Healthcare: Trauma injuries, like infectious diseases and toxic exposure, are only part of the issue in healthcare facilities. These workers are also highly at risk for occupational diseases, such as repetitive stress injuries. It’s unfortunate that the workers we count on to keep us safe face such a great injury risk.
As mentioned, the workplace injury rate has declined in recent years. The available benefits, both in terms of lost wage replacement and medical bill payment, have declined even more. So, today more than ever, job injury victims need a Workers’ Compensation Board District 4 lawyer to get a fair-sized piece of a shrinking financial pie.
What are the most common work injuries?
Workers in the above industries, as well as other workers in District 4, are at risk for the following kinds of injuries:
- Trauma Injuries: Falls are, by far, the most common workplace trauma injuries. These injuries happens suddenly and without warning. Other examples include electrocution, motor vehicle collisions, and workplace assaults. Falls and other trauma injuries often cause broken bones, head injuries, internal injuries, and other serious wounds.
- Occupational Diseases: In contrast, certain conditions occur over the course of more than one work shift. Hearing loss, a condition which affects millions of workers, is the leading occupational disease claim in Indiana. Others include repetitive stress disorders, toxic exposure illnesses, and breathing problems.
In many cases, these injured victims are entitled to no-fault workers’ compensation. Other victims have additional legal options.
What if my employer does not have workers’ comp insurance?
A small number of employers are “self-insured,” because they received approval from the Workers’ Compensation Board to pay claims out of their own funds. If your employer does not have insurance and you are injured on the job, you may be able to bring a lawsuit for personal injury against your employer. Talk to our attorneys to see if this is possible.
When You Can Go Beyond a Workers’ Comp Settlement
The Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act does not provide compensation for non-economic damages, such as for pain and suffering, and does not fully reimburse lost wages. However, there are situations where you may be entitled to file a separate personal injury lawsuit and receive additional compensation. Damage awards for pain and suffering are determined by a jury based on the severity of the injuries and may be substantial.
Examples of these situations include:
- When a third party’s negligence or wrongdoing caused your injuries, such as if an outside contractor caused a vehicle crash while you were working on the job
- If your employer does not subscribe to workers’ compensation, or if you are considered to be an independent contractor.
In addition, you may also file a lawsuit for:
- Denied coverage – If employers deny coverage, claiming you are an independent contractor, and this is a misclassification
- Retaliation – If you were fired from a job because you filed for or received workers’ compensation benefits.
- If you feel that you are entitled to compensation above and beyond what the workers’ comp claim pays out, you should certainly contact a lawyer to help you figure out what you can file and help you build a case that is going to be successful.
Get Help from a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in District 4, IN
No matter what the cause of your work-related injury or illness, the compassionate lawyers at Coriden & Coriden in District 4, Indiana, are here to help you get the benefits you deserve. Let us take care of all the paperwork, deadlines, documentation, legal requirements and appeals, so you can focus on your recovery.
Call a Workers’ Compensation Board District 4 workers’ compensation lawyer at Coriden & Coriden, LLC today at 812-375-9800 to get started.
Attorney Terry Coriden
Terry Coriden practices workers’ compensation law as a Partner at Coriden & Coriden, LLC. His entire professional career as an attorney has been committed to workers’ compensation law and making a difference in his community. He is also highly experienced in mediation. Terry is a member and past president of the Bartholomew County Bar Association, a member of the Indiana State Bar Association, and a former board member of the Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum (ICLEF). [ Attorney Bio ]