Workers’ comp is an important tool for workers to not only keep themselves safe, but also to ensure that they are properly compensated for any injury or illness they may sustain. However, workers’ comp is not the simplest thing to wrap one’s head around, and in turn, may be too complicated a process for a lot of people, and in turn put them off from pursuing it. In order to help residents of Indiana better understand the process and go through with it, we have provided a helpful guide to help teach them all the fine details of what workers’ comp covers in Indiana.
Understanding the coverage of workers’ comp in Indiana
Workers’ comp insurance does a lot of good, both in providing compensation when needed and providing an incentive for the employer to keep their workplace safe. Not all situations are going to be covered by it, however, and understanding which are is important. It is important to understand that when a person files a worker’s comp claim, they do not need to provide proof that their employer was responsible for the injury, merely that the injury occurred while they were conducting their normal job duties and filed it in a timely manner. If the injury is not reported in a timely manner, it may completely mess up your workers’ comp claim, as an employer may be able to say that you have not done your due diligence to ensure that the injury isn’t exacerbated, and that the injury only got as bad as it did due to your own personal negligence.
Any number of injury and illness types can and will be covered while working on the job. It does not matter whether it is caused by a slip and fall, blunt force trauma, or what. In the grand scheme of things, all that matters is that the injury was significant enough that it forced you to incur medical expenses and/or caused you to lose hours at work. It does not even matter if you made a mistake that led to your injury, just that your employer has to make sure that you are kept safe and protected.
Workers’ comp coverage also has to take into account the severity of the harm you experienced. A lot of workers’ comp applications are due to a temporary disability, and in turn, will only require a relatively smaller amount of compensation due to the shorter time span. But when it comes to a permanent disability, things get a lot more serious, and a lot more expensive. Due to the permanent nature of the injury, the compensation has to cover your long-term medical expenses, as well as the loss of income — both in the present, and the estimate income that you would have made.
People tend to associate workers’ comp with merely physical injury, and honestly, it is not entirely rare that you may get a human resources worker telling you that an illness which you sustained in the workplace does not actually qualify for worker’s comp. This is absolutely not true, and you should not let them tell you otherwise. Pushing back on it will certainly ensure that your illness is covered, and if they continue to fight it, you should get in contact with an attorney with specialties in this field, such as the worker’s compensation attorneys at Coriden & Coriden, LLC, who can then give them the third degree and let them know what they have to do if they want to avoid dealing with a lawsuit. Illness-based injuries come in a variety of forms. For example, it may be as simple as getting sick while on the job from smoke inhalation, or food poisoning while at work, or it could be something more long-lasting, such as exposure to more serious toxins, such as asbestos. This leads to much more serious issues, such as cancer.
Once you have been out of work for more than a day from an injury or illness caused on the workplace, your employer must then send a form called the “Employer’s Report of Injury” to the Workers’ Compensation Board of Indiana, which they must do so within seven weeks. Insurance, at this point, has 29 days to decide whether to accept or reject this claim. Inevitably, some workers’ comp claims are going to be denied. Some of these workers’ comp claims are denied for justified reasons; be it that the claimant did not take care to report the injury in time, or the claimant simply lied about the injury and its severity. However, not every claim is going to be denied for justifiable reasons. Sometimes, an employer may simply deny your claim by virtue of wanting to prevent their insurance rates from rising as a result. Employers have a vested interest in keeping these down, and less scrupulous employers may decide that cheating their employees out of the workers’ comp benefits they are entitled to is a good approach. It may work out well for them but getting caught unfairly denying them their workers’ comp would lead them to face serious consequences if they are caught.