Indiana Workers Compensation Laws

Indiana workers compensation laws have been enacted with an objective to protect the rights of those employees that get injured at the workplace. Occupational injuries and illnesses are very common, especially in high-risk industries. In such cases, it is the legal liability of the employer to make sure the injured worker get compensated thoroughly. They must be compensated for the medical expenses thus incurred. Besides that, in cases, where the employees are unable to return to work because of those occupational injuries or illnesses and thus have to face wage loss, the employer will be liable to compensate for that lost income also. Following are some important points of the laws that you must be aware of.

Wait Period Before The Compensation Benefits Apply

As per the Indiana workers compensation laws, there is a wait period of seven days before the compensation benefits apply, but this provision is applicable only in cases of temporary disability.

Retroactive Compensation

In case the disability continues for more than three weeks, the compensation is retroactive.

Choice Of Doctor

The laws allow the employer to make the initial choice of the doctor for the treatment of injured workers. In general, employers maintain a list of the physicians that can be contacted by employees in case of occupational injuries. It is legally mandatory for them to make this list easily accessible by the employees as and when it is needed. For example, they can distribute the list in a wallet size card or a thin notepad, which the employees must carry with them while they are at job.

The Types Of Employees That Do Not Qualify For The Benefits

The Indiana workers compensation laws also provide room for exceptions, where the compensation claims from an injured employee may be denied. For example, if it is proved in the court that the medical conditions existing before the employee had joined the job, the court may reject the claim. Besides that, the claims may be denied in those cases, where it is proved that the injured employee did not use the safety equipment or followed the safety guidelines thoroughly. It means if your workplace injuries are a result of your own negligence, your claims for compensation are subject to denial. Likewise, if an employer hires a worker to shovel dirt and the worker chooses to operate a backhoe, any occupational injuries thus incurred may not qualify for workers compensation benefits.

Types Of Benefits

There are provisions for different types of benefits under the Indiana workers compensation laws. The type of benefit will depend on the severity and the nature of the injuries. For example, there are provisions for permanent total disability (PTD) benefits, temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits, and temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. In case of PTD, the compensation payments are determined at 2/3rd of the average weekly wages of the injured employee and the payments are made for up to five hundred weeks. After that period, the injured worker usually qualifies for social security disability benefits. In case of TPD, the paymenst are determined in the same fashion but are made for a period of up to three hundred weeks.

Unlike the laws in other states, Indiana workers compensation laws do not impose any restriction on the amount of fee that can be charged by an Indiana occupation injury lawyer.