Posted by Jeffrey Kooi on 10/29/2019

Questions to Ask a Workers Comp Lawyer in Indianapolis

Workers compensation is an insurance that employers carry to protect themselves from liability for accidents that occur on the job. This insurance is also beneficial to employees because it covers their medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of who’s liable for a work-related accident. Although workers comp is a benefit that most companies have, the claims process can be complex.

If you’ve been injured on the job and need help filing your claim, you can reach out to an Indianapolis workers comp lawyer from Kooi Law. Their team can gather the correct documents to file your claim and support you if your claim gets denied. 

Am I Eligible for Workers Comp?

If your employer has workers comp insurance and your accident occurred on the job, you should be eligible for a workers comp claim in Indiana. If your injury occurred while you were off duty, however, your injury won’t be eligible. Off-duty injuries include injuries that occur during your lunch break or during your commute, for example.

Eligible injuries include both traumatic injuries and occupational injuries. For example, you may be injured in a slip-and-fall accident at work or you may develop an illness from being exposed to a toxic substance for long periods of time. 

What if I Was at Fault for the Accident?

Workers comp doesn’t take fault into consideration when approving or denying your claim. Neither your percentage of fault nor your employer’s percentage of fault will affect your claim. As long as your injury meets the requirements for workers comp, you should receive approval.  

What Benefits Can I Receive from Workers Compensation?

Workers comp insurance should fully cover your medical care, including doctors’ visits, hospital bills, and medications.

For a temporary injury, you can receive lost wages up to two-thirds your average weekly wages with a maximum of $780 per week. You can continue to receive lost wages until your doctor determines you’ve reached a plateau in your recovery. Temporary total disability benefits can last up to 500 weeks. If you can return to part-time work, you may also be eligible for temporary partial disability benefits.

If you suffer from a permanent injury, you can receive the same lost wages as temporary total disability for up to 500 weeks. Permanent partial disability awards are also available based on the severity of your injury.

Can I File a Lawsuit for My Injuries?

You can only sue for your injuries when the injury a third-party’s negligence causes your injury or if you can prove that employer was grossly negligent. For example, if you’re injured by a defective product at work, you can sue the product manufacturer. Alternatively, if your employer forces you to work in unsafe conditions and you are injured as a result, you can sue your employer for gross negligence. 

What if My Claim Is Denied?

When your workers comp claim is denied, you can reach out to a workers comp attorney in Indianapolis for help with the appeals process. Although a lawyer is helpful in the initial claims process, a lawyer may be necessary when appealing a denied claim. There’s a limited time frame for appealing your claim and a specific process you must follow, so it’s important to seek counsel as soon as you receive denial. 

Do I Have to Visit a Specific Doctor?

If your work injury is an emergency, you can seek emergency medical care from the doctor of your choosing. Most companies will require that you seek medical care from the doctor of their choice for any injuries that aren’t time-sensitive. Using a doctor chosen by your employer will make it easier to receive approval for workers compensation benefits. 

You will, however, have the right to seek a second opinion from a doctor of your choosing if you don’t agree with the diagnosis given by your employer’s chosen doctor. 

When Should I Accept a Settlement?

You should never feel pressured or forced to accept a settlement from your workers comp insurance. Only accept a settlement when you believe the settlement is for the amount you deserve. Speaking to an experienced attorney can help you navigate the claims process and assess the value of your damages. A lawyer can also negotiate on your behalf.

What Does Maximum Medical Improvement Mean?

Your doctor will provide medical care until you’ve reached maximum medical improvement. Although this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve healed completely, maximum medical improvement means the doctor believes you’ve reached a point where you’ve healed as much as possible. At this point, they’ll release you and determine whether you have any restrictions moving forward.

Can I Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Social security disability benefits are reserved for individuals who have been injured at work and can’t go back to work for six months or more. Social security disability benefits are often denied because they are only given to individuals with severely disabling conditions. If you believe you qualify for these benefits, an experienced workers comp lawyer can walk you through the process for filing.

An Indianapolis Workers Comp Attorney Can Help

Filing a workers comp claim can be a complex process. You may want assistance gathering information about your injury so your claim is accepted. If your claim is denied, you may need help navigating the appeals process. Having an experienced attorney by your side can make you feel more at ease as you try to obtain medical coverage for your injuries and lost wages while you’re out of work.

You shouldn’t hesitate to fight for the benefits you’re entitled to. Find an experienced attorney who knows the workers comp laws in Indianapolis and can use their knowledge to negotiate the settlement you deserve. You’ll feel confidence and clarity once your case is settled and you’ve received maximum compensation. You can use this compensation to recovery quickly and get back on the job.

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