The workplace is where you will spend most of your day. Most workers do not expect to suffer an on-the-job injury. Your employer, managers, and coworkers have various responsibilities to promote safety in the workplace. Some industries are more dangerous than others, but accidents can happen in any workplace.
Some hazardous industries involve construction, delivery, farming, manufacturing, etc. Workers’ compensation offers benefits to injured workers who have valid claims. Unfortunately, they will try various tactics to keep claim payouts down.
You must discuss your options with an Oklahoma City workers’ compensation lawyer from BDIW Law if you hope to access the benefits you deserve. When you do, you can learn about the workers’ comp claims process, find out what benefits you are entitled to, and figure out how to challenge the insurance company’s denial of your claim. Contact an Oklahoma City personal injury lawyer at our firm for a 100% free consultation today.
How Workers’ Compensation Works for Injured Workers
Workers’ compensation protects injured workers. It is an insurance program that employers purchase and maintain to cover injuries and losses. It provides payment for disability, medical treatment, rehabilitation benefits, and lost wages. These benefits can also be issued to surviving dependents if the injured worker dies from their injuries.
The system does not consider who is at fault for the accident. There are some stipulations for obtaining benefits, but fault is not one. The primary caveat is that the injury must happen within the person’s scope of employment.
You can expect the insurance company to carefully evaluate whether you meet the eligibility requirements. Full-time, part-time, temporary, and even seasonal employees should qualify. Independent contractors will not.
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Common Types of Injuries We See in Oklahoma
Your injury must happen within the course of your employment duties. However, many injuries can happen, and to list them all is overwhelming. Some insurance policies provide a list of specific medical conditions, but many times, there are categories of injuries, such as:
- Injuries on the employer’s property
- Injuries on someone else’s property while on the clock and performing job-related duties
- Injuries or illnesses directly resulting from your work
When Workers’ Compensation Claims May Be Denied
There are some injuries that workers’ compensation does not cover. The insurance company will use these excuses to deny your claim. Workers’ comp will not cover claims when they result from the following causes:
- You hurt yourself on purpose (self-inflicted).
- You were using drugs or alcohol at the time.
- You were committing a crime when you were hurt.
- You were violating company policy.
- You were off the clock.
Injuries do not have to be physical to qualify for workers’ compensation. Repetitive stress conditions or occupational illnesses can also cause them. Call BDIW Law for help today.
How Continuing Medical Issues Are Handled
Many injured workers in Oklahoma want to get better and return to work. Their job is what affords them their lifestyle and how they pay their bills. Some injuries are permanent, meaning the person cannot return to work in the same capacity they once did.
If your injury requires ongoing care and exempts you from working as you did before, you have options. You can get weekly benefit payments for life or a lump sum payment. While the option is available for workers, the insurance company will look very closely at the costs involved in your case.
They will have to dig into their pockets to pay you the money you need for your lost wages. The insurance company will attempt to minimize your injuries to avoid these large payouts. There are several ways to handle continuing medical issues.
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Common Places Workplace Injuries Occur
BDIW Law understands that an on-the-job injury can happen anywhere. Our workers’ compensation lawyers can handle claims in every industry. The sectors or workplaces we are more familiar with in Oklahoma City include:
- Industrial or manufacturing
- Trucking and delivery
- Public works
This is not an exhaustive list, and if you do not see your industry or workplace here, that does not mean we cannot help you. During an initial consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer in Oklahoma City, OK, we can determine if you have a valid claim and how to proceed.
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The Claims Process
The workers’ compensation claims process in Oklahoma is straightforward. Injured employees will inform their employer of the accident. They will then send documentation to the insurance company within 15 to 30 days of getting notice of their injury.
The insurance company will review medical records, workplace incident reports, the employee file, and more. They will then determine your eligibility for benefits. If approved, your payments will begin, but if your claim is denied, you must file an appeal by calling a workers’ compensation attorney in Oklahoma City, OK.
Compensation Included for a Workplace Injury
Depending on the injuries you suffer, you will receive compensation benefits. Lost wages usually apply to most cases. Workers can receive two-thirds of their income and claim payment for the following:
- Medical bills: All reasonable and necessary medical treatment for workplace injury is included in a claim.
- Permanent partial impairment: Issued at the end of a case, it provides payment for a permanent disability resulting from the workplace injury.
- Permanent total disability: Important compensation for injured workers who cannot work at all after a workplace injury.
- Temporary partial disability: Provides wage replacement for the difference between what the worker earned while on restrictions and what they would have usually received.
- Temporary total disability: Pays a portion of wage replacement for workers who cannot work while recovering from an injury. There are time limits for these benefits.
- Vocational rehabilitation: If the injury prevents someone from returning to the same industry, they can obtain vocational training to enter a different field.
Workplace injuries are complex. Some cases can require additional compensation beyond the workers’ comp claim. These other benefits usually apply to cases involving third parties like a property owner, driver, or equipment manufacturer. When you file a third-party claim or wrongful death lawsuit, it also opens the door for additional compensation for all lost income, future lost earnings, and pain and suffering.
Talk to a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Oklahoma City
An Oklahoma City workers’ compensation attorney from BDIW Law understands how insurance agencies maneuver to lower your claim. We can help injury victims pursue a valid workers’ compensation claim. We can help workers in any industry, but these cases are complex.
If you suffered an on-the-job injury, you must speak to our Oklahoma City workers’ compensation lawyer immediately. Call BDIW Law to discuss your case and schedule a free consultation. You can reach us through our online contact form or by phone to get started as soon as today.
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