Our Creek County Workers Compensation attorneys represent Oklahoma residents that have been injured on the job. If you’ve been injured at work the State of Oklahoma has implemented very specific rules that help protect injured workers. Along with protecting workers from harsh acts associated with workers compensation insurance coverage the law provides that your injuries are treated. Along with treating your injury you may be entitled to certain disability payments while you treat. Additionally, after you have reached maximum medical improvement you may be entitled to additional benefits.
Report the Work Injury:
Report the injury when it occurs. Oftentimes people will wait for a period of time hoping the injury goes away on its own. This is not the best course of action for injuries that are more severe than simply a bruise or scrape. Further, some injuries will manifest more strongly over time. Oklahoma law requires you to report the injury within a certain number of days.
You can still report a work-related injury after this date. However, the process becomes much more difficult. This is because after the deadline, then you must prove the injury occurred on the job. Doing this is much more difficult, than simply reporting the injury when it occurs.
Your Workers Compensation Coverage:
The workers compensation insurance carried by your employer covers every injury that occurs in the scope of your employment. So, if the injury occurs at work and is a cause of the work you do, you should be covered. The severity of the injury and the location of the injury on your body are not factors in deciding if you are covered or not.
Workers Compensation Information:
Our Creek County Workers Compensation Attorneys explain that workers compensation insurance must provide medical and monetary benefits to those workers injured on the job. These injuries can include an cumulative trauma injury or an occupational disease as well as a single event injury. These laws intend to protect workers and their families from being mistreated by the insurance company and to soften hardships after being injured on the job. Under the Worker’s Compensation Act in Oklahoma you can recover for your injury without having to show negligence on the part of your employer or anyone else. In exchange for bringing your injury claim to the Workers Compensation Commission your injuries are treated without regards to fault.
Okla. Stat. tit. 85 § 11(A) states that Workers Compensation is provided to workers without taking into account the worker’s fault in the matter. Another benefit of Workers Compensation Court, is that it takes less time to complete your suit than it normally would in district court if you were filing a negligence suit. The use of Workers Compensation Court, while benefiting you as an injured party, can also be of use to employers. When using Workers Compensation Court, employers are immune from litigation in district court. This means that the employers have the advantage of monetary caps under the Act.
Benefits for Injured Workers:
There are several benefits available to workers who suffer injuries during work. First, all reasonable and necessary medical expenses are the burden of your employer. Secondly though, if you are unable to return to work for a period of time due to the injury, then you are eligible for temporary disability too. Temporary disability is also available to those workers who may return to work, but have light duty restrictions. For example, if you are able to return to work under restrictions, but your company does not provide light duty tasks, then you may receive partial disability payments.
Okla. Stat. tit. 85 § 1 et seq. states the possible benefits a worker can receive under the Oklahoma Worker’s Compensation Act:
– Compensation for time off work related to the injury
-Compensation for permanent partial or total disability
-Vocational rehabilitation, training for different position
-Compensation during vocational rehabilitation
-Death benefits to surviving immediate family
-Reimbursement for funeral and burial expenses
Entitlement to Medical Treatment:
Your employer is required to provide all reasonable and necessary medical treatment to you if you suffer job related injuries. Once you report your injury to your employer, the employer will file a worker’s compensation claim with the Court. As a result, you will be sent to a worker’s compensation doctor. This doctor will either treat you, or if the injury is severe enough, send you to an authorized specialist. Regardless of which they are required to do this within a certain amount of days. Many times the insurance company will slow the process down to a snails crawl. His is because regardless of what your treating Doctor recommends the insurance company has to approve the recommendation before its implicated.
Total or Temporary Partial Disability:
After receiving an assigned doctor, you will be examined. Your doctor will treat you and either put you on restrictions or completely bar you from working. Your employer must accommodate any restrictions your doctor places you under. However, if you work in a capacity that does not have any type of “light duty,” then your employer may pay you up to 75% of your salary until you are healthy enough to return to unrestricted duties. If you are barred from work entirely by your doctor, then you are eligible to receive temporary disability until your treatment is complete.
Permanent Partial Disability Ratings:
When your treatment is complete, the doctor will release you. This point is called “Maximum Medical Improvement.” If you are in agreement with the rating and do not feel the need for a second opinion, your Creek County Workers Compensation Attorneys will have you rated for permanent partial disability. The treating doctor will often rate your permanent partial disability as a percentage. This is where the money comes in. After you receive the treating doctor’s rating, your lawyer will have you examined by an independent doctor.
These two ratings generally drastically differ. At this point you get paid. You want to the judge to consider the medical report that lists your disability as the highest percentage. As an advantage to using our offices, you receive access to our workers compensation doctors and their rating reports. We ensure these doctors are independent from your employer. Our doctors therefore, are better at giving an accurate rating of your potential disability.