Answers To Your Questions About Workers’ Compensation
At Theisen Hubley Law, our attorneys and staff regularly answer questions about workers’ compensation and other types of injury cases. We would like to hear what you are wondering about after suffering an injury on the job in Fort Wayne or elsewhere. Meanwhile, see some sample questions below:
Who is eligible for workers’ compensation (WC) benefits in Indiana?
Any employee is eligible from the first day on a job.
What are the types of workers’ compensation benefits?
There are several types, including:
- Medical benefits, which are normally paid directly to medical providers.
- Temporary total disability payments (for when you are unable to work for longer than a week while you heal).
- Permanent partial impairment payments compensation (for permanent injury to body parts or functions determined once you reach maximum medical improvement).
- Permanent total disability payments (if it is determined that your injury is so severe it precludes you from ever working again).
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Death benefits.
Is workers’ compensation based on income?
Some types of benefits are based on your salary or average wages. Others are not.
- Medical benefits do not depend on your wage level.
- Weekly payments if you are unable to work are calculated according to your average weekly wages during the 52 weeks before your injury.
- If you are eligible for a lump-sum payment for a permanent injury, this payment will not depend on your income, but rather, on the nature of the injury or disability.
Can I get a workers’ compensation settlement if I go back to work?
Yes, it is possible. For example, you may be able to continue working after you recover from an amputated finger but you can still seek a lump-sum settlement for the loss of that finger. Also, the workers’ compensation insurer may offer you a lump sum in place of lifelong medical benefits pertaining to your injury. You can accept this lump-sum settlement and return to work, if you are able.
Can I be fired while receiving workers’ compensation benefits in Indiana?
The answer to this question is sometimes up for dispute because of two potentially contradictory provisions of Indiana employment laws:
- The law does not allow employers to fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
- Employees may be fired at any time except for a few reasons.
So filing the claim is not a justifiable reason for termination but your employer may seek to fire you for other reasons as a business decision. With an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer on your side from the start, you will be ready to push back if your employer does something illegal.
Can I be fired for hiring a worker’s compensation attorney following my workplace accident?
No. Although Indiana is considered an at-will employment state, it is illegal for an employer to fire you because you sought to exercise your rights to worker’s compensation benefits by hiring an attorney. If you are concerned that you may be wrongfully discharged or you have already been fired because of a workplace injury, consult with a skilled employment attorney. At Theisen Hubley Law, we are known for our experience and ability to represent you in both your worker’s compensation case and your wrongful termination lawsuit.
Can I lose my job due to my injury resulting from a workplace accident?
An employer may not fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. However, your injury may leave you unable to meet the demands of the job. Your employer may fire you for unrelated reasons. If you are concerned that you may be wrongfully discharged or you have already been fired because of a workplace injury, consult with a skilled trial lawyer. At Theisen Hubley Law, we are known for our willingness to take challenging cases before a judge, if necessary.
How Can I Get Answers To My Individual Questions?
Please note that the summaries above are generalized and may not pertain to your unique circumstances. To ask your own questions, request a consultation with one of our lawyers by calling 260-739-0759 or completing our online form.