Our Oklahoma City Workers Compensation Attorneys care about you and your work injury case. When you’ve suffered an on the job injury, Oklahoma Worker’s Compensation laws are meant to protect you. Under these laws, your employer must provide you with all reasonable and necessary medical treatment. This is true regardless of the severity of the injury or which body part was injured. Keep reading to get some answers to frequently asked questions from our Oklahoma City Workers Compensation Attorneys.
Reporting the Work Injury:
You must report your work injury to your employer. You must also realize that there are requirements that make it necessary for you to report this injury within a certain amount of time. Although it seems obvious, it is not. Many workers simply attempt to wait for the injury to heal. They may feel that if they report the injury their employer will fire them or that reporting the injury puts them up for scrutiny from their employer.
Our Oklahoma City Workers Compensation Attorneys will explain to you that this is a mistake. Many work injury insurance carries are going to use this against you. It may go so far as to disqualify you from being able to get the medical treatment that you’re entitle to and many times desperately need. In the event that you miss the deadline or fail to report the injury in a timely manor your case is made harder. Our Oklahoma City Workers Compensation Attorneys may still be able to help you. We’ll ask the court to hear our side of the story in a trial. We’ll advance facts and circumstances of your injury and help you prove that the injury occurred at work.
Your Worker’s Compensation Coverage:
Our Oklahoma City Workers Compensation Attorneys will explain to you that as long as your injury occurred during the course of your employment and within the scope of your employment, your employer’s Oklahoma workers compensation insurance covers your injuries. The injury though, must be work related and is caused in large part by your job. As long as it is related to the work you do and happened during your work, you are covered and our Oklahoma City Workers Compensation Attorneys will fight for you .
Information on Oklahoma Worker’s Compensation:
Money and medical benefits are provided to ease injuries, accidents, or occupational diseases of workers under Oklahoma Compensation laws. These laws are specifically intended for the protection of workers and their families. If an injury or death occurs due to employment, then the Worker’s Compensation Act gives a way to recover without having to file a negligence suit. The worker’s comp laws are much more efficient than going through court to prove the fault of the employer and the injury was directly from employment.
Further, Okla. Stat. tit. 85 § 11(A)(2001) says the benefits of Worker’s Comp do not take into account “regard to fault” of the workers. Together, these laws allow a streamlined approach to getting your benefits without the time consuming process of negligence suits. This is a benefit to employers as well as employees. While the employee does not have to follow the cumbersome timeline of a negligence suit, employers are immune to being sued in district court if they purchase Worker’s Comp insurance. The Act also caps monetary awards worker’s can receive, which is another benefit to employers.
Injured Workers’ Benefits in Oklahoma:
While your employer is liable for all reasonable medical treatments due to your injury, they are also required to pay you during the time you are unable to work. Temporary disability is provided for this reason. However, if you are placed on “light duty” and only able to complete certain tasks, but your job requires full duty for you to function a possible solution is partial disability payments. The following benefits are available to employees suffering injuries:
– Medical Treatment
– Monetary compensation for time off during recovery
– Compensation for total or permanent disability
– Training for a new position if the injury prevents the worker from returning to the same position
– Any compensation during training for the new position
– Reimbursement for any expenses related to death of the worker
– Compensation and benefits to the family of a worker killed on the job
Medical Treatment For on the Job Injuries:
Your employer must provide all reasonable medical expenses to help you recover from job related injuries. Remember to notify your employer of the injury when it occurs. The employer will file your claim and set you up with an appointment to visit a doctor specializing in worker’s compensation. This doctor will treat you for your injuries. If they are too specialized or severe, the doctor will then refer you to a specialist.
Total and Temporary Disability:
When you are set with a doctor, you will be placed on a course of treatment. This course may require you to acknowledge some work restrictions and go on “light duty”. Conversely, it may require you to not work at all if your injuries are severe enough. Your employer must accommodate any “light duty” restrictions from your doctor. If light duty is not an option at your place of employment, then you are entitled to 75% of your salary (up to certain maximums). If you are on total disability and not allowed to work at all, then you are eligible for temporary disability until your treatment is complete.
Permanent Partial Disability:
After your treatment completes, your doctor will release you. This is supposed to be Maximum Medical Improvement. However, we recommend you get a second opinion if you have any question whatsoever about your rehabilitation. Your lawyer will at this point rate you for permanent partial disability. While the original doctor will likely rate you on a percentage of permanent partial disability, your lawyer will have you rated by an independent doctor.
The ratings often vary significantly between the doctor representing the worker’s comp insurance and the independent doctor. This is the important part. When the ratings are extremely different, the money comes in. A worker suffering injuries wants the doctor who will put your disability rating at the highest possible level. Our workers compensation attorneys have an entire database of doctors and their rating reports for our clients. These doctors are completely independent, and thus more likely to give you a fair rating to receive the disability payments you deserve.