Workers’ compensation injury claims in Indiana involve several complex laws and legal jargon that can quickly confuse anyone who does not retain a basic understanding of both worker compensation laws and tort law. However, if you are a recent workplace injury victim, you can be clear on one fact: getting hurt on the job means you do get medical treatment and you do get compensation. Although Indiana employers are legally required to maintain adequate worker’s compensation insurance, sometimes a boss can be hesitant about reporting a workplace injury; some might even flat-out refuse. If your employer is refusing to report your workplace injury, reinforce yourself with the right facts, starting right now.
Continue reading to learn what to do if your boss does not want to report your workplace injury, plus who to contact for worker’s compensation injury claim advice and representation in Indiana.
Your Responsibilities as an Injury Worker in Indiana
When you are injured on the job, you are protected under law in terms of receiving benefits like medical treatment and compensation. However, you still have certain responsibilities to uphold yourself if you want to be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits.
First, do not assume that your employer is aware of your accident and injury. If you fell off of a 10-foot scaffold and had to be transported to the hospital via ambulance, it is likely that your boss would know about it. But no matter how obvious and dramatic your accident is at work, never presume that your employer knows and intends to report it.
Even if your injuries are minor, it is important to report the accident. Although you’re probably not going to report paper cut or a stubbed toe, seemingly innocuous incidents like bumping your head or taking a tumble over some scattered construction scrap can lead to injuries that appear later on. If you wait too long to report your injury because you don’t think you’re hurt, it will make it more difficult to prove your workers’ compensation benefits claim. Always report an accident that causes injury right away, so that you can at least have it documented on a timeline.
Your Employer’s Responsibilities
Employers are required by law to report most injuries to workers on the job site. Simply put, if your boss doesn’t report your workplace injury, they are breaking the law. Not only is your employer required by law to report your injury, but they are required to report it within a certain amount of time. As soon as you notify your boss that you have been her on the job, they should file a DWC-1 form with the state’s workers’ compensation board called a First Report of Injury. Most states give employers 30 days to file this form, however there are some states that only give employers one week.
When Your Boss Refuses to File a Work Injury Report
Workers’ compensation insurance works very similar to automotive insurance in that, the more claims you file, the higher your premiums are. Employers can sometimes be hesitant to report workplace injuries to the state board because they selfishly don’t want their policy rates to increase. Other times, employers refuse to file a work injury reports because they believe that the employee is lying about being hurt or they don’t think the injury is serious enough to warrant a formal report. Either way, it is their legal duty to report the injury as soon as you notify them, no matter how they feel about the situation.
✘ DO NOT USE YOUR PRIVATE INSURANCE FOR WORK INJURIES
Did your employer ask you to use your private health insurance for your workplace injury, medical treatment? Do not do this under any circumstances! When you see your doctor, explain to them that you were injured on the job while performing work-related duties. Get this on record as soon as possible to protect your rights to workers compensation benefits. Your employer’s worker compensation carrier usually gets to control what doctors you see.
✘ DO NOT ACCEPT PAYMENT FROM YOUR BOSS
Did your employer offer to pay you under the table for your medical treatment? Do not accept it! It is very possible that your workplace injuries can persist for quite some time, which would entitle you to compensation for past, current, and future damages. Accepting payment under the table is risky because you don’t know when the money will stop coming your way. It might also revoke your right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits.
Are you looking for an Indiana personal injury law firm that specializes in workers compensation cases? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Indianapolis, Indiana. We represent clients all throughout the state of Indiana.