Workplace injuries can be life-threatening. If you’ve been injured on the job, you’re probably wondering how to get well and still make a living. One way is to file for workman’s compensation, or workers’ comp.
When seeking Indiana workman’s comp settlements, there are many factors that go into determining how much you will get. Some factors considered include the extent of your injuries and whether they are temporary or permanent.
The Indiana workers’ comp regime can be complex and confusing. Don’t let it get in the way of a settlement and your recovery.
At Gerling Law, we can help you understand what you need to do to file your Indiana workers’ comp claim. In this blog post, we’ll explain what determines the value of a claim and how to get the settlement dollars you deserve.
What Determines the Value of Indiana Workers’ Comp Settlements?
Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act
Most workers are financially protected from liability for workplace injuries under the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act. This law states that employers must carry liability insurance for injuries and illnesses that their workers might suffer while performing their jobs.
In general, if you are unable to work for more than a week, you may receive some compensation for your lost wages. Typically, this is equal to two-thirds of your average weekly wages. You can also receive payment for the costs of your medical care.
Indiana workman’s comp settlements do not require injured workers to prove fault. These settlements are no-fault, and workers will receive benefits regardless of who is to blame.
Factors that determine what benefits you may receive and how much include:
- The amount of your wages (typically calculated at two-thirds of your average weekly wage over the last 52 weeks);
- Your medical expenses related to the injury, including prescription drug costs, and costs of travel to and from medical appointments; and
- Your level of impairment according to the Indiana Workman’s Comp Settlement Chart for permanent partial impairment (PPI).
We’ll talk more about settlement charts and PPI below. However, if you have suffered an injury at work, talk to an experienced Indiana workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. Filing a claim can be a challenging process, and a knowledgeable lawyer can help you get the Indiana workers’ comp settlement you deserve.
Permanent Partial Impairment and Death
Indiana has workers’ comp guidelines that determine what you may be entitled to if you become permanently disabled. It doesn’t matter if your permanent disability is partial or complete.
Under Indiana workers’ comp settlements, permanently disabled workers may be able to receive additional compensation.
The Indiana workers’ compensation settlement amount typically depends on a number of factors including:
- The severity of your loss,
- Your permanent impairment rating, and
- How your injury occurred.
A permanent impairment rating is based on a medical evaluation.
Most states, Indiana included, use the American Medical Association’s Evaluation of Permanent Impairment as a guide to assessing what percentage of function a worker has lost.
Sometimes, a permanent impairment allows you to return to work but in a less demanding position. In that case, your workers’ comp benefits will be reduced.
A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you understand the Indiana workers’ comp settlement chart that shows how much each PPI is worth and how it will affect your settlement.
If you’re killed on the job, your dependents may be able to get death benefits from an Indiana workers’ comp settlement. If you have a dangerous job or you’re concerned about safety practices at work, be proactive. An Indiana workers’ comp lawyer can help you understand how your family would be protected if a tragedy should happen.
How Much Can I Get for My Indiana Workers’ Comp Settlement?
Sadly, some workplace injuries can change your life. While a brief injury will generally result in a short-term payment of lost wages or reimbursed medical bills, permanent disabilities involve larger payments.
Indiana workman’s comp settlements are often paid out in a one-time payment (called a lump sum or “commutation”) for permanent disabilities.
However, victims of workplace accidents can also choose a structured settlement to be paid over time. Deciding how you want your settlement to be paid depends on your individual situation.
Lump Sum Payment
If you’ve been totally disabled by your accident, you’ll need to wait at least six months before asking for a lump sum payment. You can request a lump sum right away if you’re partially disabled. The Indiana Workers’ Compensation Board approves or denies the request.
If you receive a lump sum, the total benefits will be reduced to their present value. You’ll also receive only what the Indiana workman’s comp settlement chart specifies.
By taking the commutation, you’ll have to waive the right to seek further compensation if your condition worsens in the future. Be sure to speak with a workers’ comp lawyer before seeking or accepting a lump sum payment.
If your Indiana workers’ comp claim settles quickly with your employer’s insurance company, you have the option to get paid over time. You can file a Form 1043 Agreement to Compensation of Employee and Employer requesting payment over time.
However, unlike a lump sum settlement, a structured settlement does not preclude you from seeking further recourse. If your condition doesn’t improve or gets worse, you can ask for more compensation. Speak with your workers’ comp lawyer to learn more about your options under structured Indiana workers’ comp settlements.
How We Can Help with Indiana Workers’ Comp Settlements
At Gerling Law, we have decades of experience fighting for the people of Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and beyond. We advocate tenaciously for your rights, and we put clients first.
Whatever the circumstances of your workers’ comp claim, don’t hesitate to reach out to Gerling Law. Our team is willing to fight for you to get the best workers’ comp settlement possible. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.