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FORT WAYNE

General Practice Attorney for Work Injury Claims in Fort Wayne

If you suffer a work-related injury or illness, or if your loved one dies in a workplace accident, you should be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Contact our Fort Wayne workers compensation lawyer today. Most employers in Fort Wayne, Huntington and throughout Indiana must carry this insurance. It provides benefits that include:

  • Coverage of all reasonable and necessary medical treatment
  • Compensation for wages you lose due to your disability
  • Compensation for the loss or loss of use of a body part
  • Death benefits, including funeral expenses, if you lose a loved one.

Unfortunately, as we have seen over the years at Truitt Law Offices, employers and insurers in Fort Wayne, Indiana often deny valid workman’s comp claims. We help workers to overcome those obstacles and pursue the benefits that they and their families deserve. We also explore compensation for our clients that goes beyond what workers’ compensation provides.

For nearly four decades, workers compensation attorney Richard Truitt and our legal team at Truitt Law Offices has protected the rights of injured and ill workers in Fort Wayne and surrounding areas in Indiana. We always focus on what is important to our clients and tailor our representation to meet their unique, specific goals.

If you run into problems with your Indiana workers’ compensation claim, contact our workers compensation lawyers in Fort Wayne to discuss how we can help you. Our consultations are always free, and we won’t charge you a dime unless we secure benefits for you.

Fort Wayne Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Person filling out a workers' compensation claim.On its face, the Indiana workers’ compensation system seems simple enough: You get hurt on the job and tell your employer. The employer’s insurer, in turn, pays the benefits that Indiana law entitles you to receive.

However, more often than not, workers find the workers’ compensation claims process to be difficult and confusing. You can try to tackle this challenge on your own. However, you will serve your best interests by working with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. This is especially true if your employer:

  • Fails to carry workers’ compensation insurance required by law
  • Delays reporting your injury or illness to the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Board (or fails to report it at all)
  • Claims you are an independent contractor and not an employee
  • Refuses to pay for your reasonable and necessary medical care
  • Denies that your injury or illness arose in the course of your employment
  • Alleges that your intoxication or horseplay caused your injury.

To pursue workers’ compensation benefits in Indiana, you must follow highly technical rules that apply to claims and the evidence you present in support of a claim. You need to review and understand medical records. You may also need to consult with medical and vocational experts.

While you focus on your recovery, a workers comp lawyer from Truitt Law Offices can take care of all those matters for you. The attorney can also explain the process to you and answer any questions you may have about your case. To learn more about the services our attorneys can provide, give our law firm a call today.

What Should You Do If You Get Injured on the Job in Fort Wayne?

If you work in construction, manufacturing, agriculture or manufacturing, you certainly face a lot of risks on the job. However, you can suffer harm in any line of work. As long as your injury or illness arose in the course and scope of your employment – or your work aggravated an existing condition – the Indiana workers’ compensation system should cover you.

Some of the most common workplace injuries and illnesses that lead to benefits claims in Indiana involve:

  • Falls from roofs, ladders, scaffolding and other heights
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Getting struck by, caught in or caught between objects such as tools and heavy equipment
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Overexertion while carrying, lifting, pushing or pulling an item
  • Repetitive trauma injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Exposure to hazardous chemicals or other toxic materials such as asbestos
  • Psychological damage from witnessing a traumatic event (PTSD).

If you get involved in a workplace accident, you should seek medical treatment right away. If you need emergency treatment, you do not need to get your employer’s pre-approval of the doctor or hospital. However, you will need to get approval for future treatment.

Additionally, you should report your injury to your employer within 30 days after it occurs. If you fail to do so, the employer may deny your claim. You should give the notice in writing or otherwise follow your company’s reporting rules.

What Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits Can You Receive in Indiana?

Doctor talking to a happy patient.If your injury keeps you out of work for more than one day, and you provide timely notice to your employer, then your employer should file an Employer’s Report of Injury form with its workers’ compensation insurer. The employer should then file the report with the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Board.

If the employer/insurer approves your claim, you should start to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Those tax-free benefits can include the following:

  • Medical benefits – Workers’ compensation should cover all of your reasonable and necessary medical care for a work-related injury or illness, including surgery, hospitalization, medication and rehabilitation. However, you must receive medical care from an approved doctor or hospital. Additionally, workers’ comp should cover the costs of getting to and from your medical treatment.
  • Disability benefits – If your work injury prevents you from being able to work as you did before, you may also qualify for disability, or lost-wage benefits. Potential benefits include:
    • Temporary Total Disability (TTD) – These benefits apply if you cannot perform your regular work due to your work injury. TTD pays two-thirds of your pre-injury average weekly wage (up to a statutory maximum amount) for up to 500 weeks or until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI means that no amount of medical treatment will improve your condition.
    • Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) – These benefits apply if you can return to work for your employer only in a lighter role and earn less than you did before your on-the-job injury. TPD pays two-thirds of the difference between your pre- and post-injury average weekly wage (subject to a statutory cap) for up to 300 weeks.
    • Permanent Total Disability (PTD) – These benefits apply if your workplace injury keeps you from ever working again in reasonable employment. PTD pays two-thirds of your pre-injury average weekly wage (subject to a statutory cap) for 500 weeks, which can be paid in a lump sum.
    • Permanent Partial Impairment (PPI) – These benefits apply if you suffer partial or total loss of use of a body part that affects your body as a whole. If you have reached MMI, then you can receive benefits that are based on an impairment rating that a doctor gives you and a statutory schedule of payments. An employer can pay these benefits in a lump sum.

In addition to these benefits, the Indiana workers’ compensation system provides death benefits to eligible family members or dependents of an employee who died in a workplace accident or from an occupational disease. These benefits provide weekly payments at a rate of two-thirds of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage. They also provide an allowance of up to $7,500 for funeral expenses.

When the workers compensation attorneys at Truitt Law Offices takes on your case, our attorneys will determine and explain all benefits available to you. We will fight for every penny that your employer (or its workers’ comp insurer) owes to you.

What Can You Do If Your Indiana Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied?

If your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer denies your claim for workers’ compensation benefits, you should get notice in the mail within roughly a month after you reported your injury. At this point, you have the right to appeal the decision. Your lawyer from Truitt Law Offices will guide you through this process.

First, you must file an Application for Adjustment of Claim with the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Board. You must file this form within two years after the date of injury, or else your claim could be barred. You can then seek a settlement with your employer or argue your case in a hearing before a workers’ compensation judge.

If your case goes to a hearing, the judge will make findings of facts and conclusions of law in a written decision. If you disagree with that decision, you can request a hearing before the Full Workers’ Compensation Board. If you disagree with the Board’s final order, you can file an appeal with the Indiana Court of Appeals.

At Truitt Law Offices, we have extensive experience with representing workers in Indiana who were denied workers’ compensation benefits. Our law firm knows how to gather and present evidence that demonstrates a worker’s right to medical and/or disability benefits.

You can count on our attorneys to aggressively seek the benefits you are due through direct negotiation with your employer and its workers’ compensation insurer, presentation of your case in a hearing or in an argument before the Court of Appeals. Our law firm knows how important your claim is to you. Rest assured: Your claim will be important to us, too.

Can You File a Lawsuit for a Work-Related Injury in Indiana?

lawyer going over workers' compensation claim with client.Under Indiana law, workers’ compensation benefits serve as your “exclusive remedy” against an employer for a work-related injury or illness. In other words, you cannot file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the employer.

However, you can sue a non-employer or co-worker – in other words, a “third party – who caused harm to you. For instance, you may have been injured in a crash that a negligent driver caused or harmed by a defective piece of equipment.

Unlike a workers’ compensation claim, you must prove fault in order to recover damages in a “third party liability claim.” The damages you recover can go well beyond what workers’ compensation benefits provide and include:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • All of your lost income
  • Diminishment of future earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death damages (if you lost a loved one)
  • Punitive damages (where appropriate).

At Truitt Law Offices, our personal injury lawyers have the skill, experience and resources that it takes to identify and pursue all sources of compensation for your work-related injury or illness. We will help you to pursue a claim against any potentially liable third parties in your case.

Get Help Today from a Fort Wayne Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you were hurt at work or suffer from a job-related illness, get in touch with Truitt Law Offices as soon as possible. We work with workers and their families in Fort Wayne, Huntington and throughout Northeastern Indiana. We will provide a free consultation and get to work right away on your case.

As you will quickly sees, our law firm cares about the person behind the injury. Through your case, a work injury lawyer from our firm will focus on protecting your rights and interests and aggressively pursue a result that meets your goals. Contact us today to learn more. Click here for directions.

Sources / More Information 

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American Association for Justice
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Brain Injury Associates of Indiana