You May Need a Lawyer
Since all Indiana employers are required to have workers’ compensation, many injured workers may think the only choice they have is workers’ compensation. This belief can become especially frustrating if your workers’ compensation claim is denied. Many injured employees don’t know where else to turn.
An experienced work injury lawyer will explore all avenues to determine if you may be able to receive compensation through a third party claim.
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Employers Can Deny Your Claim
Employers may use what are called “affirmative defenses” to deny workers’ claims. The employer may claim that:
- The injury or death was due to the employee’s knowingly self-inflicted injury
- The employee was intoxicated at the time of the accident
- The employee knowingly failed to use a safety appliance
- The employee knowingly failed to obey a written or printed safety rule
- The employee failed to perform a statutory duty
A work injury lawyer would know how to prove that you are owed workers’ compensation if your employer is being difficult or wrongly using one of the above defenses to avoid having to pay you. Work injury lawyers can also seek compensation through a third party claim.
Why Your Claim Might Be Denied
The workers’ compensation system can be difficult to navigate. In fact, Indiana’s state government put together a “Guide to Indiana Worker’s Compensation” to help Hoosiers understand the state’s policies regarding workers’ compensation. The guide alone is 66 pages long.
Many claimants have found hiring a work injury lawyer has been their only hope in navigating the complex workers’ compensation system and exploring all of their options in order to get the benefits they deserve.
The system is complicated, but so are the cases. Not every case has an obvious answer. Reasons a worker’s claim might be denied include:
- No one witnessed the accident, and there are conflicting reports of what happened
- The worker’s compensation claim was filed after the worker was fired or laid off
- There was too much time lag between the accident itself and when it was reported
- There is some discrepancy between the medical records and the worker’s accident report
- The employee failed a drug test
Having a workers’ compensation claim denied doesn’t mean you are allowed to file suit against your employer. Instead, the next step would be filing an appeal with the Worker’s Compensation Appeals Board. The appeals process is complex, and having an attorney can help ensure a strong case.
Pursuing a Third Party Claim With a Work Injury Attorney
A third party claim is a personal injury claim against a company other than your employer. Having a work injury attorney is helpful because your attorney can pursue your personal injury claim while you pursue workers’ compensation through your employer.