Although workplace health and safety have improved in recent years, no occupation is completely free of accidents, illnesses, or injuries. From doctors to delivery drivers, many employees across Oklahoma City find themselves temporarily or permanently disabled after a work-related incident.
After being hurt on the job, you’re likely worried and overwhelmed about getting the medical care and wage replacement you need to recover. Unfortunately, some employers try to avoid paying out valid claims or make it challenging for employees to receive the workers’ comp benefits they are entitled to, with adverse workplace actions being regrettably common.
That’s where we come in. At Carr & Carr, our OKC workers’ compensation lawyers are here to help you overcome these challenges and get the benefits you need. Although the system is meant to help, rules and red tape can make it far from straightforward: we understand the complexities involved and are dedicated to fighting for your rights.
Why Hire Carr & Carr for Your Workers’ Compensation Claim?
- We have been helping injured workers since 1973. Whether you’ve been hurt in a construction accident or have developed a work-related illness, our experienced attorneys know how to make the strongest possible case for full benefits.
- Our legal team understands the challenges of workers’ compensation claims and provides unparalleled legal support. Our goal is to secure maximum benefits and leverage our expertise to help you obtain the financial compensation you deserve.
- At our law firm, we know how hard it is to deal with a workplace injury. By carefully considering your circumstances and listening to your concerns, our OKC workers’ comp lawyers create a tailored legal approach for your case.
- We operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t have to pay anything upfront, and we only collect attorney fees if we win benefits for you.
What You Need to Know About Workers’ Compensation in Oklahoma
Most employers in Oklahoma City are legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This crucial insurance policy provides medical coverage and income-replacement benefits to employees who sustain injuries or illnesses while performing job-related duties.
The workers’ comp program was created to make it easier for workers who suffer on-the-job injuries to access medical care and financial support. It also helps employers by limiting their legal exposure. By accepting workers’ compensation insurance benefits, you typically forfeit your right to pursue legal action against your employer for damages. Therefore, you should consult with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to understand your rights and ensure that you receive the full range of medical and financial benefits you are entitled to.
Benefits You May Be Entitled To
To qualify for workers’ compensation coverage, your injury or illness must have occurred during the course of your job duties or as a result of carrying them out. This includes injuries sustained on your employer’s property or while performing job-related duties on another’s property. Workers’ compensation may not cover injuries or illnesses caused by:
- Self-inflicted injuries
- Alcohol or drug use
- Injuries while committing a crime
- Injuries or ailments suffered outside of work
How much you can expect to receive in weekly benefits will depend in part on the severity of your injury or illness and how long it is expected to keep you from working. In Oklahoma, these types of injuries are categorized as follows:
- Medical only
- Short-term disability
- Permanent disability
- Accidental death
If your condition is classified as medical only or disabling, you are eligible for benefits like the following:
- Medical expenses for treating your job-related injuries
- 70% of your average weekly wages (not to exceed 100% of the state’s average wage)
- Job retraining if you can’t return to your previous occupation
In the event of a fatal work-related illness or injury, dependent family members may be eligible for certain death benefits that include costs of medical treatment received before death, funeral expenses and burial costs, and either a lump-sum award or weekly cash payments.
What if Your Claim for Workers’ Compensation is Denied?
If your employer or the employer’s workers’ compensation insurer denies your claim, you may be able to appeal. The first step is to file a written protest with the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission (OWCC) within 30 days of the denial and explain why you believe the claim was wrongly denied.
Upon receiving your protest, the OWCC will schedule a hearing to review your case. You will have the opportunity to present compelling evidence and argue your case before an administrative law judge. If the administrative law judge upholds the denial of your claim, you have the right to appeal to the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
It’s important to note that the appeals process can be difficult and time-consuming. You may want to consider hiring a workers’ comp attorney to help you navigate the legal process and improve your chances of getting a fair settlement.
What Should I Do After a Workplace Accident?
It’s crucial for injured workers to understand their rights and responsibilities when it comes to seeking benefits. Failing to follow the guidelines set forth by Oklahoma’s Workers’ Compensation program can potentially result in a loss of financial aid that you may be entitled to receive.
Here are some fundamental steps that you can take to safeguard your right to obtain benefits:
- Report Your Injury or Illness Immediately: Employees are typically required to inform their employers of their injury or illness within 30 days of the date of injury or diagnosis of an occupational disease.
- Seek Medical Treatment: Your employer has the right to choose your treating physician. However, if they fail to provide necessary treatment within five days of notice or knowledge of the injury, you can select your own doctor.
- Follow all Medical Instructions: It’s important to attend all scheduled medical appointments and follow your healthcare provider’s recommended treatment plan. Failure to do so may result in the denial of your workers’ compensation benefits.
- File the Necessary Documentation: You must complete and file the appropriate claim form with the Oklahoma workers’ compensation court in Oklahoma City. The time limit is one year after your workplace accident and injury or two years if you suffered an occupational illness.
The workers’ compensation claims process can be daunting and overwhelming, especially if you are trying to recover from a severe injury or cope with the loss of a loved one. That’s why many people turn to workers’ compensation attorneys for assistance in navigating this complex system and receiving the benefits they deserve.
Do I Need to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
While you aren’t legally required to hire legal representation for your workers’ comp claim, there are several reasons why doing so can be in your best interests:
- Your Rights Will be Protected: Although workers’ compensation laws are designed to protect injured workers, insurance companies may still try to minimize your benefits or deny your claim altogether. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help protect your rights and ensure that you receive the full benefits you are entitled to under the law.
- You Will Have Help With the Legal Process: The workers’ compensation process can be complicated, with many rules, regulations, and procedures to follow. A lawyer with extensive experience in workers’ compensation cases can guide you through the entire process, from filing a claim to appealing a denial of benefits.
- You Can Maximize Your Benefits: An OKC workers’ compensation lawyer can help you get the most out of your benefits by negotiating with insurance companies, ensuring that your medical treatment is covered, and pursuing all available avenues for financial compensation.
- You Enjoy Peace of Mind: Dealing with a work-related injury or illness can be stressful, making it easier to feel overwhelmed by the legal and financial implications. Hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer can provide you with peace of mind, knowing that you have a dedicated team fighting for your best interests.
Questions? Get Answers From an OKC Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you have been injured on the job in Oklahoma City, it is crucial to understand your rights and responsibilities. An Oklahoma City workers’ compensation lawyer at Carr & Carr can help you complete your application, pursue full benefits, and appeal any denials. We are dedicated to providing our clients with personalized legal advice and leveraging our expertise to help them obtain the maximum benefits possible. To learn more and get your workers’ comp questions answered, schedule a free consultation by calling 866-510-0580 or contacting us online.