Reporting a Workplace Injury
Being involved in a workplace accident can result in devastating physical harm, but can also lead to costly medical bills and a severe financial strain on the worker if his injury prevents him from returning to work. Fortunately, Oklahoma’s workers’ compensation system is designed to cover the medical expenses associated with a worker’s injury, as well as provide income benefits for workers who are temporarily or indefinitely unable to work. It’s important to remember that it is the employee’s responsibility to report an injury to his supervisor within 30 days of the accident, although repetitive trauma injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome can be reported within 90 days, or else the injured worker risks losing the workers’ compensation benefits. Once a workplace injury has been reported, it is up to the employer to select a physician to provide medical treatment for the injured worker.
Temporary and Permanent Disability Benefits
If an employee’s on-the-job injury renders him unable to work for more than seven calendar days, he becomes eligible for temporary total disability benefits in addition to medical benefits. These disability benefits are paid weekly and are equivalent to 70% of the worker’s average weekly wage, up to a maximum amount equal to Oklahoma’s average weekly wage. Temporary total disability benefits are paid while the injured employee is unable to work, but are typically limited to three years. If a workplace injury results in permanent disability, the injured worker then becomes eligible for permanent total disability benefits through workers’ compensation, which are paid for 15 years or until the worker reaches the age of maximum Social Security retirement benefits, whichever comes first. In cases where a job site injury results in the death of an employee, workers’ compensation also pays death benefits to the worker’s surviving family members.
Contact Our Attorneys to Discuss Your Legal Options
While the workers’ compensation system is designed to limit disagreements between injured workers and their employers, there are circumstances in which disputes can occur. Such disagreements are handled by Oklahoma’s Workers’ Compensation Court, and many claimants choose to hire attorneys to represent them before the court. If you have suffered injuries on the job in Oklahoma City, or elsewhere in Oklahoma, don’t hesitate to protect your legal rights. Consult our reputable lawyers at Oklahoma Legal Center today, as our law firm has extensive experience helping injured workers throughout the state pursue the workers’ compensation benefits they are entitled to. With our attorneys on your side, you can seek a fair award for your on-the-job injury and protect yourself and your family from a potentially devastating financial hardship brought on by costly medical bills.