Medical treatment—your most important benefit by far
- Employer has the right to direct your treatment; in other words, the employer or its insurance company will select your doctors.
- Medical treatment provided until you reach “maximum medical improvement”
- Employer or the worker’s compensation carrier may hire a nurse case manager (“NCM”) to schedule and attend your doctor appointments; cooperate with this person, but remember that the NCM works for the insurance company
Weekly Disability Benefits—paid at 2/3 of your average weekly wage up to a maximum of $650 per week (date of loss after 7/1/09), $694 per week (date of loss after 7/1/14), $736 per week (date of loss after 7/1/15), or $780 per week (date of loss 7/1/16)
- Average weekly wage is your average wage for the 52 weeks before the injury and includes overtime, bonuses, tips, and benefits
- 7 day waiting period (i.e., you do not get paid for the first 7 days off unless you end up being off more than 21 days)
- Terminate when you are released to light duty, and your employer can accommodate the light duty restrictions, or when you reach “maximum medical improvement”
Permanent Partial Impairment—lump sum settlement for permanent injuries when the doctor releases you for good
- Usually based on a doctor’s “impairment rating”
- You have the right to have your own doctor give you a second opinion regarding your impairment rating (You must pay for this, but a second opinion can result in a higher settlement if your doctor thinks you have a higher impairment)
Permanent and Total Disability
- Permanently and totally disabled means that you are unable to perform “any reasonable employment”
- Extremely difficult to prove—it does not mean that you are “unable to return to your old job”
- Benefit paid is 500 weeks of your of weekly disability pay up to a maximum of $347,000 (minus disability benefits already paid)
For more information, call Wagner Reese at (888) 204-8440 for a free consultation with one of our work comp attorneys in Indianapolis.