Being injured while on the job is not only devastating to the worker who has been injured but raises concerns for the employer. The employee who is injured must be offered the opportunity to see the employer’s assigned physician to determine the currently health of the employee. The employer must determine why the injury occurred and could the injury have been avoided. When an employee must be off work for a work related injury they may be able to receive work injury compensation until they are able to return to work.
Most office employees will not have many serious injuries although there are minor injuries as well as long term injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and work-related stress that do occur. More severe work related injuries occur in jobs that require physical activities as well as working with highly volatile compounds. Very severe injuries can occur in a variety of occupations such as those that work with any type of chemicals, large machinery, and even law enforcement.
When a work related injury has occurred and the employee has been seen by a physician, usually one that has been chosen by the employer, the physician will determine how extensive the injury is and if and when the employee can return to work. If the physician determines that the employee must not return to work for a certain period of time, short-term or long-term, the employee can submit a work injury compensation claim.
Once the claim has been submitted, then the claim will be reviewed based upon the employer, the employee, the events that took place as to why the injury occurred, the injury itself, the results of the workers’ compensation physicians’ examination and any other reports if needed along with how long the employee has been employed and the employee’s weekly wages. If there are any questions that need to be answered either the employer and/or the employee will be contacted.
If the review determines that a claim is valid then the financial compensation process will be initiated and payment(s) will begin to be sent to the injured worker. For the State of Oklahoma, the work injury compensation rates for Permanent Partial Disability or PPD is determined at 70% of the injured worker’s average weekly wage and up to a maximum of $323. This rate is effective for injuries that occur from August 27, 2010 through August 26, 2015 per the OWCC or Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Court.
Once the claim has expired and the employee believes that they are still unable to return to work, they can appeal for an extension of the work injury compensation benefits but this does not indicate that the benefits would be extended. Depending upon the individual employees’ situation, the injured worker may need to consult legal counsel as to their current status and what the injured worker can do to obtain additional work injury compensation.
If a workers’ compensation claim has been denied, the injured worker can appeal this denial as well. If this is the case, it is wise to seek legal counsel as an attorney who is educated in the Oklahoma State workers’ compensation laws can advise what options might be available. An Oklahoma law office that specializes in work injury compensation claims is the Whitten Law Firm.