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Articles Tagged with Workplace Accident

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Workers in Tulsa, Oklahoma, know that it is the responsibility of an employer to keep the workplace free from hazards that can result in worker injuries or deaths. Failure on the part of an employer to follow these rules and regulations regarding workers’ safety may result in a tragic workplace accident that could have been prevented.

According to Oklahoma provisions, dependents of a worker who died as the result of a job-related accident are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. A surviving spouse and each child will receive a lump sum benefit payment and they may also be able to receive weekly benefits and funeral costs.

Similarly, a worker who is injured in a work-related accident is also entitled to receive applicable benefits, depending on the type, nature and seriousness of the injury. In the event that the worker suffers permanent disability from a work-related injury or on-the-job injury, the benefits will depend on the extent of the disability.

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Workplace accidents can render an employee disabled for life. Such accidents may lead to severe complications and physical injuries that may require years of physical therapy, medication and rehabilitation. In some cases workplace injuries may even result in fatalities. The attorneys at Hawkins Law Firm have championed the rights of these victims for decades.

According to Oklahoma law, most companies and employers must have insurance in lieu of workers’ compensation. However, many of the injured victims of workplace injuries find it difficult to qualify for workers’ compensation. Having professional legal help in order to establish a workers’ compensation case may be beneficial to most injured workers and their dependents.

Workplace injuries often put an injured worker out of work. In cases where the worker was the sole breadwinner of the family, their financial pressures may become very serious. Paying for the exorbitant medical bills in addition to an already adverse financial situation is very difficult for most families. The attorneys at Hawkins Law Firm have access to medical and legal experts that may be able to formulate a solid case in a court of law.

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Most Oklahomans enjoy the security of their employer having workers’ compensation insurance. Many workers are not aware of the extent of the benefits available, however. Workers’ compensation can cover medical expenses, lost wages resulting from temporary or permanent disability, and death benefits.

What benefits can an Oklahoma worker receive after suffering a permanent disability related to work responsibilities? Workers’ compensation benefits are determined by the extent of the disability. A worker who sustains permanent disability, but is not considered totally disabled because he or she can still do some type of work, can receive Permanent Partial Impairment benefits. PPI benefits are 70 percent of a worker’s weekly base salary. For injuries incurred between August 27, 2010 until August 26, 2015, benefits will not exceed $323 per week.

On the other hand, if a worker is left totally disabled by a workplace accident, the worker can be eligible for Permanent Total Disability. A worker will be entitled to benefits for 15 years or until the maximum age for Social Security retirement benefits, whichever period is longer. A worker can receive no less than 70 percent of their average weekly wage. PTD benefits for Oklahoma workers can reach the maximum weekly wage allowed by state law.

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Missing a day of work, especially if it is unpaid, because of injury can adversely affect a worker’s financial situation. Imagine how much a worker will have to endure financially if more than a day or week’s pay is lost. Additionally, there are medical expenses, bills, household costs and other miscellaneous expenses to think about. Fortunately, most companies in Oklahoma provide workers’ compensation benefits for injured workers. However, how does a worker claim benefits in the first place?

The first step is to notify the employer of the injury in writing. Although employers should definitely be aware of the fact that one of their employees has been injured on the job, it is more than a formality. If a worker sustains an occupational disease, was exposed to toxins or experienced a workplace accident that resulted in injury, the worker should inform the employer in writing of the injury within 30 days. Otherwise, the injured worker may lose the right to claim benefits.

How will the employer participate in the process? After receiving the notice of injury, the employer will have 10 days to file an injury report with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. When the Commission receives the report, the Commission will inform the worker with a written notice to help the worker understand the claims process better. The employer, or its insurance carrier, will then inform the worker if it will accept the benefits claim or deny it.

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