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Workers’ comp: Understanding employer rights and responsibilities in Indiana

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2024 | Workers' Compensation |

The Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act plays a vital role in helping to ensure that both employers and employees are protected in the event that a worker sustains harm related to their job.

The Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act mandates that most employers obtain workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance serves as a financial safety net for employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. With few exceptions, Indiana law requires employers to have an active workers’ compensation insurance policy. This policy should cover medical expenses, lost wages and rehabilitation costs associated with work-related injuries.

Timing, access and response-related concerns

Time is of the essence when an employee sustains a work injury. Employers are legally obligated to promptly report the incident to their workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Delays can jeopardize an employee’s ability to receive timely benefits.

Following a work injury, employers are also responsible for providing the employee with access to authorized medical treatment. This typically involves a network of healthcare providers chosen by the employer’s insurance company. However, in situations where the employer-designated care is deemed inadequate, the employee may seek a second opinion.

Perhaps one of the most crucial employer responsibilities is the prohibition against retaliation. The Act safeguards employees from being fired, demoted or otherwise discriminated against for filing a workers’ compensation claim.

Employer rights: Upholding a fair system

While the Act prioritizes worker well-being, it also recognizes certain employer rights. For starters, employers have the right to contest a worker’s compensation claim if they believe the injury did not occur on the job. The employer’s insurance company will handle the investigation and may request medical records or witness statements to support their position.

In specific situations, employers may also have the right to drug test an employee after a workplace accident. This is typically done to determine if drug use contributed to the injury, potentially impacting the validity of the claim.

The Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act establishes a framework for a fair and efficient system to address workplace injuries. Employees who have any questions regarding a workplace injury or the Workers’ Compensation Act can benefit from consulting with a reliable legal team in Indiana.