You have certain rights if you become ill or injured on the job in Oklahoma. The state’s Workers’ Compensation laws define what workers can do and expect when they file a claim for Workers’ Compensation benefits with their employer. Here is a basic overview of your rights as an employee under Workers’ Compensation in Oklahoma.
What Do I Need to Know About Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation?
Oklahoma Title 85A: Workers’ Compensation comprehensively explains all matters pertaining to Workers’ Compensation for employers and employees. You can also access a helpful Workers’ Compensation Employee’s FAQ with specific questions or download this Guide for Injured Workers from The State of Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Here are some fundamental rights for employees under Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation.
Workers’ Compensation Covers Most Workers in Oklahoma
Most employers in Oklahoma are required by law to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance. Both full-time and part-time workers are covered, even if it happens on your first day on the job. Some volunteer workers qualify for benefits as well. Categories of workers that are not covered include independent contractors and those who are self-employed.
Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation is a “No-Fault” System
Who was at fault for your injury has no bearing on receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits. You may qualify for benefits even if you were wholly or partially at fault for your injury or illness if it was suffered at work. However, certain factors may cause your claim to be rejected, such as if you were intoxicated at the time of the incident.
Injured or Ill Workers May Qualify for Different Benefits
Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation provides several primary benefits for employees who become ill or injured at work. They include:
- Medical benefits to cover the cost of all related treatment
- Disability benefits that cover a portion of your lost wages
- Vocational rehabilitation to help you with job placement
- Death benefits for a surviving spouse and/or children of a worker who dies from a work-related injury or illness
Workers May Qualify for Temporary or Permanent Disability Benefits
If you sustain an injury or illness on the job that prevents you from being able to work, or if you can only return to work in a lesser-paying, lighter-duty role, then you may be eligible to receive temporary or permanent disability benefits. These benefits are paid weekly over a period of time to cover a percentage of your wages.
You Have a Period of Time to Report your Injury or Illness
Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation allows you up to 30 days to report your injury to your employer after an accident. However, illnesses or repetitive trauma injuries incurred at work must be reported within 90 days.
You Have the Right to Request a Change of Doctors
Your employer has the right under Workers’ Compensation to choose the medical provider from which you receive treatment. If they do not choose, you can request one yourself. You can also formally request to change your treating physician one time per claim. You also have the right to obtain a second opinion from another doctor not chosen by your employer.
You Have the Right to Appeal Adverse Decisions
If you disagree with any decision about your claim for medical and/or disability benefits, you can appeal that decision to the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission. You also have the right to representation by an Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Attorney.
Your Employer is Not Allowed to Retaliate Against You for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Any action taken against you by your employer for filing a Workers’ Compensation claim or hiring an attorney is against the law. Such acts include intimidation, delaying your claim, verbal abuse, firing you or any other adverse action. If this occurs, you can take legal action against your employer.
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Tulsa, OK
When you have questions arising from an injury you received at work in Oklahoma, contact The Armstrong Law Firm, PLC in Tulsa. Contact us today at (918) 582-2500 or complete the contact form online to request a free consultation.