If you have suffered a job-related illness or injury, you should be able to obtain Oklahoma workers’ compensation benefits without having to wage a protracted fight to get them.
Too many injured workers go without the full benefit promised them by Oklahoma workers’ compensation law. Other injured and ill workers are bullied by their employers or workers’ comp insurers into returning to work too soon. Some are worried about being fired simply for filing a claim and seeking what they are owed.
About Our Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Attorney
At the Cain Law Office, our dedicated Oklahoma City workers’ compensation attorney will:
- Fight for the benefits you deserve, even if your employer denies them
- Help you appeal an adverse decision
- Protect you from retaliation by your employer
- Assist in applications for death benefits
With more than 20 years of legal experience, our skilled legal team will work quickly to get your claim started. Our workers comp attorneys can also help if you need particular medical care, therapy, or vocational counseling but are having a hard time finding a provider.
Schedule a free consultation today to discuss your workers’ compensation claim and learn how we can help. We do not charge anything to get started on your case, and we don’t get paid until we recover payment for you.
What Workers’ Compensation Benefits are Available in Oklahoma?
Under Oklahoma law, if you have been hurt or become ill on the job, you are entitled to:
- Medical care for your injury or illness
- Missed wages until you are medically cleared to return to work
- Compensation for permanent disabilities
- Vocational rehabilitation (retraining) and/or job placement assistance if you are unable to return to your prior occupation
- Death benefits for the surviving spouse and/or dependent child or children of a worker who died from a work-related injury or illness
Workers’ compensation is a “no fault” insurance system. You qualify for benefits regardless of whether you are at fault for an accident that injured you or occupational exposure that made you ill, as long as it happened while and because you were engaged in performing your job duties. Our workers’ comp lawyers can help you.
Types of Disability
Depending on how your injury will affect you in the future, our Oklahoma City workers’ compensation attorney may help you pursue:
- Payment for Temporary Total Disability (TTD), an injury that prevents you from working but that you are expected to recover from, may be as much as 70 percent of weekly wages for up to 156 weeks (three years).
- Payment for Temporary Partial Disability (TPD), which applies if your injury forces you to perform alternative work that pays less than your regular job, should make up the difference between alternative work pay and 70 percent of your regular weekly wages.
- Payment for Permanent Partial Disability (PPD), for an injury that leaves you unable to perform your prior job duties but still capable of working in some capacity, also makes up the difference for 70 percent of wages, with limits on the amount and period of payment.
- Payment for Permanent Total Disability (PTD), for an injury that leaves you incapable of any form of gainful employment, also pays 70 percent of your former wages, again with defined limits on the amount and period of payment.
Most people employed in Oklahoma are covered by workers’ compensation insurance administered by the OK Workers’ Compensation Commission. Certain volunteer workers are covered, as well. Agricultural workers, federal employees, brokers paid by commission, and some others are not covered.
Call the Cain Law Office today to discuss what type of benefits you may be entitled to. Our Oklahoma City workers’ compensation lawyers can answer all your questions and help you get started on your claim.
Meet Your Responsibilities for Obtaining Workers’ Compensation Payments
Most workers who have been injured or become ill on the job enter the workers’ compensation system with little knowledge of what to expect, or what’s expected of them. It is easy to get bad advice from co-workers, family and friends, and employers, even your employer’s HR office.
There are certain requirements and deadlines an injured or ill worker must meet to obtain workers’ compensation benefits and maintain eligibility for payments. Making a mistake can be financially devastating for an injured worker or a family relying on workers’ compensation payments.
Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Requirements
Most importantly, you must follow the medical treatment plan and any restrictions prescribed by the physician treating you. Missing medical appointments or otherwise not following doctor’s orders can result in denial of benefits.
Other responsibilities you must meet to obtain and maintain Oklahoma workers’ compensation benefits include:
- Reporting your injury / illness. Notify your employer in writing of an injury or illness diagnosis within 30 days of it occurring.
- Filing for benefits your employer denies. Your employer should provide you access to “reasonable and necessary” medical care within five days of receiving notice of your injury or illness. However, if your employer fails to assist you or denies your claim, you can and should file for benefits from the Workers’ Compensation Commission. Initiate a claim by filing a CC-Form 3 (first notice of claim), CC-Form 3A (first notice of death), CC-Form 3B (first notice of occupational disease), or CC-Form 3C (claim of retaliation or discrimination connected to a claim), depending on your circumstances.
If your employer disputes your claim, you need to file a CC-Form 9 Request for Hearing or CC-Form 13 Request for Prehearing Conference, which requests a hearing of your benefits claim before an Administrative Law Judge.
- Prove your injury or illness. Yes, even though you have been injured or are ill, and workers’ comp is a no-fault insurance program, the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that you deserve benefits! You must “prove by a preponderance of the evidence” that you are injured or ill to an extent that keeps you from working and that your injury or illness occurred in the course of employment and arose out of the employment.
- Request a different doctor. If your employer files your claim, your employer has the right to choose the “treating physician” who cares for you and is on record with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. However, you may see a doctor of your choice in addition to the treating physician, and you may ask once to change your treating physician. This requires filing a CC-Form A with the commission, which must follow the CC-Form 3 first notice. Then the matter may go to a hearing at which your employer or their workers’ compensation insurance carrier can name three physicians for you to choose from.
- Appeal an adverse decision. You can appeal negative rulings by the Workers’ Compensation Commission, such as a denial of benefits or a premature release to return to work. But you must do so within 10 days of the file-stamped date of the order being appealed. If an appeal does not go your way, you may appeal that order to the Oklahoma Supreme Court, which requires an attorney’s assistance, within 20 days of the file-stamped date of that order. Contact our workers comp attorneys for more information.
These are just a few of the most common issues our Oklahoma City workers’ compensation lawyers see when we assist injured workers.
The Cain Law Office can help you avoid making mistakes that could damage your eligibility for workers’ compensation, cause you to accept less of a benefit than you deserve, or lead to the cessation of payments to you. Being assisted by our workers’ comp lawyers can greatly increase your chances of a successful claim and make the entire process less of a burden on you as you deal with your injury, illness, or loss of a loved one.