Workers' Compensation Lawyers in McAlester
Providing Relentless Representation in Oklahoma for 60+ Years
Employees who are injured in the workplace have the right to Oklahoma workers’ compensation benefits without the need to prove the employer was at fault. Workers who suffer an occupational illness can also pursue damages. For a claim to be successful, the worker has to be an employee of an eligible Oklahoma business, the accident or illness has to be work-related, and the injuries have to relate to the accident.
At Stipe Law Firm, our McAlester workers’ compensation attorneys understand all aspects of work injury law. We understand the eligibility rules, the full range of benefits that workers are allowed, and what employers can and cannot do. We work to make sure employees do not have to return to work until they are physically and emotionally able to do the job. In addition to wage-loss benefits, medical benefits, and compensation for permanent or total disabilities, we also handle death claims and requests for vocational rehabilitation. Our lawyers have a strong track record of trying cases and negotiating long-term settlements.
Benefits & Disability Classifications
The classification of the injury normally determines how long the worker gets benefits. The possible classifications are:
- Partial permanent impairment. Partial permanent impairment (PPI) is a disability that limits the type of work a claimant can do but does not prevent him or her from doing any type of work. PPD claimants get paid depending on the nature of their injury and on the Oklahoma schedule of injuries. People who suffer the loss of their arms, legs, hands, or feet are paid according to the state schedule. Workers who have a PPD that is not listed on the schedule can still get partial benefits. Normally, a physician will analyze your injuries and come up with a percentage of impairment based on American Medical Association guidelines.
- Temporary total disability. Temporary total disability (TTD) means the worker cannot do his or her prior job until the injuries heal. Many injuries, such as fractures and bruises, do heal with proper medical treatment. Workers with TTD get their 70% weekly payment until they can return to work, up to a state limit of 156 weeks. Workers with a serious injury may be entitled to an additional 52 weeks.
- Permanent total disability. Permanent total disability (PTD) prevents the worker from ever working again. The 70% payment is paid until the worker reaches Social Security retirement age, or up to 15 years, whichever is longer.
Filing a third-party claim can be a complicated process. Workers who are employees generally file two claims. The first is the workers’ compensation claim. The second claim is the lawsuit against a responsible third party. Claimants do not have to prove fault in a workers’ compensation case. In direct third-party cases, the claimant normally has to show fault or that a defective product caused their injuries.
Independent contractors are not employed by a company. They are normally hired to do work for a short period of time. If an independent contractor is hurt, this worker can bring a claim against anyone or any company responsible.