Laird Hammons Laird Personal Injury Lawyers is a preeminent law firm situated in the heart of Oklahoma City, OK, dedicated to serving those affected by workplace injuries. Since our inception in December 2009, we have stood as a pillar of strength and advocacy for injured workers. We understand the profound impact that a work-related injury can have on a worker’s livelihood.
At Laird Hammons Laird Personal Injury Lawyers, we are more than just Oklahoma City workers’ compensation attorneys. We are compassionate allies in your fight for justice. Our team, boasting nearly a century of combined experience in personal injury law, has been steadfast in its commitment to safeguarding the rights of workers. Our profound understanding of the complexities of workers’ compensation law is matched only by our relentless determination to secure the compensation our clients rightfully deserve.
We believe that it is our highest calling to stand up for the rights of injured workers in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who are often victimized by a cold, competitive, complex, and uncaring legal system. When you are ready to begin pursuing justice, contact our law offices today at (405) 497-0480 for a free consultation.
How Laird Hammons Laird Can Help You Win Your Oklahoma City Workers’ Compensation Claim
We take immense pride in our OKC, Oklahoma roots. Our founding attorneys, true sons of Oklahoma, have woven their deep understanding of the state and its people into the very fabric of our practice. This intimate connection has enabled us to navigate the intricacies of Oklahoma workers’ compensation law with unmatched expertise and effectiveness.
Our legacy is built on a foundation of aggressive representation and an impressive track record of success. To date, we have secured over $100 million in settlements and awards for our clients, along with numerous workers’ compensation awards.
We can help you with your workers’ compensation claim in the following ways:
- Expert claim evaluation
- Medical record analysis
- Workplace investigation
- Calculating accurate compensation
- Navigating complex laws
- Negotiating with insurance companies
- Representation at hearings
- Appeals and litigation
- Dispute resolution
- Ensuring compliance with deadlines
- Advising on return-to-work issues
- Securing future benefits
- Vocational rehabilitation assistance
- Personalized legal strategy
- Emotional and legal support
At Laird Hammons Laird Personal Injury Lawyers, your fight is our fight. We stand ready to champion your cause, ensuring that your voice is heard and your rights are protected every step of the way.
Who Administers Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation?
Although workers’ compensation insurance is available nationwide, each state administers its own system. The Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission administers in-state workers’ compensation insurance. Each state also enacts its own workers’ compensation laws. For this reason, each state’s workers’ compensation system may differ.
Who Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Workers’ compensation insurance covers most Oklahoma employees, including both part-time and full-time workers. Workers’ compensation even covers some volunteers. Talk to your lawyer if you believe you might qualify as an independent contractor rather than an employee because you may need to pursue damages outside of workers’ compensation.
What Benefits Does Workers’ Compensation Offer?
Workers’ compensation will pay for:
- All of your reasonable and necessary medical expenses;
- A portion of your lost wages; and
- Vocational rehabilitation benefits (if necessary) to help you start a new occupation.
If you die from a work-related injury or illness, workers’ compensation also offers significant death benefits for your survivors.
Is Workers’ Compensation Fault-Based?
No, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. You can claim benefits without proving that your employer was at fault. You can also claim benefits even if you were the one at fault.
One major exception is that you cannot claim benefits if the accident was caused by your own intoxication. Another exception applies if your employer intentionally injured you. In that case, the workers’ compensation prohibition against suing your employer is suspended, and you can sue your employer for personal injury.
What Are the Disadvantages of Workers’ Compensation?
In exchange for the workers’ compensation no-fault system, several significant limitations apply, as follows:
- You only receive a portion of your lost earnings–70% of your weekly wages, up to an annually adjusted maximum that is currently approaching $1,000 per week.
- You cannot receive non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. Noneconomic damages often add up to far more than 50% of many personal injury claims.
- You cannot receive punitive damages.
- You cannot initially choose your own doctor.
- You cannot sue your employer. Instead, you file an administrative claim.
None of these limitations apply if you can prove that a third party was responsible for your injuries.
How Long Do I Have to Report My Injury to My Employer?
Deadlines for a workers’ compensation claim are far stricter than they are for an ordinary personal injury claim. Generally, you have 30 days to report your injury to your employer. If you miss the applicable deadline, you could forfeit your claim.
Can My Employer Retaliate Against Me for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
They can try, but it wouldn’t be a good idea (from your employer’s point of view). Suppose your employer fires you or takes any other hostile action against you in retaliation for your filing of a workers’ compensation claim. In that case, you can take legal action against your employer. You can even file a lawsuit seeking monetary damages, including noneconomic damages. Contact us for further details.
Can I Appeal a Decision if I Disagree With It?
Yes, you can. You can fill out forms and meet tight deadlines to do so with the help of an attorney. Doing so can help you appeal an adverse workers’ compensation decision.
Can I Sue a Third Party in Court?
Yes, you can if you can find a third party (anyone but your employer) who was at fault.
Consider the following third parties:
- Architects and engineers: if a design defect was the cause of your injury.
- Chemical manufacturers: if you were injured by exposure to toxic chemicals.
- Equipment manufacturers: if your injury rose from faulty equipment maintenance.
- General contractors and subcontractors: if you are on a construction site.
- Government entities: if the negligence of a government employee caused your injuries. Special rules apply to lawsuits against the government.
- Maintenance companies: if faulty equipment maintenance caused your injuries.
- Real property owners: if your injuries arise from a dangerous condition on their property (a hazardous construction site, for example).
- Vehicle drivers: if a vehicle accident caused your injuries and the driver was not an employee of your employer.
In a personal injury claim, you can sue an employer for the misconduct of their employee. In a workplace accident claim, however, you cannot file a lawsuit against your employer for the misconduct of their employee. Instead, you must file a workers’ compensation claim. Of course, if a coworker caused your injury, you might be able to sue them personally.
How Negligence Claims Work
Suing a third party for your injuries opens up a whole new world of possibilities for claiming damages. You might end up with several times as much compensation from suing a third party than you would have won pursuing a workers’ compensation claim. However, one benefit you won’t enjoy is the luxury of the workers’ compensation no-fault system.
Assuming that the third party’s fault represented ordinary negligence (carelessness) rather than gross negligence, recklessness of intentional misconduct, you will have to prove that the third party was at fault by “a preponderance of the evidence.” This means that you must prove each legal element of ordinary negligence on a “more likely than not” basis.
The legal elements of ordinary negligence are:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care. The owner of a construction site, for example, must repair any unreasonably dangerous conditions on their property.
- The defendant breached their duty of care. The property owner failed to repair a dangerous condition.
- You suffered damages. You broke your leg, for example.
- The defendant’s breach of duty caused damages. You broke your leg after falling into an open pit and have medical bills, for example.
- A reasonable person would have foreseen your injuries. Given the existence of an open pit on the property, for example, a broken leg is an easily predictable consequence.
If the injury victim dies from their injuries, the estate executor can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Our Oklahoma City Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Dramatically Impact the Value of Your Claim
Claims don’t turn themselves into compensation. Unfortunately, the workers’ compensation system in Oklahoma City, OK, is highly bureaucratic, complex, and challenging. Fear not because Laird Hammons Laird Personal Injury Lawyers has your back, and we’ve done this many times before
Our personal injury law firm in Oklahoma City, OK also provides:
- Oklahoma City Bicycle Accident Lawyer
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- Oklahoma City Workers’ Compensation
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- Wrongful Death Lawyer in Oklahoma City, OK
Visit our Personal Injury Law Office in Oklahoma City
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