Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Laws
UPDATED: March 30, 2011
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Oklahoma workers' compensation laws provide for benefits for workers who are injured on the job or become ill because of repeated exposure to workplace hazards.
Claims under Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Laws
Work Injuries: If you are injured in a workplace accident in Oklahoma (for instance by slipping or falling), your injury is most likely covered by Oklahoma workers' compensation insurance. Exceptions include if the injury results from the employee's intoxication, drug use, or because the injury is self-inflicted. If any of these factors are present, the employee will not be able to recover under Oklahoma workers' compensation laws. Degenerative medical conditions are also not compensable.
Occupational Illnesses: An employee who develops a disease because of his exposure to harmful conditions at his work-site may get workers' compensation benefits. Such diseases may include, but are not limited to, loss of hearing, radiation sickness, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Death: When death is the unfortunate end result of an occupational injury or illness, dependents of the deceased employee may be eligible for death benefits.
Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Benefits
The following types of workers' compensation benefits are all possibilities and should be discussed with an Oklahoma workers' compensation attorney:
Medical Treatment: Bills incurred because of necessary treatment for your work-related medical condition will be paid for by your employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier.
Reimbursement for Mileage: When a worker must travel to and from appointments to receive treatment for his injury, the wages he loses in travel time and time spent in appointments will be reimbursed by his employer's insurance company, as will the mileage costs he incurs traveling.
Death and Funeral: Dependant relatives of employees whose job-related injury or illness results in their deaths are entitled to receive death benefits, as well as funeral benefits up to $10,000. Death benefits may be paid weekly or in a lump sum, and the amount received will depend on the situation of the deceased employee's family.
Income Replacement Benefits: Oklahoma workers' compensation laws also offer income replacement to workers who have been injured and cannot earn their full wages as a result. Oklahoma income replacement benefits break down into four categories:
1) Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD): When an employee cannot work because of his injury, the employee will receive weekly payments of seventy percent of the employee's pre-injury average weekly wage for up to 156 weeks under TTD to replace the loss of income.
2) Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (TPD): If a worker's injury impairs his ability to perform his old work duties, but he is still able to do some form of work at a reduced wage, he may be paid the difference between his current reduced wage and seventy percent of his pre-injury average weekly wage under TPD.
3) Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD): PTD may be available when the employee is unable to go back to work and cannot earn income for an indefinite period of time. If this is the case, he must argue his claim for PTD benefits in front of the Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Court. If he wins, he will get seventy percent of his pre-injury average weekly wage as long as he is disabled.
4) Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD): If an employee is partially permanently disabled (meaning he is still able to perform duties for some form of work), PPD may pay the employee fifty percent of what his weekly wage was prior to the commencement of the illness or injury.
Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Statutes
For the full text of all relevant Oklahoma workers' compensation statutes, see the online version of the Oklahoma Code.
Employers Subject to Workers' Compensation: Workers' Compensation, Title 85 § 11; Covered Employees: Workers' Compensation, Title 85 § 2.1; Benefits: Workers' Compensation, Title 85 §§ 11-41; Claims Procedure: Workers' Compensation, Title 85 § 3.4.