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A workplace injury must be covered by workers' compensation

For the past three years, Oklahoma businesses have had the option to replace workers' compensation insurance with their own insurance plans. This means they could set their own terms for what will be covered and the stipulations workers must follow to receive benefits. However, recently the state Supreme Court decided that such plans are unconstitutional because a person with a workplace injury whose employer has its own plan may be treated differently from someone who has access to workers' compensation.

When Oklahoma businesses first won the right to set their own compensation plans, other states raced to do the same. However, one by one, courts in those states denied the proposals. Oklahoma was one of the last states to allow companies to form their own plan for injured workers. Some of the plans had severe restrictions on the kinds of injuries they would cover, and others allowed workers to see only a few chosen doctors.

Those who advocate the opt-out plans say they provide better benefits at lower costs for employers. Other say the plans are destroying workers' compensation which was created to protect workers while shielding companies from lawsuits. Both sides have vowed to keep fighting for their causes.

A person with a workplace injury wants to know that someone is looking out for his or her best interests. To make sure of that, contacting an attorney is always a wise decision. A law firm with experience in workers' compensation will work to defend one's rights to the benefits he or she deserves.

Source: npr.org, "Oklahoma Supreme Court Says Companies Can't Set Own Rules For Injured Workers", Michael Grabell, Sept. 13, 2016

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