When workers' compensation laws initially became effective, they was touted as an equal exchange between employers and workers. According to the law, workers who suffered workplace injuries are, in general, barred from filing lawsuits against their employers. Employers must provide employees with workers' compensation insurance coverage. Injured workers may pursue claims for benefits for medical care, related costs and lost wages to enable them to provide for their families.
However, workers' compensation laws in Oklahoma and other states have since been modified, and reporters believe that changes have benefited employers and left workers disadvantaged. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration noted that state laws and courts are making it difficult for injured workers. The changes have caused workers to face additional obstacles to receiving deserved compensation for medical expenses and lost wages.
The media report provides examples of cases, including an Oklahoma worker who suffered a back injury at the tire plant where he worked. It is reported that his wage level was significantly reduced upon his return to work, leaving him financially challenged. He and his family were subsequently evicted from their home. There is a growing concern about the fate of injured workers when adequate compensation is not provided.
Oklahoma workers who believe that they are unfairly treated by workers' compensation insurance providers after submitting claims for workplace injuries may feel disillusioned. They may find comfort in learning that there are experienced attorneys who focus on workers' compensation claims and aim to obtain the best possible compensation for their clients. Workers should not have to struggle for years to provide for their families while waiting for compensation, and the right assistance may be invaluable.
Source: michiganradio.org, "Investigation finds workers losing ground with changes to workers' comp insurance", Mark Brush, March 5, 2015