Indiana Workplace Injuries and the “Exclusive Remedy” Provision of Indiana’s Workers’ Compensation Act

Being involved in an Indiana workplace accident is a stressful experience. Not only must the injured employee worry about physical recovery after the accident, but injured employees must also take time away from work. On top of this, there are often mounting medical expenses that must be paid.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, an Indiana workplace accident victim may be able to pursue a claim for compensation. However, it is essential that an Indiana workplace accident victim understand the two types of claims that can be made after a workplace accident, as well as the differences between the two claims.

First, an employee who is injured on the job can file an Indiana workers’ compensation claim. The Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act creates a no-fault system, meaning that an employee will not be required to show that their employer was at fault to obtain benefits. However, the benefits that are available through an Indiana workers’ compensation claim are limited, and only include benefits for medical expenses and wage loss.

The second type of claim that may be filed after an Indiana workplace accident is an Indiana personal injury claim. Unlike a workers’ compensation claim, personal injury claims allow for accident victims to obtain compensation for non-economic damages, such as emotional damages. However, an Indiana personal injury case requires that the accident victim establish that the defendant was responsible for causing their injuries.

All else being equal, employees who can prove that their injuries are the result of another party’s conduct would prefer to file an Indiana personal injury lawsuit, because the potential damages they may be entitled to are greater than through a workers’ compensation claim. However, the “exclusive remedy” provision of the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act complicates matters.

Under the exclusive remedy provision, an injured employee is limited to a workers’ compensation claim when an employer caused the accident resulting in their injuries. Some states, including Indiana, have gone a step further, and also prevent an injured employee from pursuing a claim against an at-fault co-worker. Thus, when an employee is injured while at work, and that injury was caused by either their employer’s negligence or the negligence of a co-worker, the injured employee may be limited to a workers’ compensation claim. However, there are exceptions, and anyone who has been injured while at work should consult with a dedicated Indiana workplace injury lawyer to discuss their situation.

Have You Been Injured While on the Job?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured while on the job, the experienced Indiana personal injury and workers’ compensation attorneys at the law firm of Parr Richey Frandsen Patterson Kruse can help. We have extensive experience representing clients in Indiana workplace accident cases. We handle both Indiana workers’ compensation claims as well as Indiana personal injury claims, and can help our clients determine which type of claim will be most beneficial for their specific situation. To learn more about how we can help you pursue a claim for compensation based on the injuries you have sustained, call 888-532-7766 to schedule a free consultation today.