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Workers’ Compensation

Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Attorneys Fight to Maximize Benefits

Help for injured workers filing claims and appealing denials

Working people risk injury every day. While we tend to think of workers’ compensation covering inherently dangerous jobs in fields such as construction or mining, even office workers can sustain debilitating injuries from repetitive motion. For employees of all industries, workers' compensation provides a valuable safety net. Unfortunately, many workers’ comp claims are initially rejected, leaving injured workers wondering what to do next. That’s why Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons represents hundreds of Oklahomans each year in claims for lost wages, permanent impairments and medical treatment arising from on-the-job injuries. When working people are hurt or killed on the job, it is our job to protect their rights and the rights of their families.

How does workers' compensation operate in Oklahoma?

In the last year, Oklahoma’s workers’ compensation laws have undergone radical changes. In fact, there are now two separate entities in the State of Oklahoma that administer workers’ compensation claims. If an on the job injury occurred before February 1, 2014 the claim is handled by the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Court of Existing Claims. If an on the job injury occurred on or after February 1, 2014 the claim falls under the jurisdiction of the new Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission. To make matters even more complicated, each system utilizes a completely different set of laws in administering the claims that fall under its jurisdiction and the benefits available to the injured Oklahoma worker are different under each system.

Under both sets of laws, an employer is required to provide benefits to employees who suffer job-related injuries. It is a no-fault system, so you are covered from your first day of employment, even if your own carelessness causes your injury. Benefits include:

  • Medical care
  • Weekly income benefits
  • Permanent disability benefits
  • Rehabilitation
  • Survivors benefits

However, the benefits available to an injured Oklahoma worker under each system are completely different as are the time frames for filing and pursuing a claim. Therefore, if you have been injured on the job it is essential that you speak with an attorney knowledgeable in this area of the law as soon as possible to make sure that your rights are protected.

Additionally, each system covers a broad spectrum of injuries, beyond the obvious broken bones, sprains and muscle strains. Compensable injuries can include:

  • Cumulative trauma injuries
  • Disfiguring scars
  • Hearing loss
  • Heart attacks
  • Hernias
  • Lung exposure injuries
  • Strokes
  • Repetitive stress/motion injuries
  • Vision loss

However, once again, there are two sets of laws and regulations depending on when the on the job injury occurred.  The burden of proving an on-the-job injury and the evidence required to prove an on the job injury is quite different under each of the systems’ laws and regulations. Accordingly, the assistance of an attorney with years of experience in handling Oklahoma workers’ compensation claims can be essential.

Why do I need a lawyer for an Oklahoma workers’ compensation claim?

As set forth above, recent changes in Oklahoma law have given rise to two separate systems for administering Oklahoma worker’s compensation claims, each with its own separate rules for filing claims, proving a claim, and receiving benefits. Advice from an attorney familiar with both systems is paramount.

Nevertheless, workers often hesitate to hire an attorney at the time they’re injured, because the workers’ compensation system is supposed to operate somewhat automatically (as can be seen from the information above, the exact opposite is true). Moreover, there are common problems that an attorney can address effectively to help you receive your benefits, such as:

  • Looking into your employer’s neglect or refusal to file a claim
  • Examining your employer’s refusal to authorize your choice of treating physician
  • Securing your right to future treatment for your injury
  • Reviewing documents that might limit your rights to treatment
  • Filing your initial claim completely and accurately
  • Appealing a denial of your claim
  • Proving your injury is work related
  • Helping you get the maximum benefit to which you’re entitled
  • Negotiating permanent disability benefits
  • Investigating illegal retaliation by an employer for filing a claim

At Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons, we are committed to doing everything possible to speed up the processing of your claim while maximizing your benefits. We also evaluate the circumstances of your injury to determine whether grounds exist for a third-party personal injury lawsuit.

Let our Oklahoma City attorneys provide answers to your workers' compensation questions

If you’ve suffered a work-related injury, don’t wait to get knowledgeable legal advice. Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons has the knowledge, experience and resources to pursue your maximum workers’ comp benefits. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 405.528.4567 or contact us online.

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