Oklahoma Workers Compensation benefits are intended to provide health care benefits to employees who are injured on the job, without having to resort to the courts. Typically, if you suffer a personal injury as a result of your work on a job, you would sue your employer for compensation. However, if you are entitled to Workers Compensation benefits, you can be compensated for your injury or illness without having to go to court. This article will discuss some of the most recent statistics relating to Workers Compensation accident claims.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Occupational Safety and Health Act, enacted in 1970, established regulations that require the majority of private industry employers to maintain records and create reports on work-related injuries and illnesses. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is responsible for developing a framework for collecting and reporting comprehensive statistical data on work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths in the private industry.

Statistics on Occupational Injuries and Illnesses in Oklahoma

Disability, body as a whole350
Arm, including amputation above elbow275
Hand, including amputation below elbow220
Leg, including amputation above knee275
Foot, including amputation below knee220
Hearing, both ears330
Phalange of thumb33
First finger (index)39
Phalange of first finger18.5
Second finger (middle)33
Phalange of second finger16.5
Third finger (ring)22
Phalange of third finger11
Fourth finger (little)17
Phalange of fourth finger8.5
Great toe33
Phalange of great toe16.5
Other toes11
Phalange of other toe5.5

Nature of workplace injuries

Four characteristics typically used to describe the incident or accident that caused an occupational injury or illness are the nature or physical characteristics of the injury or illness, the part of the body affected, the source of the injury or illness, and the incident or exposure. Sprains, strains, and tears make up around 40 percent of the nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses that resulted in days away from work in 2016 in private industry.  Bruises and contusions accounted for nearly 12 percent. The part of the body affected in nearly 35 percent of all nonfatal in 2016 was upper extremities.  However, lower extremities accounted for almost 30 percent.

Payment for Lost Wages under the Oklahoma Worker Compensation

In cases where you are absent from work because of a work-related injury or illness, you may be entitled to receive cash benefits, often referred to as indemnity benefits. However, the waiting period for these benefits is seven calendar days and will only be awarded at the direction of your approved doctor. Payments for lost wages are meant to help you through the period of time you are disabled from your workplace injury or illness. Your coverage will begin on the eighth day of partial or total disability and you will be compensated for the first seven days only if you are disabled for more than fourteen days.

Types of Medical Benefits you can receive

Workers’ Compensation insurance will generally pay for all reasonably necessary medical care related to your on-the-job injury or illness. This includes visits to an approved health care provider, necessary surgeries, hospital care, physical therapy, prescription drugs, braces, and crutches or other medical supplies, as long as they are ordered by your approved physician.
You are not responsible for the medical bills as long as the workers’ compensation carrier has approved the health care provider from whom you receive treatment. Therefore, before being treated make sure you have that approval. Otherwise, if you see a doctor without the carrier’s approval, you may be legally responsible for the expenses you incur. As long as your treatment is approved, the doctor will either bill the insurance carrier directly or you can send the bill to your employer or the carrier.
If you have questions regarding Oklahoma Workers Compensation matters or any Workers Compensation matters in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us toll-free at (800) 364-8305.