• Employer Options for Worker’s Compensation

    Under Indiana law, an employer is not responsible for Worker’s Compensation benefits until it has notice of the employee’s injury. Once having received such notice, the employer has two options:

    1) The employer can accept liability for the injury as of the time that notice was received and provide the statutory benefits from that time forward. The employer is not responsible for the payment of the statutory benefits which might otherwise have been due prior to the notice having been received. (If the bulk of the expenses associated with the injury were incurred or accrued prior to the employer having received notice of the injury, it may make sense to accept even a questionable claim and thereby avoid the pre-notice expense.

    2) The employer can deny liability for the injury. (If the Board ultimately concludes that the injury is compensable, then the employer will be responsible for all of the statutory benefits; even those which were incurred or accrued prior to the time the notice of injury was received.)

    These legal concepts are an embodiment of an ancient equitable principle: “you cannot have your cake and eat it too”. That saying applies equally to both the employee and the employer here since the employee cannot incur expense without timely notice to the employer and expect the employer to be responsible for the prior expenses and the employer cannot contend that a failure of timely notice excuses even those expenses which arise after the notice is received.

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