Workers' Compensation

Barnes & Thornburg attorneys are familiar with complex workers’ compensation claims and have experience guiding employers through a host of issues. We can help employers:

Limit the Risk

Being proactive is the most effective way an employer can limit the risk of an injury occurring in the workplace and reduce the chance that they’ll be faced with a workers’ compensation claim. Our attorneys work with employers on:

  • Workplace audits to identify ways to proactively decrease work-related injuries and address safety issues
  • Providing timely advice about specific reported injuries or occupational illnesses and developing the appropriate case strategy
  • Surveillance issues

After a Claim Has Been Filed

If a claim is filed, employers need the guidance of a law firm that will work with them to navigate the murky waters of workers’ compensation law. Our Labor & Employment attorneys assist employers by:

  • Conducting an aggressive investigation prior to reaching the initial compensability decision in questionable claims
  • Retaining appropriate experts
  • Identifying applicable affirmative defenses
  • Counseling clients on employment-related decisions relating to employees with workplace injuries, such as:
         - disciplinary actions
         - terminations
         - reductions-in-force
         - leave issues
         - modified work, drug and/or alcohol testing issues
         - fraud issues
  • Advising employers on impairment ratings, medical treatment and disability payments
  • Providing guidance on jurisdictional issues and lapse-of-coverage situations
  • Identifying and protecting clients’ third-party lien interests
  • Preparing settlement documents in appropriate cases, related to both the worker’s compensation matter and the employment relationship
  • Identifying Medicare set asides early and providing guidance on how they affect settlement
  • Working with third-party administrators to ensure compliance with applicable statutory regulations and to effect the most efficient and effective means to claim closure

Litigation

When a dispute does result in litigation, the claim can proceed before an administrative law judge or wind up in state court. We guide our clients through each step of the litigation process, developing defensive strategies in the most cost-effective and expeditious way. And because workers’ compensation law is constantly evolving, we provide clients with frequent updates and host periodic seminars on its ever-changing landscape.