Legal Changes That Will Affect Injured Oklahoma Workers in 2020

by Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys

gavel next to a pile of coins

Our Oklahoma Workers’ Comp Lawyers Want to Keep You Informed

In the 2019 session, the state Senate gave final approval to a bill that overhauled the workers’ compensation system throughout the state of Oklahoma and increased the benefits paid to injured workers.

As we’re in the early months of the new year, our Oklahoma workers’ comp lawyers at Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys want you to be informed of the legal changes that happened in 2019 that will affect injured workers in 2020.

Continue reading to learn about the changes to the Oklahoma workers’ comp system and how they can affect you if you’ve been injured on the job.

Changes to Temporary Total Disability Rates

woman reading through documents

One major update in the law affects injured workers who are currently receiving or are approved to receive Temporary Total Disability (TTD). These individuals will now be able to receive payments for 156 weeks as opposed to 104.

Additionally, the maximum amount per week for TTD rose to match the state’s average wage of $853.

These changes could make a huge difference for an individual who was hurt on the job and is unable to continue working and earning wages. There was also a small raise in Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) rates, with another increase expected in 2021.

Removal of Liability Loophole

mans hand blocking dominos from falling

The Oklahoma Supreme Court also put a stop to one of the liability loopholes oil and gas companies used for years to escape responsibility for workers who got hurt on the job.

The ruling stated that it is unconstitutional for companies to be shielded from liability if their negligence caused a worker employed by another company to get hurt.

In other words, if an employee of an oil company is injured due to the negligence of another drilling company, that employee can now file a lawsuit against the drilling company. Oil and gas is a major industry in Oklahoma that causes many injuries every year. This change will hopefully help victims of workplace accidents seek the justice they deserve.

Heart Attacks Caused by the Workplace

In 2013, workers’ compensation reforms stated that employers could not be held liable for employees who suffered heart attacks or strokes that they claimed were caused by work-related stress.

Now, legislative changes will allow workers in 2020 the opportunity to demonstrate that their cardiovascular problems were a result of their work environment. While this can be incredibly difficult to prove, workers now at least have the chance to present their case.

Need Help With Your Workers’ Comp Claim? Call the Wolf Pack!

Navigating the workers’ compensation system can be incredibly difficult, especially when you’re trying to recover from serious injuries.

If you’ve been hurt on the job and are wondering what to do next, call the Wolf Pack at Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys. Our Oklahoma workers’ comp lawyers know the laws that can affect your claim and have years of experience fighting against employers and their insurance companies to demand justice on behalf of our clients.

We’re dedicated to keeping the hardworking people of Oklahoma informed about their rights and ensuring those rights are protected in the event a worker is hurt on the job. You can schedule a free consultation with our team by calling 405-610-0704 or by filling out our online case evaluation form. From Oklahoma City to Tulsa, Ardmore, and surrounding Oklahoma communities, we’re here for you!