|By Ziva Barnstetter and Curtis Killman, Tulsa World, Okla.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
That increase cost employers and their insurers
But figuring out the reason behind the costly increase is a challenge.
Depending on whom you ask, the increase in total awards is variously the fault of state lawmakers, judges, employers, attorneys, insurance companies or escalating medical costs.
Injured workers often also get the blame for an allegedly broken system. Some critics believe that most workers who file claims are feigning injury to collect fat paychecks and sit at home.
The state's Workers' Compensation Court system handles only a fraction of all claims, about two in 10, although they are often the most serious and expensive. The rest are handled privately, between workers and their employers.
Others who are part of the system, including a judge, questioned Bingman's conclusion that the 2011 reforms aren't working.
"Nothing works in a year completely," said Vice Presiding Judge
(c)2012 Tulsa World (Tulsa, Okla.)
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