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Workers’ Compensation Lawyers To Turn To For Help With Workers’ Comp Issues

Workers’ compensation laws are designed to eliminate the need for litigation and provide monetary awards to injured workers. These laws also provide to the dependents of those workers who are killed because of work-related accidents or illnesses. State workers’ compensation laws apply this structure to almost all kinds of employment.

Meanwhile, federal statutes limit this coverage to federal employees or workers whose jobs involve lots of interstate transactions or commerce. It’s difficult to know when a workers’ compensation issue is worth investigating. That’s why it’s important to talk to experienced workers’ compensation attorneys. Give us a call at 270-908-4914 or send us an email to talk about your issue.

What Injuries Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?

If you were hurt on the job, chances are you should be covered by workers’ compensation. This benefit covers all kinds of injuries, including:

  • Burns
  • Electrocution
  • Crush injuries
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Shoulder, knee and other joint injuries
  • Loss of arms, legs and other extremities
  • Muscle, ligament and tendon injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Toxic exposure injuries

Don’t wait and see if the injury gets better. As soon as you’re injured, it’s important to notify your employer, as waiting could damage your ability to file a claim.

Questions We Are Frequently Asked About Workers’ Compensation

When you’ve been injured on the job, it seems like everything is more complicated than you expect. We answer a lot of questions for our client, and we have listed some here to give you a head start:

How does workers’ compensation work in Kentucky?

In Kentucky, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system designed to provide financial and medical benefits to employees who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses. Eligible workers can file claims for medical expenses, rehabilitation and lost wages.

How long do I have to file an appeal to the Workers’ Compensation Board in Kentucky?

Who qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits?

While there are a few exceptions, the vast majority of workers in Kentucky are qualified to receive workers’ compensation benefits if they sustain an on-the-job injury. This includes part-time employees, brand-new employees who are injured on their first day, seasonal workers, temporary workers and minors. This is true even if the employer was not negligent in any way.

Can workers’ comp stop paying without notice in Kentucky?

No. Your employer’s insurers should provide you with notification if they intend to stop your benefits. The notice you receive should explain why your benefits are being stopped, the date that your benefits will stop and what appeal rights you have. It’s important to act quickly and seek legal guidance immediately if this happens.

What is permanent total disability in Kentucky?

This applies if you have reached your maximum medical improvement (MMI), the point beyond which no further recovery is deemed possible, and you still have a permanent impairment that makes it impossible for you to return to work. In this siutation, you may qualify for up to 520 weeks of wage replacement benefits, depending on the disability rating assigned by your workers’ compensation physician.

How much does Kentucky workers’ compensation pay?

There is a seven-day waiting period for wage replacement benefits to begin, after which you will receive about two-thirds of your average weekly wages up to the state maximum per week. If you are off work for more than two weeks, you will be paid for the initial seven days.

There are a lot of complex issues that can affect the amount of workers’ compensation that you receive, which is why it’s so essential that you have legal counsel.

What is the workers’ compensation claims process from start to finish?

When you have been injured on the job, the first thing you must do is report the injury to a supervisor. The supervisor is then required to report this injury to the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. Once the insurance company receives word of the injury, they will establish a claim for the injured worker.

Once the insurance company investigates the incident, it should pay for medical services for the worker, which are reasonable and necessary. Additionally, they should pay the worker if he has been taken off of work by his treating physician.

After a worker has healed from his injuries, he may be entitled to benefits if he has suffered from a permanent injury. This could include weekly monetary benefits and/or future medical expenses.

If the workers’ compensation insurance company is unwilling to provide these benefits, the injured worker’s remedy is to file a workers’ compensation claim with the Department of Workers’ Claims, an administrative agency here in Kentucky.

Once a claim is filed, a workers’ compensation judge will be appointed to preside over the injured worker’s claim. After a final hearing is held, this judge will ultimately make two decisions: (A) Was the worker injured on the job? And if so, (B) What is the appropriate compensation?

How can I expect my workers’ compensation claim to go?

The most important key to success for any workers’ compensation claim is dependent on the worker reporting the injury to their supervisor as soon as possible. Many times, a worker will not tell their supervisor of an injury because they believe the symptoms will go away or they fear losing their job. The longer the injured worker waits to report the incident, the more difficult it is to connect the injury with the work incident.

If an injured worker reports his or her injury as soon as possible to their supervisor, it will greatly improve their chances of a successful claim.

Is there such a thing as pain and suffering in a workers’ compensation claim?

There is no pain and suffering compensation in a workers’ compensation claim. Normally, when you initiate litigation against a person or a company, or in other words, “sue them,” you have to prove they did something wrong or that the incident that injured you was their fault.

When you are injured on the job, however, you don’t have to prove it was anyone’s fault. All you have to prove is that you were injured “within the course and scope of your employment.”

So, even if you made a mistake that led to injury, you can still recover. That’s the advantage of workers’ comp.

The disadvantage is that workers’ comp is the only remedy you have. You can’t sue your employer in regular civil court if you get hurt on the job. Additionally, you don’t have the right to a jury trial where you could argue for damages such as pain and suffering.

The employer has immunity from this type of lawsuit since they are required to pay for and provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage to their employees.

Will I be repaid for all my lost wages?

That depends. If you have been unable to work due to a work-related injury AND a doctor has taken you off of work during this same time period, you could be entitled to receive what’s called Temporary Total Disability (TTD) checks. These checks will be two-thirds of your average gross pay from your employer. Not two-thirds of your net or “take-home” pay, but two-thirds of your gross pay (before taxes are taken out). These checks are designed to replace your normal income while you are recovering from your injuries.

Again, it’s not enough that you were unable to work. You also need a qualified expert, such as a doctor, to advise against working during this same time period. In other words, you need your doctor to back you up on your inability to work.

How long do I have to file an appeal to the Workers’ Compensation Board in Kentucky?

If your initial application for a workers’ compensation claim is denied, you generally have 30 days from the date of the denial to file an appeal with the Workers’ Compensation Board in Kentucky. The Kentucky Workers’ Comp appellate process involves the following steps:

  • Mediation or informal conference: This is where both parties have the opportunity to discuss the issues surrounding the denial of benefits and potentially reach a resolution with the assistance of a neutral third-party mediator or through informal discussions facilitated by the Workers’ Compensation Board.
  • Formal hearing: This step involves presenting evidence, witness testimonies and legal arguments before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) of the Workers’ Compensation Board, who will then evaluate the case and issue a decision.
  • ALJ decision: After the formal hearing, the ALJ evaluates the evidence presented and issues a written decision. This decision may affirm, modify or reverse the initial denial of benefits.
  • Appeal to the Workers’ Compensation Board: If either party disagrees with the ALJ’s decision, they have the right to appeal to the full Workers’ Compensation Board within 30 days of the decision. It’s worth noting that the Workers’ Compensation Board typically does not consider new evidence during this appeal process, focusing instead on reviewing the existing evidence and determining whether the ALJ’s decision was legally justified based on the information presented during previous proceedings.
  • Judicial review: If dissatisfied with the decision of the Workers’ Compensation Board, either party may seek judicial review by filing an appeal with the Kentucky Court of Appeals within 30 days of the Workers’ Compensation Board’s decision.

Appealing a denied workers’ compensation claim is a high-stakes endeavor, impacting your ability to access essential benefits and support during a challenging time. This process can be complex and having the right legal guidance can make all the difference. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer can provide valuable assistance in understanding your rights, preparing your case and presenting compelling arguments throughout the process.

Contact Our Office Today To Talk To A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

At Edwards & Kautz Law Firm in Paducah, Kentucky, our attorneys know that the workers’ compensation system can be difficult to navigate, especially if you haven’t done it before. We’re here to help guide you through the process and ensure that you receive full compensation for the injuries you sustained on the job. For your free initial consultation with a lawyer, call 270-908-4914 or send us an email to let us know what happened.