If you suffered an injury on the job in Lexington, Kentucky, you may be facing costly medical bills, lost wages, and perhaps even vocational rehabilitation to learn new job skills. Fortunately, workers’ compensation benefits in Kentucky can help people who suffer workplace injuries get the financial assistance they need.
Most employers in Lexington and throughout Kentucky must carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you are hurt while performing your duties at work, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Illness and disease that resulted from your job duties are also covered.
Actually receiving the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve can be harder than it should be. You need Kentucky Courage to get your fair share. Our lawyers have the Kentucky Courage needed to fight for injured workers in Lexington.
The experienced Lexington workers’ compensation lawyers at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer have been handling these claims for many years. As a result, we understand the requirements and how to pursue the full benefits that you need and deserve.
To learn more about our legal services, call us today or reach out to us online and schedule your free and confidential consultation.
How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Lexington
If you have been injured on the job, the first thing you should do is report the injury to your employer. If you have an occupational illness or disease, report the claim as soon as you find out the condition may be related to your job.
Your employer should provide you with the necessary forms for filing your workers’ compensation claim. Claim applications have to be notarized and filed with the Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims (DWC). You will need to complete one or more of the following three forms:
- Form 101 (injury claims)
- Form 102 (occupational disease claims)
- Form 103 (hearing loss claims)
You will also have to file these four forms:
- Form 104: Employment History
- Form 105: Medical History
- Form 106: Medical Waiver and Consent
- Form 115: Social Security Release Form
You can find all of these forms at the DWC website. It’s important to also submit a medical report that substantiates your claim. The report should detail the relationship between your injury or illness and the work-related activity. You should also plan on submitting documentation of your earnings at the time of the injury.
As you can see, the process involves many complex technical steps and paperwork. A Kentucky workers’ compensation lawyer can walk you through the application process, ensuring you fill out all firms correctly and meet all the deadlines.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
Hiring a lawyer to handle your workers’ compensation claim can greatly increase your chance of obtaining maximum benefits.
Whether you are filing a claim, appealing a denied claim, or disputing the amount of benefits awarded, the lawyers at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer can help. Our Lexington workers’ compensation attorneys can make sure that the benefits you receive adequately reflect the extent and severity of your injuries.
Our Kentucky workers’ compensation lawyers can provide the following services:
- Helping you understand your rights
- Submitting paperwork and documentation for your injury
- Informing you of all the benefits available
- Determining the value of your claim
- Negotiating with insurance companies to get the best settlement
- Figuring out your amount of lost wages
- Choosing a doctor so your injuries can be properly evaluated
- Preparing your claim for final decision
- Filing for temporary or permanent disability benefits
- Appealing a denied claim
- Determining whether you can file a separate personal injury suit against a third party
Our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys guide clients in getting compensation for all types of work-related injuries, such as back injuries, shoulder injuries, knee injuries, and repetitive stress injuries (RSIs).
What Do Kentucky Workers’ Comp Benefits Cover?
Kentucky workers’ compensation benefits may include:
- Medical costs
- Partial replacement of lost wages
- Disability benefits
- Death benefits to a surviving spouse
Workers’ compensation benefits can cover:
- A work-related accident or injury. If you are hurt on the job, workers’ compensation can help cover your treatment costs.
- Illnesses or diseases caused by exposure to harmful chemicals, allergens, or other substances in the workplace. Coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, or “black lung,” is among the most common occupational diseases in Kentucky. Workers’ compensation can cover your medical costs needed to get healthy and return to work.
- Lost wages if you need to take time off work to recover from your injury. Workers’ compensation can replace some of your missed pay until you can return to work.
- Ongoing care needed to treat a work-related injury. This may include physical therapy, rehabilitation, or surgeries.
- Disability if a work-related injury or illness leaves you disabled. Workers’ compensation can provide disability benefits to injured workers for temporary total disability (TTD), permanent partial disability (PPD), or permanent total disability (PTD).
- Funeral and burial costs if your loved one lost their life while on the job. You and your family may also be eligible to receive death benefits.
How Long Does It Take to Receive Benefits?
Medical bills related to your qualifying workplace injury or occupational illness should be covered by workers’ compensation right from the start.
The Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Act indicates that there are no wage-replacement benefits paid for the first seven days restricted from work. You begin drawing benefits on day eight. If you are restricted from work for 15 days, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier has to pay you for the first week retroactively. Payment is intended to be made in accordance with your regular pay schedule.
Under no circumstances is the workers’ compensation carrier allowed to pay you less often than twice a month. If you have been restricted from work by a doctor for four weeks, you should have received a check.
Under the Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act (UCSPA), workers’ compensation insurance carriers must pay claims promptly, or they may face fines from the DWC. The UCSPA requires that the workers’ compensation carrier respond within a reasonable time to requests for information as well.
What to Do If Your Workers’ Comp Claim Is Denied
If your workers’ comp claim is denied, you will need to present your claim to an Administrative Law Judge for determination. This formal application process, which is administered through the Kentucky Labor Cabinet, can be complicated and confusing. It is highly advisable that you hire an experienced and aggressive Lexington workers’ compensation attorney to represent you in the proceedings.
A hearing before an administrative law judge is the first part of the workers’ compensation denial appeals process. The judge determines whether there is sufficient evidence to support your claim. If the judge denies your claim, there are levels of the appeals process that you can pursue. For instance, you may appeal to the Workers’ Compensation Board if the judge hands down an adverse decision.
The appeals process involves strict deadlines, but a workers’ comp lawyer can make sure you meet all requirements for filing an appeal.
Can I Sue After A Workplace Accident?
In some cases, you may be able to bring a third-party liability claim in addition to or instead of a workers’ compensation claim. If you are covered by workers’ compensation insurance, you cannot file a lawsuit directly against your employer because workers’ comp is considered an exclusive remedy.
However, you can bring a personal injury lawsuit against a third party – someone other than your employer or a co-worker – whose negligence was the cause of your injuries. For instance, if you suffered an injury as a result of an equipment defect or malfunction or the acts a non-employer subcontractor on a work site, you could bring a third-party suit against the equipment manufacturer or the contractor.
Deadlines for Filing Workplace Injury Claims
Under Kentucky law, there is a two-year statute of limitations on all workers’ compensation claims. This means that you have a maximum of two years from the date of the injury to file your claim.
For occupational illness or repetitive stress injuries, the two-year period generally starts when you know or should know that the condition is related to your work.
How to Protect Your Rights After an Accident At Work
To protect your rights to workers’ compensation benefits, notify your employer of your injury immediately after it occurs. If you delay too long, you could be prevented from receiving benefits.
In addition to the right to compensation for your workplace injuries, you have the right to:
- Treatment and coverage for the full extent of your medical expenses.
- Be protected from retaliation. Your employer cannot retaliate against you in the form of demotion, suspension, or termination for filing a workers’ comp claim.
- Report harmful or dangerous conditions in the workplace without retaliation.
- Appeal a workers’ compensation decision.
- Return to your occupation, if possible.
- Seek representation from a lawyer throughout the process.
Talk to a Lexington Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
At Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer, our workers’ comp attorneys are committed to fighting for the legal rights of injured workers and their loved ones in Lexington. We will pursue your case like you are a member of our family.
Our dedicated lawyers will focus intensely on your workers’ comp claim and your potential workers’ comp settlement, regardless of how complicated, so you can focus on your health and wellbeing.
Call us or contact us online now to schedule a free initial consultation with a skilled Lexington workers’ comp lawyer to discuss your next steps. We are here to answer all of your questions and help you get your life back on track.