It takes courage to deal with a debilitating work injury. It takes courage to fight for the workers’ comp benefits you are owed. Let an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer from Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer give you the Kentucky Courage you need.
Contact us today to set up your free consultation. Our law firm has recovered more than $200 million in workers’ compensation benefits for our hardworking Kentucky clients. We stand ready to fight for you now.
How to File a Workers’ Comp Claim
The Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims (DWC) is the state agency that oversees the workers’ compensation claims process. Although workers can file claims on their own, the system is not very easy to navigate.
First, you must provide notice to your employer. Have a loved one call from the doctor’s office if needed. Never wait more than a week to report your injury. We’ve had courts say 30 days is not too late to report an injury, but don’t stretch it if you know you are hurt.
Right away, follow these steps:
- Tell your employer you’ve been hurt.
- Tell your doctor how you got hurt.
- Make sure to get an “off work slip” if the doctor says you need to stay home.
- Turn that slip into your employer.
If you are unsure whether you are eligible for benefits or need help filing, contact us today for a free consultation.
Should I Get a Lawyer for Workers’ Comp?
Many people believe that they are perfectly capable of handling workers’ compensation claims on their own. After all, it seems like it’s just a matter of filling out some forms, right?
Unfortunately, you can quickly encounter a number of procedural issues and other technicalities that make it more difficult to obtain the benefits you need. A lawyer can be a huge help for you and your family during this stressful time.
What an experienced worker’s comp attorney can give you:
Confidence that everything is being handled properly. When you have a work injury lawyer on your side, you can have confidence that your original application will be free from the common errors that lead to delays or denials. If your claim has already been denied, a skilled workers’ comp attorney can help you through the appeals process.
Comfort in knowing that all options for compensation are being explored. A Kentucky attorney can conduct an independent investigation into your accident or illness to collect all of the evidence needed to support your claim. This can be very important in a workers’ compensation case. Although employers and co-workers are legally immune from lawsuits, negligent third parties are not. So you may be able to separately sue them for personal injuries. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits if your accident leaves you permanently disabled.
Representation against those that don’t have your best interests at heart. You should not be dealing directly with any insurance company on your own. Insurers are primarily interested in protecting their bottom line and may offer you much less than what you deserve. Let your attorney handle everything for you.
What Do Workers’ Comp Benefits Cover?
Workers’ compensation benefits in Kentucky generally cover three major areas:
- Medical expenses
- Payment for lost wages (usually two-thirds of a person’s average weekly wage)
- Return-to-work services
Additional benefits can include:
- Your choice of a doctor
- Reimbursements for travel, medical devices, and prescriptions
- Payments for loss of hearing, loss of eyesight, facial disfigurement, loss of use of a limb or extremity (hand, foot, finger, arm, leg, toe, etc.)
- Death claims if a family member died from a workplace hazard
Decisions on benefits are customarily made in two ways: either a decision by an administrative law judge (ALJ) or via a settlement reached with an insurance company. An employee awarded benefits continue to receive checks for as long as he or she qualifies for workers’ compensation, but most settlements consist of lump-sum amounts.
Numerous factors can impact the level of benefits awarded or the amount of your settlement. A person’s age, educational level, average weekly wage, ability to return to work, and impairment severity rating can all play roles in the amount a workers’ compensation case ultimately settles for.