Amputation – or the loss of any limb, partial or total – are among the most serious workplace injuries. People who suffer a traumatic amputation or require surgical amputation due to other injuries may need prosthetics and lengthy rehabilitation. Unfortunately, many amputees experience phantom limb pain as well as severe psychological distress long after the accident.
Dealing with an amputation takes Kentucky Courage. So does fighting for the benefits you deserve from workers’ compensation and other potential sources of benefits. We know you have the courage needed to seek what’s fair. Our lawyers also have the Kentucky Courage to stand up for your rights.
If you lost a limb in a workplace accident in Kentucky, don’t wait to reach out to our experienced attorney for help getting the workers’ compensation benefits you need and deserve. The team at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer can guide you through this process and fight for what you’re owed.
Compensation Options for Workplace Amputations in Kentucky
An employee in Kentucky who suffers a work-related amputation can file for workers’ compensation benefits regardless of who was at fault – whether it was the employee, a co-worker, the employer, a customer, or another third party.
Benefits through the Kentucky workers’ compensation program are designed to cover partial replacement of lost wages and other costs associated with the amputation.
If you have been injured at work, you need to contact a skilled Kentucky workers’ compensation lawyer. An attorney can help you in dealing with uncooperative workers’ compensation insurance carriers and work to ensure you receive the full compensation you deserve.
If I Get Hurt at Work in Kentucky, What Are My Rights?
Every state has its own workers’ compensation system, rights, and rules. In Kentucky:
- You don’t have to prove that your employer caused your injury or did something that contributed to it. You only have to show that you were hurt on the job.
- You cannot be terminated for making a workers’ compensation claim. The law protects employees from being retaliated or discriminated against for filing a workers’ comp claim.
- There are no out-of-pocket medical expenses for workplace injuries. The medical expenses related to your on-the-job injury are fully covered through workers’ compensation.
- You are entitled to medical care, and you can choose your own doctor. Within certain guidelines, you are able to choose the doctor who will treat your workplace injury.
- You must file a claim no more than two years from the date you suffered the injury. You have to file within two years of the injury, rather than the completion of your medical care or the receipt of bills. However, if you have been off work long enough to receive temporary total disability (TTD) paychecks from a workers’ comp insurance company, the two-year statute of limitations starts when you received your last check.
Workers Compensation for Loss of Limb and Amputation
Kentucky workers who have suffered a loss of limb or amputation may be eligible for the following types of compensation:
- Medical Benefits – These are provided to employees who are injured on the job. Medical treatment is provided free to the employee and includes compensation for all related care that is considered necessary. Medical treatment covered under Kentucky workers’ compensation includes doctor’s visits, hospital stays, prescription medication, and laboratory services.
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD) – These are paid to workers who are injured on the job and are unable to perform any type of work for more than seven calendar days. If an employee misses eight or more days, they will receive TTD benefits. If the employee misses 15 days of employment, they will be compensated for the first seven days of missed work.
TTD benefits are two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage up to the maximum allowable amount under Kentucky workers’ compensation law. However, Kentucky workers’ compensation laws do not make an allowance for temporary partial disability (TPD).
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD) – These may be paid to employees in Kentucky who have been hurt in a work-related injury and have reached their maximum medical improvement level but have permanent impairments and are unable to earn the same wage as they earned prior to the injury.
PPD benefits are paid when the employee returns to work. Kentucky employees are entitled to 66.66% of their average weekly wage, but no more than 75% of the state’s average weekly wage, multiplied by their percentage of impairment caused by the injury.
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD) – These may be paid to Kentucky workers who have reached maximum medical improvement but continue to have restrictions or impairments that keep them from taking part in any type of regular employment. PTD benefits are paid at 66.66% of the employee’s average weekly wage and may continue until the employee reaches age 65.
- Social Security Disability– If a Kentucky employee is disabled and unable to return to work, they may qualify for Social Security benefits in addition to your workers’ comp benefits. The experienced workers’ comp lawyers at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer can handle all of these claims. We work to ensure you receive the maximum benefits you are entitled to under Kentucky law as well as Social Security Disability Benefits.
Injury Lawsuits Outside Workers’ Comp
If you are injured on the job due to the negligence of someone other than your employer or a co-worker, you might be able to file a third-party lawsuit in addition to a workers’ comp claim.
If the at-fault party is a third party, meaning someone other than you, your employer, or a co-worker, you could be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit. A third-party lawsuit can be filed even if you qualify for workers’ comp benefits as well.
Third-party lawsuits are common in construction sites where frequently several companies are working at any given time. A worker from another company could be operating a piece of heavy machinery, for example, that causes your amputation. Because you were on the job at the time, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, since another company’s negligence caused the accident, you may also have a valid third-party lawsuit.
A major difference between the workers’ comp system and a third-party lawsuit is that a personal injury lawsuit allows you to recover noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering. Because the workers’ compensation system is a no-fault system, the injured worker is not entitled to noneconomic damages.
What to Do if You’ve Suffered an Amputation Injury On The Job
If you have suffered a workplace amputation in Kentucky, take the following steps.
Notify your supervisor immediately following the injury. You should provide your employer with the following information:
- When and where the accident occurred
- How the accident occurred
- Your injury symptoms
Seek medical treatment. As with any severe injury, medical treatment should be sought as soon as you can following your on-the-job accident. Ask your doctor to immediately report the status of the injury and any work limitations to both the insurance carrier and employer. Timely reporting will ensure quick payment of workers’ comp benefits and help the doctors and employers in facilitating your return to work, if possible.
Contact a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your claim is filed properly and so that you have someone to fight for your right to fair compensation.
How a Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help You
Kentucky workers’ compensation claims can be extremely complicated and difficult to handle for an injured employee. Claims involve extensive paperwork which has to be filed within a certain period of time after the injury. Failing to file the paperwork properly and on time can prevent you from receiving compensation.
An experienced Kentucky workers’ compensation lawyer can help you through every aspect of the process, including:
- Applying for workers’ comp benefits
- Appealing denied claims
- Reopening old claims due to re-injury
- Determining if you can file a third-party lawsuit
- Seeking full benefits for medical bills, lost wages, and disability
Contact a Kentucky Amputation Injury Lawyer
If you have questions about whether you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits or pursue a third-party claim for your limb loss or amputation, contact Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer today. Our experienced Kentucky workers’ compensation lawyers are ready to evaluate your case and help you through every step of the process.