If you’ve been injured at work or suffer from a job-related illness or disability, you will probably need to hire an attorney to receive your workers’ compensation insurance benefits. Isaacs & Isaacs experienced workers’ compensation attorneys will help you to file your claim or appeal if your claim was denied. It won’t cost you anything unless we win your claim. Call us 24/7 at 800-800-8888, or fill out our form for a free consultation and claim evaluation with an experienced Isaacs & Isaacs workers’ compensation attorney. Let us get started right away getting you the money you need.
You could work at a manufacturing plant like American Greetings or Menasha or at the courthouse or the local Wal-Mart. You could be a member of a construction crew or a garbage collector, two of the most dangerous jobs there are, or work at the Amazon warehouse, another dangerous occupation. Wherever you work, whether it’s a dangerous job or one that’s relatively safe, a workplace accident could happen to anybody.
When you have suffered a disabling workplace injury, Kentucky workers’ compensation insurance is supposed to cover your lost wages and medical bills until you are able to return to your job. However, without the help of an experienced attorney, you may have trouble winning your claim. Workers’ compensation insurance claims are legally complex, and your employer or its insurer may wish to dispute the validity of your claim. If this happens, the process of winning your claim or appeal could be even more complicated and require a level of experience and legal expertise that most workers don’t have. It’s a lot like a court trial where you need the help of an attorney to abide by court rules and present your case.
What Exactly Is Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Insurance and What Does it Cover?
Kentucky law requires almost all employers to carry insurance which will cover employees who are injured on the job or who suffer a debilitating illness like black lung disease or carpal tunnel from their work. The insurance pays a percentage of your pay while you’re unable to work. Workers who are excluded from coverage are:
- Agricultural workers
- Federal employees
- Some domestic workers
- Temporary residential maintenance workers
- Independent contractors
Whether somebody is or is not an independent contractor is a frequently disputed area of workers’ compensation. Factors the Department of Workers’ Claims considers are:
- The nature of work performed
- Extent of control over the work
- Professional skill required
- Intent of parties involved
An experienced attorney could help you if you are not sure if you have legal standing to file a claim because you are an independent contractor. If you are not covered by workers’ comp, you may have other options which an attorney could advise you on.
What Benefits Does Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Provide?
Kentucky benefits for injured workers fall into three main categories:
Temporary Total Disability is paid to workers who are injured or have a work-related disease and cannot work for 7 days or longer. TTD payment ends when an employee is recovered and can return to work, or if the primary physician determines the worker has reached maximum medical improvement, for permanent disability.
Permanent Total Disability is paid when an injury or work-related illness is so severe that a former employee cannot do any kind of work, ever again. PTD is paid after an employee reaches maximum medical improvement and still cannot do any kind of work. Injuries that qualify workers for workers’ compensation PTD include:
- Permanent blindness
- Amputation of both hands or feet or both a foot and a hand
- Permanent paralysis of both feet, both hands or a foot and a hand
- Complete loss of hearing
Permanent Partial Disability is paid when a worker is permanently disabled but can still perform some kind of work. PPD is usually available for a maximum of 425 weeks. A physician assigns the worker a percentage of disability, which determines the length of payments. If a worker is 50 percent or more disabled, the workers’ comp payments may be extended to 520 weeks. Percentage of disability will also affect the amount of PPD the worker is eligible to receive.
Death benefits are available if a worker dies within four years of being injured, payable in a lump sum to the deceased worker’s estate. The surviving spouse and perhaps dependents may also receive income benefits.
Retraining and/or education benefits may be available for workers who cannot return to the work they did previously because of their injury or illness.
Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover Medical Bills?
Your reasonable and necessary medical costs are covered, and unlike some states, you are free to choose your own physician. If you are part of a managed care plan, you must choose your doctor from the list of providers in your plan. You also have a one-time right to change primary treating physicians. It’s against the law for your employer or its insurer to require you to make copayments for medical bills related to your workplace injury or illness.
You have many rights and responsibilities regarding medical care. A workers’ comp lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of the system in the best way possible to receive maximum benefits. If your claim is disputed, an administrative law judge or commissioner may order an independent medical evaluation by physicians at one of the primary Kentucky university hospitals. You have to submit to the independent examination, or your claim will be denied. You can be reimbursed for travel expenses. While you’re receiving benefits, your employer can require you to submit to an independent medical evaluation but must pay any related expenses.
Why Would I Need to Hire a Lawyer to Receive Benefits I Am Legally Entitled to Be Paid?
You are not legally required to hire a lawyer to apply or to appeal a workers’ comp claim any more than you are required to hire an attorney for a court trial. However, because the claims process is complex, the Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims recommends hiring an attorney to help file and manage your claim. There are numerous forms to fill out, evidence must be submitted to support your claim and there are deadlines for filing. If you miss an important deadline, submit incorrect forms or do not submit enough evidence or the right kind of evidence, your claim can be denied. If your employer or its insurance carrier disputes your claim, you may have to appear at a hearing before an administrative law judge and will be expected to abide by the procedural rules.
If your claim is approved, your employer or its insurer has a right to file a petition for reconsideration or an appeal. If your claim for workers’ compensation is denied, you have a right to appeal or file the petition for reconsideration. Also, after your claim is decided, any of the parties involved can file a motion to reopen.This motion can be filed on the grounds of:
- Change in disability
- Newly discovered evidence
The workers’ compensation claims process is a complex legal proceeding. Without the help of an experienced attorney, you may find that it is more than you can cope with, especially since you are injured or sick to begin with. You should be able to focus on healing, and let your attorney worry about dealing with your employer, the insurer, and the Department of Workers’ Claims.
If you’re worried about how you’ll find the money to hire a lawyer, you don’t have to worry about that either. Isaacs & Isaacs will represent you on a contingency fee basis: if we don’t win your claim, you won’t owe us anything.
Call Isaacs & Isaacs for Help With Your Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Claim ASAP!
There are deadlines to meet to file your claim. Also, there may be a third party responsible for your injuries, such as a subcontractor at a construction site or a machinery or safety device manufacturer. In that case, you would need to file a third party lawsuit as well as a workers’ comp claim in order to receive maximum compensation. We will listen to your story, investigate the facts and determine which actions are best for your situation.
The sooner you contact Isaacs & Isaacs, the faster we can get started getting you the money you need. Call us anytime, day or night at 800-800-8888, or fill out our form for a free consultation and claim evaluation with an experienced and helpful Isaacs & Isaacs workers’ compensation lawyer.