How Do I Know I Need a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Imagine you are at your job, which requires some physical exertion like moving boxes or lifting things. One day, you go to lift a box, and you get injured enough to need medical attention. Many Kentucky employees qualify for workers’ compensation after suffering a work-related injury.
Depending on the company’s insurance plan, the severity of your injury, and the overall complexity of your case, you may also need to lawyer up. Filing a workers’ compensation claim can be overwhelming, especially when there is so much uncertainty regarding the situation.
So how does a workers’ compensation attorney fit into this equation? Understanding the role of a workers’ compensation attorney, what they can help with, and the situations in which you may need one may help the outcome of your Lexington case.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation, or workers’ comp as it’s often referred to, is a type of insurance that Kentucky law requires most employers to acquire. This insurance provides cash benefits or medical care to employees injured as a direct result of their job.
Whether employers must acquire workers’ compensation insurance, and if so, how much coverage they must offer in wage and medical benefits varies by state.
In terms of premiums for this insurance, it also varies. Lexington businesses that experience similar injury patterns and costs are grouped into classes. The rates employers pay for Kentucky workers’ compensation coverage are pre-determined for their class. For example, employees who work in the construction industry may experience higher injury patterns than someone working at an auto repair shop. The premiums for employers in these two different sectors may therefore be different to reflect the difference in workers’ injury risks.
Obligations Kentucky Employers Have To Secure Workers’ Compensation Coverage
According to the Kentucky Labor Cabinet, any employer who has at least one worker must secure workers’ compensation coverage. This rule also applies to any employers based out of state that are doing business in Kentucky. The Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Act even requires employers with part-time, temporary, and family member employees to secure this insurance coverage.
Disability Programs That Benefit Injured Federal Workers
The U.S. Department of Labor administers four different disability compensation programs to benefit federal workers who get injured or develop an occupational illness. These federal worker programs provide medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation, wage replacement, and other benefits to the government employee as well as their dependents.
What Is Not Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
While workers’ compensation coverage employers must purchase generally covers employees who experience the onset of an occupational illness or suffer an injury while on the job, there are some exceptions to this rule. Some common examples of injuries that workers’ compensation insurance typically doesn’t cover include:
- Injuries that stem from a worker’s intention to harm oneself.
- Injuries that an employee received after starting a fight.
- Injuries that a worker sustained due to their intoxication on the job.
If you were injured on the job and are unsure as to whether your injury event disqualifies you from receiving workers’ compensation benefits here in Lexington, KY, then reach out to our attorneys at Golden Law Firm. We will want to sit down with you for a free, no-risk case evaluation to review the circumstances surrounding your injury or illness before letting you know if you have a valid workers’ compensation claim per Kentucky law.
Situations in Which You May Need To Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Now that you know what workers’ compensation insurance can and cannot cover, you should have a better idea of how to move forward with your claim. However, not all on-the-job injury cases are straightforward. You may want to consider hiring a workers’ compensation attorney if you’re facing one of the following scenarios:
Your Employer or Their Insurer Denies Your Workplace Compensation Claim
If you file a workers’ compensation claim and your employer denies your claim, this may warrant you hiring a workers’ compensation attorney. Sadly, a majority of employees who are denied workers’ compensation do not pursue the situation further, leaving them left with little to no benefits. You shouldn’t take a denial as the final outcome. An attorney can identify why your claim was denied and whether there are any workarounds that may help ensure you ultimately receive compensation.
Your Injury Is Attributable to a Third-Party
If you were injured by a piece of machinery, you wouldn’t typically file a workers’ compensation claim, but instead a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the defective machinery that injured you. Fortunately, our attorneys at Golden Law Office specialize in helping your fellow Lexington residents with both workers’ compensation and personal injury cases, so we can help you in taking legal action in either one of your matters.
You Experience Different Treatment After Filing a Claim
If you get injured at your workplace, you have every right to claim workers’ compensation. However, some employers will retaliate against you exercising your rights. This can include harassing you, demoting you, reducing your work hours, or other forms of retaliation.
If you experience this kind of treatment, you should contact a workers’ compensation attorney quickly to learn about legal options you can take to stop their adverse treatment. They may refer you to another attorney to address violation of Kentucky employment laws.
Your Injury Is Not Easily Diagnosed
It sometimes takes time for doctors to diagnose a patient’s condition and to connect them to a workplace injury event. Workers’ compensation attorneys can help establish liability for injuries, whether that means that you should ultimately pursue a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury one. Moving quickly, both in terms of receiving medical attention and taking legal action, is imperative in situations like this if you want to be able to recover compensation.
What Can I Expect When Working With a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Perhaps one of the most important reasons to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer is if you are unsure of the process and what that means for you. Some things can hurt your claim, there are proper ways to fill out the forms, how you settle, and more. Due to these varying factors, making a workers’ compensation claim in Lexington can be somewhat intimidating.
Hiring a workers’ compensation attorney can help alleviate the pressure of doing everything yourself, and make the process a whole lot easier on you. A lawyer’s job is to navigate Kentucky law and protect their clients while ensuring they invoke their rights. They are your advisors and negotiators and represent you in ways you may not understand how to do for yourself. If you do not know or understand the process, a workers’ compensation lawyer will see to it that you will receive the right treatment and compensation. Call or email us at Golden Law Office to schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss your Lexington case today.
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