Filing for worker’s compensation: It’s something most people don’t know how to do until they need to do it.
You have the right to compensation for a workplace injury. This is the reason nearly every employer in Kentucky is required by law to carry worker’s compensation insurance. But as with every type of legal and insurance claim, the path to getting your benefits is not always an easy one.
Even under ideal conditions, the forms, deadlines, documents, and procedures of filing for workers’ comp can be a lot for anyone to handle. And when an employer and their insurer are actively working to obstruct your right to fair compensation, it may be necessary to bring in an experienced attorney to defend your rights.
Below, Golden Law Office in Lexington, KY provides our step-by-step guide for how to file for workers’ compensation in Kentucky.
If there are any issues or disputes regarding your claim, we recommend getting in touch with a trusted lawyer as soon as you can. The workers’ compensation legal team at Golden Law Office is available to provide free, no-obligation case evaluations for anyone who has questions about the process, or concerns that their employer may not be handling their case appropriately.
How To File a Kentucky Workers’ Comp Claim
Take the following steps to maximize your chances of successfully obtaining the benefits you deserve after a workplace accident and injuries.
Step #1: Report Your Injury
Report your injuries (or acquired illness) to your employer as soon as you become aware of an issue. It is highly recommended that you do this immediately, at least within the week, and certainly no more than a month after the incident or discovery.
This is an important step in filing for workers’ compensation. It not only gets the ball rolling, so to speak, but it also documents proof that you acted promptly after injury, putting the responsibility in your employer’s hands to begin their part of contacting the insurance company and filing paperwork.
The more detailed you can be in your report, the better. If there were witnesses of the accident, take a recorded statement of their account of the event.
Your report should include details such as:
- Date, time, and location of the accident
- The names and contact information of any eyewitnesses
- A detailed description of the incident
- The injuries you sustained
Any supporting evidence you have to reinforce your account of events is beneficial. If you have photographs of your injuries, for example, these can be used by you and your lawyer when filing for benefits.
Step #2: Seek Medical Attention
This step is critical to both your health and ability to obtain benefits. You may be required to get treatment from a physician on a list of insurance-approved doctors provided by your employer. It is still a good idea to seek a second opinion if you have any reason to be skeptical of one professional’s assessment.
A doctor is an important part of the workers’ compensation claims process. Discussions with your treating health care team will provide answers to important questions regarding:
- Your prognosis
- Your treatment plan
- Any restrictions on activities
- Any accommodations you require
- Whether you are expected to fully recover
- When you can expect to reach maximum medical improvement (MMI)
- If and when you will be able to return to your job
- Any restrictions or accommodations if you do return to your previous position
Step #3: Follow Your Treatment Plan
Don’t allow yourself to become careless or lazy when following the treatment plan recommended by your doctor. Any failure on your part to adhere to the schedule could be seen as an indication that your injuries are not really affecting your life in the way that you claim.
To improve your chances of healing or reaching optimum MMI—as well as to demonstrate the severity of your injuries and your commitment to prioritizing recovery—you should:
- Attend all doctor’s appointments
- Take medications exactly as prescribed
- Take part in physical therapy if advised by your care team
- Refrain from strenuous physical activities and anything your doctor advises against
- Not return to work until your doctor clears you to do so
- Be attentive to any restrictions your doctor places on your work duties upon return
- Avoid posting or commenting on social media in a way that may indicate you are not seriously injured or not following your treatment plan
Step #4: File the Proper Forms
To file for workers’ compensation in Kentucky, you will need to submit an Application for Resolution of a Claim, which will then be reviewed by the Division of Claims Processing. Your application will be assigned to an Administrative Law Judge based on your county of residence. Submitting this form will also notify your employer and their insurance company. The application form will require you to fill out information including:
- A description of how the accident/injury occurred
- When you gave notice to your employer of the injury
- What kind of medical treatment you obtained
- The name and location of your treating physician
If you do not have a lawyer, your Application for Resolution of a Claim must be mailed to the Department of Workers’ Claims in Frankfort. Injured workers represented by attorneys have the option to submit their paperwork online.
As this application is the official statement of your claim to benefits, it’s essential that the information submitted be accurate, complete, and free of errors. Even a minor typo can interrupt the process greatly. Once your application has been received, you will be sent a letter of acknowledgement. Be sure to keep this document in your records in case any issues arise at a later date.
Step #5: Contact a Lawyer if Needed
The Kentucky Labor Cabinet itself recommends hiring an attorney to represent you, citing the complexity of the process as the reason most injured workers retain legal counsel.
There are certain situations in which a Kentucky workers’ comp claim can be effectively handled by the injured worker. But if any of the following scenarios apply to your case, it is probably best to work with an experienced attorney.
- Your injuries are severe, catastrophic, or resulted in permanent disability
- Your loved one was killed in a work-related incident
- You have a preexisting health condition that could be viewed as the cause of your occupational injury or illness
- Your workers’ compensation claim is denied
- Your benefits are not being awarded promptly
- Your benefits do not cover all your medical bills
- Your health condition unexpectedly worsens, or a new issue appears
- You are being treated poorly at work because you filed a workers’ comp claim (known as retaliation)
- The actions of a third party (such as a contract worker or manufacturing company) caused your accident and injuries
Golden Law Office Stands for Injured Workers in Kentucky
You are not alone after a work-related injury. The experienced team of workers’ comp attorneys at Golden Law Office has been helping people in Lexington and across Kentucky successfully file workers’ compensation claims, and we’re ready to do the same for you.
Call our office today to schedule a free consultation. We’ll provide a thorough assessment of your case and recommend a course of action at no cost to you.
Golden Law is a local, Kentucky Law Firm, attorneys/lawyers in Fayette County, Kentucky, working in the fields of personal injury, auto accidents, car and truck wrecks; medical malpractice: doctors, hospitals & nursing homes; senior living abuse: neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, dehydration, bedsores, catastrophic injuries, and broken bones. If you are considering a lawsuit, call us at 859.469.5000 for a free consultation. We are located at 771 Corporate Dr. Suite 800/ Lexington, Kentucky 40503. We handle cases all over the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We have represented and trained people in major insurance companies & major trucking companies. We have first hand experience and know the ‘inside of the insurance business’ … that’s a distinction that no other law firm can make. We’re Your Advocate. Dale Golden, Laraclay Parker.