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Getting hurt on the job can lead to various difficulties, both physical and financial. There may be expensive medical bills that you may not have the ability to pay off.
You may also be incapacitated by your injury and have to deal with constant pain. Your employer may even try to get you to return to work before your injuries have fully healed. While there are many similarities, each state has its own laws that govern workers’ compensation.
Kentucky workers’ compensation laws have their own specifics, and the Morgan & Morgan attorneys in Bowling Green are well-versed in handling these laws. Whether you have been recently injured on the job or have been denied your claim for various reasons, we can help you.
If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, please fill out a free case evaluation form to learn more on how our Bowling Green workers’ compensation lawyers will be able to help you.
Options if You Were Denied a Claim
There is no guarantee your claim goes through. Perhaps the insurance company decides that there isn’t enough evidence that the injury was caused by an accident in the office, or that it was the result of a preexisting condition.
Our Bowling Green workers’ compensation attorneys have seen employers use a wide range of tactics to try to undermine the workers’ compensation claims of our clients.
Some examples include:
- Claiming a victim’s fall was caused by their own negligence;
- Unjustly giving the employee a negative performance review;
- Falsely claiming that an employee’s injury has already healed; and
- Firing an injured employee who has been cleared for work by an employer-assigned doctor.
If your claim has been denied, your attorney may file an appeal with the Workers’ Compensation Board if sufficient grounds exist.
Why Hire an Attorney for Your Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Even though worker’s compensation is meant to benefit everyone from you to your employer to their insurance carrier, there are many times the insurance carrier will try to deny your claim.
When they are reluctant to offer an injured employee the compensation he or she deserves, our attorneys will fight to help recover compensation for you. Insurance companies may be wary of workers’ compensation fraud, which occurs when employees make fake or exaggerated claims to yield a significant payout, or may refuse to pay because it isn’t in their financial interest.
Also, employers might deny a claim outright. It is important to have a trusted and experienced attorney at your side when dealing with these types of shady practices. A Bowling Green workers’ compensation attorney can help gather evidence to bolster your case, such as medical records, safety reports, and even eyewitness testimonies, if possible.
If your claim is still denied, your attorney may file an appeal with the Kentucky workers’ compensation board demanding those benefits be paid. An attorney can also help you determine whether you can seek additional damages for your injury.
Workers’ compensation in Kentucky covers lost wages, medical treatment, and permanent partial disability funds, but if a third-party played a role in your injury, your lawyer can file a third-party lawsuit. A third-party lawsuit could be against the manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment that helped cause your injury.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim with a Lawyer’s Help
In Kentucky, any employer with three or more employees is required to offer workers’ compensation insurance. If you have been hurt on the job, you must complete these steps to successfully collect compensation for your injuries and any lost wages:
Notice and Claim. You must notify your employer of your on the job injury within the time period established by workers’ compensation laws in Kentucky. Your employer must then complete a First Report of Injury form and submit it to the Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims. You will then be required to complete paperwork regarding your accident. An attorney can help you complete these forms, each of which will request information on your work history, medical records and injury evaluation. After these forms are submitted to your employer, they will be sent to the Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims.
Medical Evaluation. After your injury, it is of the utmost importance to seek prompt medical attention to evaluate and treat your injury. This medical report will most likely be used in support of the existence of the injury, the extent of the injury, and the likely timeframe for recovery.
Evaluation Process. Once your claim is received, the Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims will assign your case to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The ALJ will notify all parties of its assignment and provide guidelines for submitting evidence or proof (typically 60 days from the date of assignment).
Your employer and their insurer must file a Notice of Claim Denial or Acceptance, which acknowledges and rejects specific issues in the claim within 45 days.
Once evidence has been submitted, the involved parties will receive notification detailing the date, time, and location of your benefit review conference.
The aim of this conference is to try reach a settlement between the parties. However, if a settlement is not reached, the judge will schedule an official hearing to take place within two weeks after the conference. The judge is required to issue a written decision within 60 days of the formal hearing.
Both parties must file a Petition for Reconsideration, if sufficient grounds exist, to have the award, order, or decision re-examined within 14 days.
Appeals Process. If your claim has been denied, your attorney may file an appeal with the Workers’ Compensation Board on your behalf if sufficient grounds exist.
Contact Us About Your Claim
It is important to move quickly when it comes to a workers’ compensation claim. If you need help with any part of the claims process, do not hesitate to contact a Bowling Green workers’ compensation attorney by filling out our free case evaluation form today.