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Medical bills, combined with missed time at work, can be financially devastating after you are injured on the job. Worse yet, employers and insurance companies frequently look for ways to avoid paying you benefits like workers’ compensation, complicating your road to recovery. Injuries at the workplace are quite common with 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2015— the most recent date, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The occupations that had the highest number of workplace injury cases resulting in days away from work included tractor-trailer truck drivers, laborers and freight, material movers, and nursing assistants.
At Morgan & Morgan, our workers’ compensation attorneys have seen the devastating impacts a workplace injury can have on a family and want to keep that from happening to you. If you were injured on the job in Paducah and think you are not receiving the full range of benefits you are entitled to, it may be time to reach out to a Morgan & Morgan attorney. To learn more about your rights and find out exactly how a Paducah workers’ compensation lawyer can help, please complete our free case evaluation form today.
What Is the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Claims Process?
If you are able to collect the full benefits you are eligible for under workers’ compensation, they will go a long way towards making your life easier while recovering from a workplace injury. However, to get those benefits, you need to go through the workers’ compensation claims process. The workers’ compensation claims process entails the following steps:
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 is then required to 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, but 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 essential to seek prompt medical attention to evaluate and treat your injury. This medical report will 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 the claim is received, the Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims will assign your case to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), who will then 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.
This conference will aim to reach a settlement between the parties, but if a settlement is not reached, the judge will schedule an official hearing to take place within two weeks of the conference. The judge is required to issue a written decision within 60 days of the formal hearing.
Both parties have 14 days to file a Petition for Reconsideration, if sufficient grounds exist, to have the award, order, or decision re-examined.
Appeals Process. If your claim has been denied, your attorney may file an appeal with the Workers’ Compensation Board if sufficient grounds exist.
What Types of Compensation Am I Eligible For?
Typically, workers’ compensation insurance pays out benefits for medical bills and replacement wages. Each case is different, though, so the specific circumstances of your injury will determine the benefits you receive. In certain cases, though, there may be an additional way to receive compensation for your workplace injury. You may be able to file a third-party lawsuit if your injuries were caused as the result of a third-party, such as if the machine you were working with malfunctioned because of a defect and caused you injury.
Contact a Paducah Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you were injured on the job in Paducah, you may be eligible to receive compensation for medical bills and lost wages from your employer’s insurance provider and in some cases a third party. To find out if you have a valid claim and how a workers’ compensation attorney in Paducah may be able to help, please fill out our free case evaluation form today.