For many of those who find themselves in the unenviable position of being injured at their place of work, the entire Kentucky workers’ compensation process can seem like a very complex maze, with tons of rules and regulations. For the hard-working, honest employee, filing a worker’s compensation claim can feel like a betrayal of their employer, however, it is important to remember that employers are required, under Kentucky law, to pay into workers’ compensation.
You, as an employee, also pay into the workers’ comp system. If you are injured on the job you will probably have significant medical expenses and could have long-term rehabilitation expenses, as well as lost wages to contend with. When you are hurt at work, it can be such a traumatic event that you do not remember what you need to do, other than getting immediate medical help. Those who are injured while at work are entitled to collect payments from workers’ compensation while they are unable to work as a result of the injury.
If you are injured at work—no matter whether the injury is minor or severe—you should immediately notify your direct supervisor and request medical treatment. Those who are employed at very large companies will also need to contact the human resources department to ensure a workers’ compensation claim is properly filed. Remember, in many instances, your injuries may not become apparent for hours, days or even weeks following your injury. You should not be responsible for the costs associated with a workplace injury and may need help from the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Busald Funk Zevely.
Typical Workers’ Compensation Injuries
While your workplace injury will most certainly be unique to you and your situation, the most common injuries suffered at work are back injuries as well as:
- Severed hands or fingers
- Occupational diseases
- Neck injuries
- Black lung disease
- Limb loss
- Hearing loss
- Repetitive trauma injuries
What Type of Benefits Will I Receive?
Once you begin your Kentucky workers’ compensation claim and receive appropriate medical treatment (when you are not off work for any significant length of time), your claim typically will close within one year of the date of your last medical treatment and weekly benefits will not be an issue. If your injuries are severe enough that you are forced to take time off from work to recover, you will collect weekly benefits and your claim will close two years from the last date you received those benefits. You will receive medical treatment for your workplace injury and those expenses will be covered by workers compensation. You will also receive lost wages benefits as well as compensation for any permanent disability suffered as a result of your workplace accident.
What if My Kentucky Employer Doesn’t Carry Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation insurance is state-mandated, and employers who refuse to take part in the program could find themselves facing some pretty steep fines. Each state has different workers compensation requirements, however, in the state of Kentucky, all employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance or become self-insured, except for certain agricultural employers. While some states only require businesses with 15 or more employees to carry workers’ comp, in the state of Kentucky, even an employer with one employee—part-time or full-time—falls under the state’s workers’ comp laws. Also unlike many other states, Kentucky allows workers to waive their rights to workers’ comp, preserving their right to sue their employer. If you choose to go this route it is even more important that you have a Busald Funk Zevely attorney by your side from start to finish.
Do I Need an Attorney for the Injuries Suffered at my Kentucky Workplace?
In many cases, the answer to this question is a resounding “yes.” A highly experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can explain your rights under the law to you, and will also be able to tell you if your particular case qualifies for a third-party lawsuit. This could be applicable in certain cases such as when an independent contractor is working at your place of employment, perhaps making repairs. Suppose you are on your way to the break room when one of the workers drops a big wrench on your head as you walk by. In such a situation you might be entitled to file a third-party lawsuit in addition to filing under workers’ compensation.
Another situation which would allow you to file a lawsuit against your employer is if you could prove your employer deliberately set out to injure you. Truthfully, this is rare, and it is much more likely that poor safety standards or a messy workplace were responsible for your accident than a deliberate plot to harm you by your employer. Whatever your particular situation, the knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyers at Busald Funk Zevely will clearly explain your options, helping you determine the best course of action for your future. For those in Northern Kentucky–including Florence, Union, Walton and Boone County—who have suffered a workplace accident with injuries, we can help. Call Busald Funk Zevely Law today at 859-371-3600.