Worker's Compensation Lawyers
Unlike personal injury claims, finding fault for occupational injury is normally not an issue. The workers compensation system is meant to provide benefits faster and easier than going through the court system. Don’t just accept claims by your employer or its insurance company that you don’t qualify for benefits. If you live in Fayette County, Kentucky, and the surrounding area, find out for yourself by contacting our office.
Kentucky statutes govern the state’s workers compensation system and spell out how to qualify for benefits and what benefits are available. You need to be an employee to collect benefits. You can be anyone working under contract for hire, whether that’s an express or implied contract, including the following:
- Executive officers of corporations
- State, county or city employees
- Volunteer firefighters
- Any person performing services in a trade profession or business.
Though there are some exceptions, your employer can be virtually any entity with at least one employee, including a government agency or department. Employers are required by law to carry some kind of workers compensation insurance or coverage.
Your injury or illness needs to be related to your work.
- A compensable injury or illness needs to happen in the course of your employment and within the scope of your duties.
- There needs to be a causal connection between the conditions of your work and your injury or illness. It happens while you are performing a service for your employer while in the line of duty.
- It took place where you reasonably may be, while you are working or in some way serving the employer’s interests.
Benefits include payments for medical care, wage replacement and disability.
- Wage replacement is two-thirds of your average weekly wages, subject to state imposed maximums.
- If your employer doesn’t have a managed care plan you can choose your own physician.
- Payment for your disability covers you whether it’s permanent or temporary, partial or total.
The injury or illness can occur in any kind of job situation. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides this information about 2015 workplace non-fatal injuries and illnesses that caused employees to miss time from work:
- Private sector jobs that had the highest number of cases included heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers; laborers and freight, stock, and material movers; and nursing assistants.
- The state and local government occupations with the most cases were police and sheriff’s patrol officers, firefighters, janitors and cleaners, teaching assistants working for local government and correctional officers and jailers employed by state government.
- The leading major event or exposure causing about a third of occupational injuries or illnesses was overexertion and bodily reaction to work. Falls, slips and trips were another 27% of all occupational injuries. The leading types of incidents were falls on the same level, being struck by an object or equipment and overexertion in lifting or lowering.
Work-related injuries and accidents that can be compensable include those that are fatal. According to the BLS, in Kentucky in 2015 there were a total of 99 fatal workplace injuries. They were caused by transportation accidents (37), contact with objects and equipment (25), violence and injuries caused by people or animals (15), exposure to harmful substances or environments (11) and falls, slips and trips (9).
Some of the more serious work-related injuries are:
- Electrocution – This can result in serious burns, internal organ injury and death. It can be caused by inadequate protection, malfunctioning equipment or the carelessness of other workers.
- Traumatic Brain Injury – These potentially life-altering injuries are often suffered by those working in construction, transportation, agriculture and forestry. They can be caused by falls, vehicle accidents or being struck by a piece of equipment.
- Paralysis – This is caused by injuries to the brain and/or spinal cord and can severely impact a person’s physical and mental health for the rest of their life. It can result in millions of dollars of costs for a lifetime of care.
- Loss of Limbs and Amputation – These most often occur in industries that use heavy equipment but can also occur in transportation accidents. Many workplace amputations occur in industries such as manufacturing, construction, utilities and other high-risk work environments.
- Burns – If severe enough and affecting a large enough area of the body, burns can be fatal. They can be extremely painful, difficult and time-consuming to treat and leave lasting physical and mental scars. Burns can be caused by heat, exposure to chemicals or electrocution.
If you fail to notify them in a timely manner, your claim may be denied because your employer or insurance company may claim it didn’t happen at work. Also get appropriate medical attention as soon as possible. Your employer may have a designated health care professional in case of a work-related injury.
You should also contact our office as soon as possible so we can talk about your rights, your employer’s obligations, the best ways you can protect your rights and the benefits you’re entitled to receive. If you live in Fayette County, Kentucky, or the surrounding area, call Carman & Fullerton at 859-971-0060 or fill out this contact form. Your future and the future of your family is at stake, so contact us today.
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