Elizabethtown Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Living through any accident can be a harrowing experience. Elizabethtown workplace accidents are no exception. While many believe that Kentucky workplace accidents only occur in the most dangerous industries, the statistics indicate that on-the-job accidents can – and do – occur at all workplaces. Under the Kentucky workers’ compensation program, employees who are injured on the job or suffer from an occupational illness may be entitled to monetary benefits, including income benefits and medical benefits. However, establishing eligibility for Kentucky workers’ compensation benefits is often complicated by insurance companies that routinely contest both the severity and the duration of a worker’s injuries. At the Elizabethtown workers’ compensation law firm of Hessig & Pohl, we proudly represent employees in their workers’ compensation claims, helping them get benefits as quickly as possible.
How Does Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Process Work?
The Kentucky Workers’ compensation law creates a no-fault system in which injured workers can submit a claim to recover benefits. Under state law, most employers are required to either obtain a workers’ compensation insurance policy, or to certify that they are self-insured. By implementing this requirement, lawmakers can ensure that an injured worker does not end up filing a claim against an insolvent company that cannot cover the costs of workers’ compensation benefits.
When an employee is injured in an Elizabethtown on-the-job accident, they can file a claim with their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. It is then up to the employer and the insurance carrier to determine whether the claim is approved. If so, the injured employee will obtain benefits. An injured workers’ benefit amount is calculated by taking 66 and 2/3 percent of their weekly pay, up to a maximum weekly benefit of $979. Workers’ compensation benefits will also cover any medical expenses that were needed in the wake of the accident.
However, if an employer or the insurance company contests the claim, the process can become a lengthy one. For example, employers may dispute that an employee’s purported occupational illness was not caused by their employment, or may argue that an injured employee was partially at fault for their injury. While the Kentucky workers’ compensation program is a no-fault system in that it does not require the employee establish who was at fault, there is a provision that allows for an employee’s benefits to be reduced by 15 percent if they were committing a safety violation at the time of the accident. Similarly, workers’ compensation benefits may not be available if an employee was intoxicated or engaging in reckless horseplay while at work. Thus, employers and insurance companies may try to avoid any responsibility by claiming that an injured worker is not entitled to benefits, or eligible only for reduced or temporary benefits.
In some situations, an injured employee may be able to pursue additional claims against their employer or other third-parties. Those who have been injured at work should consult with a dedicated Elizabethtown workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss their case and their options.
Type of Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Kentucky
Injured employees may be entitled to a variety of workers’ compensation benefits. In addition, the family of an employee who dies in an on-the-job accident, or from an occupational illness, may be able to recover workers’ compensation death benefits. The type of benefits an employee receives depends on the severity of the injury as well as how the injury impacts the employee’s ability to perform their job:
Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Benefits: When a workplace injury causes an employee to miss work due to their injury, the worker may be eligible for TTD benefits. Weekly TTD benefits are two-thirds of an employee’s gross pay. These benefits will be paid until the employee is able to return to work, subject to an annual maximum. Kentucky does not pay TTD benefits for the first seven days after an injury, unless the injury lasts longer than two weeks. TTD benefits continue until an employee can return to their job or they reach “maximum medical improvement,” which means that their condition has stabilized and isn’t expect to improve, even with further medical treatment.
Permanent Total Disability (PTD) Benefits: When an injured worker cannot return to work based on their workplace injury, they will be evaluated to see if they are entitled to PTD benefits up until they reach retirement. Weekly PTD benefits are calculated by taking the gross average weekly wage. Rather than pay out on this type of claim each pay period, insurance companies often negotiation lump-sum payments for successful PTD claims.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Benefits: When an employee is injured on the job, cannot perform the duties of their old job, but can return to work in a limited capacity, the injured worker may receive PPD benefits. PPD benefits are designed to offset the reduction in pay an employee experiences as a result of their injury. Thus, when awarding PPD benefits, the judge will determine an injured worker’s “percentage of disability” and then come up with a partial wage based on that percentage. PPD benefits are limited in duration, depending on the percentage of disability.
Death Benefits: When someone dies as the result of a workplace accident, or from an occupational illness, the employee’s family may be eligible for Kentucky workers’ compensation death benefits. The amount of benefits paid will depend on the deceased employee’s earnings, as well as the number and type of dependents. If an employee dies immediately, or within four years of an accident, the workers’ estate may receive an additional lump-sum payment.
In addition to ongoing income benefits, a successful workers’ compensation claimant can receive compensation for the medical expenses they incurred as a result of the accident.
Consult with a Dedicated Elizabethtown Workplace Accident Injury Law Firm
If you or a loved one has been involved in an Elizabethtown on-the-job accident, you need and deserve a law firm with experience handling Kentucky workers’ compensation claims. At Hessig & Pohl, we are ready to help you pursue a claim for workers’ compensation. Our knowledgeable attorneys will quickly compile all necessary documentation to efficiently and accurately complete your application. From there, we will aggressively negotiate on your behalf to help you obtain the maximum amount of benefits. Over the years, we have helped hundreds of injured workers get the benefits they need. There is no downside to contacting us to help you with your work injury claim because, with our Fee Free Guarantee, the initial consultation is free. Contact us though this website, or call our office at (502) 777-1111.
Marty fought for me when the insurance company denied my claim. We sued and got the insurance limits.