Your Rights And The Process

Even if you are a loyal, longtime employee, you may find yourself fighting your employer or its insurance company for workers' compensation benefits after a work injury. Do not assume your employer will take care of you; most often, all benefits decisions are made by the insurance company, not your employer.

At Robinson Salyers, PLLC, in Shelbyville and Frankfort, Kentucky, we offer skilled legal representation to assert and preserve your workers' compensation rights. Our law firm serves only injured workers, not employers or insurance companies. Our attorneys are well-versed in every facet of Kentucky workers' compensation, from initial claims to hearings before an Administrative Law Judge. We can explain your rights to benefits and the potential value of your claim in a free consultation.

Your Workers' Compensation Rights

• The right to benefits: If you are an employee and were injured in the course and scope of your employment, you have the right to benefits. You do not have to prove your employer was at fault. In fact, in most cases, you are entitled to benefits even if you were at fault.

• Your benefits: You are entitled to full payment of all medical bills related to the work injury for life, lost wages while you are off work and compensation for any permanent disability. Other benefits include vocational retraining and the right to reopen your case if your injury worsens.

If someone else was at fault: You may have a third-party claim in addition to your workers' compensation claim if someone other than you or your employer was at fault. The most common examples are work injuries that occur in an auto accident, but can occur in a variety of other scenarios.

The right to negotiate a lump sum settlement: There are pros and cons to cash settlement of your claim versus ongoing benefits. It is never a good idea to sign a settlement with the insurance company for a lump sum amount without speaking first to an attorney. You may be giving up future benefits that are important to you. Further, the offer may not be fair depending on your level of permanent impairment and whether you returned to work.

The right to control your treatment: The employer's preferred physicians may not be qualified to diagnose and treat your injury, and may not have your best interests at heart. In most cases, you can choose your own doctors.

The right to due process: If the employer or its insurance company tries to deny, reduce or terminate your benefits, or if your disability pay is calculated incorrectly, you have a right to file a workers' compensation lawsuit. Such lawsuits are filed with Kentucky's Board of Workers' Claims and are heard by an Administrative Law Judge. These claims can be much quicker and more efficient than a traditional lawsuit. You even have a right to appeal to a higher court.

Lost wages: You are entitled to be paid during recovery while you cannot physically perform your job. If your employer cannot accommodate your restrictions while you are healing and getting treated, you are still entitled to be paid.

Your job: While Kentucky workers' compensation law does not protect or "hold" your job, you may be entitled to significant additional benefits if you lose your job as a result of your work injury.

Retaliation: If your employer retaliates against you for making a workers' compensation claim or attempts to intimidate you in order to keep you from doing so, you may have an additional claim against your employer.

The Workers' Compensation Process

After your accident or when you experience symptoms:

  • Give immediate notice to your employer that you have been injured.
  • Seek medical treatment as soon as possible, with your doctor or the insurance provider's.
  • Contact a lawyer, the sooner the better.

You can call our Shelbyville office at 502-220-4439 or our Frankfort office at 502-257-5417 or use our online form to schedule a free consultation.