An on-the-job injury can be physically, emotionally and financially devastating. A serious injury will potentially impact you and your family in many ways. Under Kentucky's workers' compensation system, injured workers do not have to prove that their employer was at fault for their damages. As a result, however, injured workers are not eligible to recover the same damages they could recover in a personal injury case. Workers' compensation benefits include:
- Wage replacement up to two-thirds of a person's average weekly wages, subject to legal limits. These benefits can be permanent or temporary, depending on the severity of the injuries.
- Medical expenses
- Job retraining benefits for workers unable to return to their former job
While these benefits can be a lifeline to people who have suffered serious workplace injuries, they do not cover the full costs of an injury. In some cases, however, an injured worker may be able to file a personal injury claim, known as a third-party claim, in addition to a workers' compensation claim.
Third-party claims can make an injured worker financially whole
Third party claims are not available for every injured worker, and in fact aren't available in the majority of cases. These cases are only available for workplace injuries that are caused by someone else other than the employer. For example, if you were driving as part of your job and were injured in an accident caused by another driver, you could file a personal injury claim against that driver. Another situation where a third-party claim may be present involves injuries on construction sites. If you were injured by a subcontractor or someone other than your employer, you could be eligible to file a personal injury claim.
In a personal injury case, you can seek all of your lost wages, as well as damages for your pain and suffering. This can make a major difference after a serious injury.
If you have suffered a workplace injury, it is important to work with a lawyer who can help you understand all of your options. For years, people throughout Shelbyville and the surrounding areas have relied on the attorneys of Robinson Salyers to handle their workers' compensation and personal injury claims.
Source: Guidebook to Kentucky Workers' Compensation Claims, Commonwealth of Kentucky Department of Workers' Claims