Changes in Workman’s Comp Act

The Kansas Workers Compensation Reform Act became effective as of May 15, 2011. It is the most influential change that has happened to the workman’s comp system in the past 18 years. This new law brings in something that will benefit everyone. It was formed by discussions that were between business interests, and also labor interests. The bill was passed unanimously. The changes are meant to give more substantial benefits to people who have real claims. This will decrease the number of frivolous claims.

The Kansas Workers Compensation Reform Act raised benefit cats. Specifically, they raised the partial disability cap by $30,000, and they also raised the permanent total disability cap by $30,000 as well. It also reverses a previous court ruling and clearly states that “bilateral injuries” will be treated as “general injuries an individual was likely to encounter.” These often result in larger monetary awards. It restricts injuries that can be compensable by saying that it comes from and during employment. It narrows what is compensable, and it excludes some injuries. Some of these exclusions are injuries that were intentionally caused.

Other exclusions include the disregard of safety precautions and safety equipment or roughhousing and fighting. If someone begins work with a condition and it worsens, the employer could have to pay for not only one injury, but also possibly two if the other previous injury is taken care of properly.

The law also redefined what is considered a work disability. It is described as an average of task loss and wage loss. It also states that you cannot be compensated if drugs or alcohol caused your injury. If the employee refuses to take an alcohol or drug test then he or she gives up the right to workers compensation if there is enough evidence to think that drug, alcohol, or other substances that an individual use could be involved in the injury.

If after you the proposed two-year treatment that is awarded to an individual in the court of law needs to be extended, the employee is required to show evidence, such as medical documentation by licensed doctors that the current health state of the individual is still due to an incident that occurred prior. Another change is the time frame that an employee has to report an injury.

These are a lot of changes that have been made, so if you plan on filing a workman’s compensation claim, it would be best to seek professional help. It is important to have someone on your side that knows the law and knows how to make it work for you. Michael R. Lawless, P.A., Attorney at Law specializes in these types of case. He provides a free consultation, including evenings and weekends by appointment, at their offices in Lenexa, Kansas or Grandview, Missouri offices. Call today at 1-800-734-3771, 913-681-5566 or 816-966-0099.