Hundreds of thousands of workers will be injured on the job each year. For most employees, workers’ compensation insurance will offer the sole avenue for recovery of medical bills and lost wages. However, countless workers will have their claims denied or receive less than they are entitled to. Kansas employees injured on the jobsite are often confused concerning their legal rights following the accident and how best to protect them. In an effort to help you better understand workers’ compensation insurance and your rights under it, we have prepared a two part compilation of frequently asked questions.
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a mandatory insurance contract, required by law to provide compensation for injuries sustained which arise out of and in the course of employment. The workers’ compensation system is designed to offer a reliable procedure for compensating employees for work-related injury or industrial illness.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. Injured workers will be covered for their injuries regardless of whether they acted negligently or contributed to the accident. In exchange for such broad coverage, the employee is prevented from suing the employer for the injury, except under limited circumstances.
Most employers are required by law to carry workers’ compensation, but certain small or agricultural employers will be exempt.
What are the time limits in a Kansas workers’ compensation claim?
In Kansas, workers are required to orally report the accident or injury to the employer with ten days of its occurrence. In some cases, an employee will be allowed 75 days if just cause is shown for the delay. The employee then has 200 days from the date of the accident to serve a written claim upon the employer. Within three years of the accident, an Application for Hearing must be filed with the Division of Workers’ Compensation.
Failure to notify your employer of the accident within the requisite time periods can forever bar your claim. Therefore, it is important to act fast and report your accident as soon as possible.
What benefits does workers’ compensation provide?
Workers’ compensation will provide medical and disability benefits. Kansas’ workers compensation insurance offers 100% coverage for medical expenses incurred due to an accident, including prescription drug coverage, medical appliances, physical therapy, transportation to and from doctors offices, and the like. The employer does have the right to select the medical provider, but the employee has a fund of $500 to spend on unauthorized medical treatment.
Disability benefits are both temporary and permanent. The maximum benefits are capped at two-thirds the employees’ average weekly wage, up to a maximum amount which changes annually.
Contact Kansas City Workers’ Compensation Attorney Michael R. Lawless Today for a Free Consultation
Workers’ compensation claims can be complex and stressful. Those injured on the job may experience uncertainty as to whether they should file a workers’ compensation claim. It is important that any injured worker fully understand their rights and obligations that are attached to filing a workers’ compensation claim before actually deciding to file a claim. To better understand what to expect, and what you might receive after filing a workers’ compensation claim, you should consult with a Kansas workers’ compensation attorney right away. Kansas Workers’ Compensation Attorney Michael R. Lawless of Michael R. Lawless, PA, devotes his practice to helping injured clients get back on their feet. To schedule a free consultation with Michael R. Lawless, contact our office today by calling locally at (913) 681-5566, or you may call us toll-free at (800) 734-3771. You may also contact us online and we will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.