The Workers Comp Process

Guiding Injured Workers Through the System

Workers’ Comp Advocacy in Kansas and Missouri

Insurance companies initially turn down many workers for benefits, knowing that some will never appeal the decision. To them, you are a dollar sign. At Michael R. Lawless, P.A., Attorney at Law, you are treated as a person. Our workers comp attorney takes the time to inform clients about the process, all available benefits, and any obstacles to the claim.

Based in Lenexa, Kansas with an office in Grandview, Missouri, we represent injured and disabled workers of eastern Kansas and western Missouri. Contact Mike Lawless to schedule a free initial consultation.

The Workers’ Compensation Claims Process

Most clients come to us when they have been turned down for workers’ compensation benefits, or when they are unhappy with the medical treatment they are receiving from an employer-designated physician. We can help at any stage of the process:

Initial Claims for Benefits

In practice for 27 years, Mike Lawless possesses extensive knowledge of work injuries and the workers’ comp systems on both sides of the state line. He can assemble your initial claim for the best chance of approval for the injured worker to get you the proper medical care from the beginning. He will refer you to trusted, independent doctors and obtain qualified medical reports to get the insurance company–or if they still refuse, the administrative law judge–to cover treatment.

Negotiating Claims with the Insurer

Once you reach Maximum Medical Improvement as determined by a doctor, you are assigned a functional rating or disability rating. However, this is not assurance that the work comp carrier will settle with you. They usually don’t even tell you of the rating that their paid treating physician has assigned. These ratings from the insurance company doctor are usually the lowest that they can assign consistent with the work comp law. Our firm can help if your workers’ compensation claim is rejected or you are approved for less than full benefits. We will send you to another doctor or specialist to get appropriate treatment recommendations if treatment is still needed or re-assess your injury, your disability rating, and restrictions from the treating physician. Armed with a new functional rating and/or restrictions with strong supporting medical documentation, we revisit the settlement process and move from adjuster into claims attorney and administrative law judge. We have a high success rate in this area.

Judicial Hearings and Appeals

If the insurance company still won’t settle the claim fairly, your case must go to trial. Mike Lawless is a proven trial lawyer who regularly tries workers’ compensation cases. He thoroughly prepares all the medical and vocational documents and evidence to present your case in court.

  • In Kansas, your case is heard before a workers’ comp administrative law judge, who can grant disability awards after treatment is complete. If you are denied, we can appeal your case to the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, where a complete review of all of the facts of the case is conducted. Thereafter, appeals go to the Kansas Court of Appeals. Petitions for review in the Kansas Supreme Court are discretionary with the court.
  • In Missouri, your case goes before an administrative law judge of the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). A DWC ruling can be appealed to the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission, and that ruling to the Missouri Court of Appeals.

Both Kansas and Missouri provide preliminary hearings / hardship hearings in which the administrative law judge can grant temporary benefits or treatment while your case is pending and your injury is not at maximum improvement.

Call Michael R. Lawless, P.A., Attorney at Law at 1-800-734-3771, 913-681-5566, or 816-966-0099 or contact us by e-mail for a free consultation.