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Workers’ Comp FAQs

Wilson & McQueen, PLLC March 27, 2024

Accidents and injuries in the workplace can happen when we least expect them, leaving employees and employers alike wondering about the next steps. Workers' compensation is designed to provide support and financial assistance in such times, but the system can be difficult to deal with and full of legal jargon.  

At Wilson & McQueen, PLLC, we’re here to guide you on your way. Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about workers' compensation, helping you understand how it works, who qualifies, and what benefits are available. Every case is unique, so for answers specific to your situation, contact our Lexington, Kentucky, office for a free consultation with our attorneys.  

Understanding Workers' Compensation

The rules and procedures governing workers' compensation can be challenging to comprehend, especially if you are injured and focusing on your recovery. Here are some of the basics that you’ll want to understand to begin. 

1. What is workers' compensation? 

Workers' compensation is an insurance program that provides benefits to employees who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses. It's designed to cover medical care, a portion of lost wages, and permanent disability. In return, employees generally forfeit their right to sue their employer for negligence. 

2. Who is eligible for workers' compensation? 

Generally, all employees working in Kentucky are eligible for workers' compensation. This includes full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal workers. However, certain exceptions may apply, and eligibility can sometimes depend on the specifics of the injury or illness. 

3. Is workers' compensation mandatory for all employers? 

In Kentucky, almost all employers are required to have workers' compensation insurance for their employees. There are very few exceptions to this rule. 

The Claims Process

Making it through the claims process for workers' compensation can seem intimidating at first. This section outlines the essential steps you'll need to follow to file your claim, ensuring you get the support and compensation you're entitled to. 

1. How do I file a workers' compensation claim? 

Filing a workers' compensation claim typically involves reporting the injury to your employer, seeking immediate medical treatment, and completing a claim form provided by your employer or their insurance company. It's important to provide all necessary details and adhere to all deadlines to ensure your claim is approved and processed correctly. 

2. What happens after I file a claim? 

Once you've filed a claim, your employer's insurance company will review it. If approved, they will start paying for your medical treatment and a portion of your lost wages. If denied, you'll receive a notice explaining why, and you'll have the chance to appeal. 

3. What if my claim is denied? 

If your workers' compensation claim is denied, don't lose hope. You have the right to appeal the decision. This process can be complicated, and it's often beneficial to have a knowledgeable attorney by your side. 

Medical Coverage and Benefits 

The specifics of medical coverage and benefits under workers' compensation can be confusing. This section aims to demystify the types of medical services covered and explain how wage replacement benefits work, ensuring injured workers understand their entitlements fully. 

1. What medical treatments does workers' compensation cover? 

Workers' compensation covers all necessary and reasonable medical treatment related to the work injury. This can include doctor visits, hospital care, physical therapy, prescription medication, and more. 

2. Can I choose my own doctor for treatment? 

In Kentucky, injured workers have the right to choose their treating physician. However, your employer or their insurance company may require you to see a specific doctor for an independent medical examination. 

3. How is permanent disability evaluated and compensated? 

Permanent disability is evaluated based on the severity of the injury and its impact on your ability to work. Compensation is typically calculated as a percentage of your pre-injury wages, subject to certain maximums and minimums. 

Legal Assistance

Whether you're facing a denied claim, complications in receiving your benefits, or disputes over the extent of your injuries, seeking the advice of a qualified attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. 

1. When should I consider hiring a lawyer for my workers' compensation claim? 

If your claim is straightforward, you might not need a lawyer, but it’s still recommended. If your claim is denied, if your employer disputes your injury, or if your injury is severe, it's wise to seek legal advice. 

2. How can Wilson & McQueen, PLLC, assist me in my claim? 

At Wilson & McQueen, PLLC, our attorneys bring over 90 years of combined experience advocating for injured workers. We're committed to keeping you informed at every stage of your case and addressing all your concerns promptly. 

3. What sets Wilson & McQueen, PLLC, apart from other law firms? 

What truly sets us apart is our commitment to personalized service. The attorney you meet with initially will be with you throughout your case—we won't pass you off to someone else.  

Dealing With Employers and Insurers 

1. Can I be fired for filing a workers' compensation claim? 

It's illegal for employers in Kentucky to retaliate against employees for filing a workers' compensation claim. If you believe you've been unfairly treated, contact us immediately. 

2. How do I handle disputes with my employer or their insurance company? 

Disputes can be hard to handle. It's often best to have an experienced attorney advocating for your rights and tackling the process on your behalf. 

3. What are my rights if I'm being pressured to return to work before I'm ready? 

You have the right to recover fully before returning to work. If you're feeling pressured, it's important to consult with your doctor and possibly a lawyer to understand your rights. 

Take Your Next Steps Forward

Going through this process can be overwhelming, but understanding your rights and the benefits available to you is the first step toward securing the support you need. Whether it's choosing the right medical provider, appealing a denied claim, or dealing with workplace disputes, it's important to ensure that your actions align with your best interests and legal entitlements.  

If you're facing difficulties, consider reaching out to experienced legal professionals, like those at Wilson & McQueen, PLLC, who can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation. Remember, you're not alone in this process, and taking informed steps forward can help you achieve the most favorable outcome. In addition to Lexington, we also serve the surrounding areas, including Georgetown, London, Nicholasville, and Richmond.