Workers who suffered injuries or illness while at work or due to work may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in Kentucky. In fact, Kentucky was one of the first states to enact workers’ compensation statutes in 1916. These laws have afforded workers certain protections for compensation for their work-related injuries or illnesses, including payment for medical bills or a percentage of lost wages. Despite these protections existing for almost a century, far too many employers fail to properly cover their workers. Other times the insurance carriers unfairly limit, undermine, or outright deny otherwise valid claims. Workers and their families who suffer from work-related injuries or illnesses can fight back by hiring an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Louisville for help.
At the Louisville Injury Law Firm, our legal team is dedicated to handling personal injury cases and wrongful death cases throughout Kentucky. Rather than handling many areas of law, by handling just personal injury cases we are able to deliver finely honed legal services to victims and their families. This has allowed our bodily injury law firm to develop a strong understanding of medicine and anatomy, as well as reinforcing our strong legal skills in handling the same types of cases over and over again. Despite this, each one of our clients is treated with individualized attention and care – no one is just a file number. If you or a loved one suffered any type of work-related injury or illness in Kentucky, call the Louisville Injury Law Firm to schedule a FREE consultation with our experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Louisville to learn more about your rights to compensation under the law.
Also known as workers’ comp or even just WC, workers’ compensation is a body of law that is focused on situations where an individual is injured due to his or her job. Such injury could be an accident at work, such as falling off a ladder and breaking a leg, or it could be due to injuries from work, such as lower back pain due to repetitive lifting or straining. In addition, workers’ comp law also involves work-related illnesses, diseases, or conditions, such as those caused by asbestos, lead, or other cancer-causing chemicals.
In order to provide this coverage, Kentucky WC law requires nearly all employers to have a workers’ compensation policy with an insurance carrier. The law also requires employers to advertise this policy to workers so that they know that they can obtain WC benefits for an injury or illness related to work. Such policy applies to nearly all types of workers too, including temporary or seasonal.
When workers suffer an injury or illness due to work, they would submit a claim with the carrier. Unlike most types of personal injury cases where fault must be proven, workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” program which means that the worker only has to establish the injury or illness and that it is work-related in order to have medical bills and certain wages paid. In exchange for this no-fault system, WC insurance functions as an exclusive remedy, meaning that workers generally cannot sue their employer or coworker for injuries caused at work.
Under Kentucky law, only a “covered employee” can recover WC benefits. However, the Legislature has made this term so broad that nearly every employee will satisfy the definition of a covered employee under the law under Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) section 342.640.
Thus, a covered employee who may be entitled to WC benefits includes the following:
Although Kentucky law is broad in casting a wide net on who is required to carry WC insurance and coverage for employees, there are some exceptions under KRS section 342.650. Under these exceptions, certain employees are not covered by workers’ compensation laws which include the following:
Nearly all types of personal injuries or illnesses are covered by WC insurance in Kentucky. The only qualifier is that the injury or illness be caused, aggravated, or otherwise contributed to by work-related conditions. This means that wear-and-tear or cumulative injuries may also be partially covered, even if not solely due to employment.
Some examples of injuries that may be covered by workers’ compensation laws in Kentucky include the following:
There are many different specific types of workers’ compensation benefits that a victim and his or her family may be entitled to under Kentucky law. These benefits are meant to help injured workers and their families with the costs associated with work-related injuries or illnesses.
Some of the most important components of workers’ compensation benefits in Kentucky that the Louisville Injury Law Firm can handle for you include the following:
No, generally an injured worker cannot sue an employer or a co-worker in Kentucky when there are workers’ compensation insurance benefits available. There are only very limited exceptions to this rule, including for intentional conduct or where a worker was given a task that was almost guaranteed to cause serious injury or death. Another exception is where the employer is required to obtain WC insurance but failed to do so.
Yes, in certain instances an injured worker may be entitled to commence a personal injury lawsuit against an individual who is not an employer or coworker. This is known as a third-party action, and is meant to allow a victim to also have a right to compensation against a negligent party who is not covered by workers’ compensation benefits.
Some common examples of third-parties who might cause personal injuries for individuals who are working but not barred by workers’ compensation laws include the following:
Unlike other areas of law, workers’ compensation is very complicated because it has state and federal laws and regulations which overlap and lead to different results. This is in addition to medicine and tort law, which also govern compensation, disability, and liability in certain instances – particularly third-party claims. Because of these complexities, injured workers need to call an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Louisville like ours at the Louisville Injury Law Firm. Our personal injury law firm offers FREE consultations and case evaluations, where we can help answer your questions and explain what rights to compensation you may have under your unique case.
To learn more about how we can help you and your family, contact us today by dialing (502) 242-9000 or by visiting our “contact us” page available here.