Workers’ compensation is a form of coverage available for workers in Kentucky. Most states have enacted workers’ compensation laws, but each state has a unique spin on:
- their requirements,
- which employers must carry the coverage, and
- how applying for claims works.
How Does Workers’ Compensation Work in Louisville?
In Kentucky, any employer with one or more employee must have workers’ compensation coverage. The Department of Workers’ Claims from the Labor Cabinet in Kentucky handles all claims, disputes, and regulations.
The purpose of workers’ compensation is to protect employees who are injured on the job or contract an illness from performing regular job duties. This coverage includes medical payments and lost wages. When a worker is permanently disabled, they can still receive payments for those lost wages the rest of their life.
Is an Employer Required to Have Workers’ Compensation Coverage?
The state is specific about who is required to have insurance.
To be classified as an employer, the company must be a person or entity with one or more employees.
Per KRS 342.630, employers who are required to comply with insurance requirements include:
- Any person that has a business other than agriculture.
- Any person or entity operating in the city, county, or areas of the state.
Furthermore, employees are classified as anyone working under contract for hire, executives in corporations, and anyone performing trades for business.
Employers are not required to cover exempt employees, such as those included by a Federal Act, agricultural workers, domestic private workers, and voluntary positions.
In addition to carrying workers’ compensation coverage, employers have more duties required by the state. Employers must perform almost all the following duties to remain in compliance:
- Post a notice for employees in compliance with workers’ compensation laws of Kentucky in easy-to-see places of the workplace.
- Provide injured workers with emergency care if they have an on-the-job injury.
- Supply additional medical care if the employee’s injury requires further medical treatment.
- Complete a full report and send it to the local state agency overseeing workers’ compensation claims, which would be the Department of Workers’ Claims.
- Create a written report detailing the incident, how it happened, medical treatment supplied immediately, parties involved, witnesses, and what the employee was doing at the time of the accident – which helps clarify if they were performing regular job duties at the time.
- Comply with any requests from the Department of Workers’ Claims for information, sending in worker statements, supplying reports, and attending any hearings if a dispute or appeal occurs.
Employers Cannot Retaliate
While an employer is not required to hold a worker’s position while they are out on leave, they also cannot retaliate and fire a worker for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
If the employer engages in retaliatory termination, they may face state penalties as well as a civil lawsuit from the employee terminated wrongfully by the employer.
Employees Have Responsibilities Too
An employee has responsibilities when they suffer an on-the-job injury or illness.
Failing to follow these rules could result in a denial of their insurance claim or withdrawal of compensation.
For a successful workers’ compensation claim, employees must:
- Report the Injury: As an employee, you are required to report the injury to a supervisor or the owner of the company as quickly as possible. Then, you will be given all necessary forms to file your claim officially, which are sent to the Department of Workers’ Claims in Frankfort. The law allows for up to two years to file a workers’ compensation claim, but you are required to report the injury to your employer in a reasonable amount of time from the discovery of the injury or illness.
- Find a Physician: You are also required to mitigate damages in your claim, which means seeking treatment right away. The insurance company provides you with a list of approved physicians for your workers’ compensation injury, and you should schedule an appointment and start care immediately.
- Follow Through with Care: You are also required to follow through with all care for your injury. If you fail to attend your follow-up appointments or ignore your physician’s orders, your medical payments could be withdrawn. Therefore, you must do your part to continue care or seek a second opinion when you disagree with the care provided.
- Document and Receive a Report: After you have begun your treatments, you need to get a report from your treating physician that details the relationship between your injury or illness and work-related duties. You will be required to submit this report with your claim forms for proof that you were injured at work.
The requirements expected of injured workers are rather complex, and many victims are unaware of the demands they face after being hurt at work. That is why it is important that – after you report the injury to your supervisor and seek treatment – you speak with an attorney that has experience handling Kentucky workers’ compensation claims.
An attorney will guide you through the process, help file your reports and claims forms, and they can represent you during an appeal if a dispute arises.
Injured at Work? Have a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Help
A workers’ compensation claim can involve multiple parties, and things becomes complicated quickly when you do not understand the process. Whether you believe your employer has violated their duty or you just need help with your workers’ compensation claim, contact attorney Seth Gladstein at the Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC.
Request a free consultation now for your work-related injury at 502-791-9000 or contact us online with your questions.