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Injured Workers' Rights in Kansas

Slape & Howard Jan. 18, 2024

At Slape & Howard, we believe in the power of understanding your legal rights. As an injured worker in Kansas, you have numerous rights that exist to protect your well-being and financial stability.  

But these laws can be complex, and we believe your rights should be clearly spelled out for you. Let's start with the basics:  

You have the right to seek financial compensation for your workplace accident. This includes coverage for medical costs, lost wages, and other related expenses. Almost all work-related accidents and occupational diseases, including conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, are covered under the Kansas Workers Compensation Act. Our aim is to help you navigate this often confusing landscape and ensure that you receive the compensation you're entitled to. 

You have the right to appeal. If your workers' compensation claim is initially rejected, you retain the right to appeal the decision and provide supplementary evidence to bolster your case. 

You have the right to choose your own doctor for treatment. This is an important aspect of the Kansas Workers Compensation Act. However, if you opt to see an outside physician, your employer will only be required to pay up to $500 for your medical treatments.  

You also have the right to seek legal representation. We can't stress enough how important it is to consult with a knowledgeable workers' compensation lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. Engaging with a lawyer early in your claim process can help you meet all deadlines and maximize your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve. At Slape & Howard, we have extensive experience handling workers' compensation cases and can guide you through every step of the process. 

Kansas Workers Compensation Act 

Now let's get into some of the key pieces of legislation that protect you as an injured worker in Kansas. This is a set of laws and regulations that guide how workers' compensation is handled in our state. This act covers almost all work-related accidents and occupational diseases, including those as common as carpal tunnel syndrome. 

It provides numerous benefits for injured employees: 

  • For most injuries not resulting in a wage loss, you could receive up to $75,000 in permanent partial disability benefits.  

  • If certain injuries resulted in a wage loss of at least 10%, you might be eligible for $130,000 in work disability benefits.  

  • If you're unable to work again, the act provides for $155,000 in permanent total disability benefits. 

The Kansas Department of Labor's Workers Compensation Division is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the act. If you're injured on the job, this act entitles you to pursue compensation. Workers' compensation benefits in Kansas can cover a wide range of expenses related to your work-related injury. For example: 

  • If you require medical treatment for your injury, your employer's insurance should cover all the costs reasonably required to relieve the impact of the injury. However, if you choose to see an outside physician, your employer will only be required to pay up to $500 for your medical treatments. 

  • If your injury prevents you from working, you may be eligible for weekly benefits. These benefits are usually calculated as two-thirds (66.67%) of your average weekly wages, with a maximum limit of 75% of the state's average weekly wage. 

  • Depending on the severity of your injury, you may also be eligible for additional compensation for permanent partial disability, work disability, or permanent total disability. The amount of compensation will depend on your specific situation.  

You should keep in mind that these benefits are subject to certain limitations and restrictions. The amount of compensation you receive may depend on factors such as the extent of your injury and your ability to work. 

The Deadline for Filing a Claim 

If you've been injured on the job in Kansas, it's essential to act swiftly to successfully claim financial compensation for your workplace accident. The Kansas Workers Compensation Act has strict time limits for filing a claim, and this deadline can't be extended due to any extenuating circumstances or "good faith" reasons. 

An injured worker is required to submit an Application for Workers' Compensation Benefits, within: 

  • three years from the date of the accident or  

  • two years from the date of the last compensation payment, whichever is later.  

Once the Application for Workers Compensation Benefits is submitted to the Director, a case number is assigned to the claim, and it is then referred to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) for further handling. 

Under the Kansas Workers Compensation Act, you're required to notify your employer of a work-related injury within 28 days if the injuries wholly or partially incapacitate you for more than the day, shift, or turn.  

Delaying this process may jeopardize your chances of receiving workers' comp benefits. That's why we urge you to consult with an experienced workers' compensation lawyer immediately after your accident, so that you meet all deadlines and requirements. 

Remember, the longer you delay in filing your claim or getting in touch with an attorney, the higher the chances that your claim will be denied or dismissed. It's crucial to take prompt action and seek the legal guidance and support you need when you need it most. 

Protect Your Rights — Ask an Attorney for Help 

At Slape & Howard, we're here to help you navigate the complexities of workers' compensation in Kansas. We understand the critical nature of these claims and we're committed to providing you with the support and information you need to protect your rights. 

From our firm in Wichita, Kansas, we work with workplace injury victims across the state. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our dedicated team of attorneys.