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Kansas Workers Compensation Notification Requirements

Slape & Howard July 28, 2022

According to the Kansas Department of Labor in its 47th Annual Statistical Report, in the fiscal year 2021, 44,506 occupational injuries and illnesses were reported to the Workers Compensation Division, with 47 being fatalities. The total was 1,047 fewer than in the previous fiscal year, representing a drop of 2.4 percent.

State officials would like to point to the enactment in 2011 of the Kansas Workers Compensation Act (KWCA) as one of the reasons for the drop, alleging that it led to the creation of safer working places. While that may be partially true, the KWCA also made it harder for employees who are injured or fall ill due to workplace conditions to seek workers compensation benefits.

For one thing, the reporting period was changed following the enactment of the KWCA, and now employees have only 20 days – in some cases only ten days – in which to commence a claim for their injury or illness.

Slape & Howard in Wichita has been leading the fight to get the KWCA amended or replaced with more favorable workers compensation rules and regulations. Wherever you are in the state, you can rely on Slape & Howard to help you file your claim, navigate the system, appeal rulings, and otherwise fight for the benefits due to you. Reach out immediately if you are injured or fall ill because of workplace conditions.

How Long Do I Have

to Report a Workplace Injury?

With the passage of Kansas Statutes section 44-520 in 2014, new standards were established when reporting workplace injuries and illnesses and injuries from repetitive trauma. Three deadlines were set, and the statute says notice must be given “at the earliest of the following dates”:

  • 20 calendar days from the date of the accident or injury by repetitive trauma,

  • 20 calendar days from the day the employee seeks medical treatment if “the employee is working for the employer against whom benefits are being sought,”

  • Ten calendar days from the last day of the employee’s work if the employee no longer works for the employer.

How Should Notice Be Given?

The statute specifies that notice can be given in writing or orally, but the notification must indicate that a workers compensation claim is being made. Details provided must include the time, date, place, and particulars of the injury.

Are There Exceptions to the Rule?

The notification deadlines for reporting an injury can be waived in certain circumstances. One such circumstance is when the employer or the employer’s duly recognized agent already knows of the injury. For instance, they witnessed the accident or went to the scene afterward. The other circumstance would involve the employer or duly authorized agent being unavailable to receive the notice during the designated time frame. Finally, if the employee is physically unable to give notice, the deadline can be waived.

Establishing the Date in a Repetitive Injury Claim

When it comes to injury by repetitive trauma, establishing the date can be difficult. Section 44-508(e) establishes two criteria: “The repetitive nature of injury must be demonstrated by diagnostic or clinical tests.” And, the repetitive trauma “must be the prevailing factor in causing the injury.”

As for the date of the repetitive trauma injury, the statute provides four guideposts:

  • Date the employee is taken off work by a physician who has diagnosed repetitive trauma,

  • Date the employee is placed on modified or restricted duty by a physician who diagnosed the injury,

  • Date the employee is advised by the physician that the condition is work-related, or

  • The last day the employee worked if the employee no longer works for the employer.

Let Our Experience Guide You

If you are injured at work or suffer an illness through exposure to toxic fumes or chemicals, contact us immediately at Slape & Howard. Time is truly of the essence when it comes to making a workers compensation claim in Kansas. We will advise and guide you, so you can navigate the system to seek the benefits you deserve.

Located in Wichita, our workers compensation attorneys proudly serve clients throughout the state of Kansas.