The Workers' Compensation Claims Process in Kansas
Aug. 18, 2020
The Workers' Compensation Act is complicated at best. The new system is set up so that it is more difficult to file a claim, and you can easily get thrown out of the system in a shorter amount of time. Many people who are injured in accidents are now finding that they have to hire a workers' compensation lawyer in Wichita, Kansas, in order to get compensation for their injuries.
On average, there are over 40,000 occupational injuries and illnesses reported to the Division of Workers' Compensation annually. Many of these cases are either dismissed or end up in complex litigation. At Slape & Howard, we have worked to help thousands of clients recover tens of millions of dollars all over Kansas, and we will do the same for you. Contact us for a free consultation. We proudly serve clients in Wichita, Kansas, and the surrounding communities.
Filing a Workers' Compensation Claim
When an injury happens at work or as a result of work, both the employee that was injured and the employer have responsibilities in filing a claim.
According to Kansas statute §44-520, you or your employer have 20 days from the date of the accident to file a workers' compensation report for your injury or 20 days after medical treatment has been provided. If you no longer work for the employer, then you have ten days after your last day of work for the company to file a workers' compensation claim.
Employee responsibilities for filing a workers' compensation claim are usually provided in one form or another by the employer. When an accident occurs, employees may be responsible for the following:
Employees must report the accident directly to their employer or immediate supervisor after the accident occurs.
Employees must fill out the proper paperwork provided by their employer honestly and completely.
Employees must provide accurate information about the details of the accident and the extent of the injuries.
Most employers are required by Kansas law to provide minimum coverage for workers' compensation claims. Employers may purchase works compensation insurance, self-insurance, or group-funder pool coverage.
Additionally, employers must:
Gather all the facts of the accident and report it to the Division of Workers' Compensation in Kansas
Furnish written information about the benefits that are currently available to the employee
If necessary, aid employees by either requesting an ambulance or transporting the employee to a medical facility
When to Seek Medical Treatment
If you are injured at work, you should seek medical treatment without delay. Failing to get treatment right away can hurt your workers' compensation case. Even if you believe that your injuries are minor, you may still want to visit a doctor and get an exam just to be sure.
An injured worker is entitled to “all medical services reasonably necessary to cure and relieve the worker from the effects of the injury.” Although the employer has the right to select the doctor who will treat the injury, the injured worker may seek the services of an unauthorized doctor but there is a $500 limit for medical treatment paid by the insurer. This unauthorized medical allowance cannot be used to get a second disability rating.
How to Handle a Workers' Comp Dispute
To dispute a decision made by the insurance company, you and your attorney will go through a mediation process either in person or via video conferencing. Mediators are employees of the Division of Workers' Compensation in Kansas. They sit down with all parties involved in your case to work out an agreement.
Mediation does not guarantee that the dispute will be resolved. If you are not satisfied with the results of the mediation, your attorney can discuss other options for pursuing compensation. If an agreement is reached, the mediator puts the agreement in writing, and it is legally binding.
Contact Slape & Howard for A Workers' Compensation Lawyer in Wichita, Kansas
If you were injured in a workplace accident, then you deserve compensation for your injuries, lost pay, and other damages. We understand the complexities of the current Kansas workers' compensation claims process and have been diligently working with other legal offices in Kansas to get this legislation changed or repealed. Call us today and get a free case assessment. We represent clients throughout the state of Kansas.