Why You Need a Workers Compensation Attorney
If you were injured while working for your employer, you might be afraid to report it for fear of retaliation or firing. Moreover, you may have friends who have told you that workers’ compensation cases are often denied in Kansas. If you have questions about your claim, it is best to talk to an attorney. We have a duty to insure we keep your information protected, and can offer insight as to what to expect.
Maybe your claim was denied. Maybe your employer won't listen to you about your work restrictions. Maybe you are being left in an endless loop of trying to get treatment approved only to be ignored by adjustors. We have handled Kansas Workers comepnsation claims for over 35 years, and we understand the delicate balance between protecting you and making sure that your employer follows the law.
We are experienced at handling insurance claim denials and will do everything in our power to get your case approved. With our team's help, the majority of our clients that have come to us with an initial denial end up getting benefits. We know what you are going through, and have the talent and expertise to get things done.
At Slape & Howard, we are adept at navigating the workers’ compensation process in Kansas. Our office is located in Wichita, and we assist injured employees throughout the state.
Showing You Were Hurt While on The Job
The Kansas Workers' Compensation Act (KWCA) is complicated legislation filled with complex rules. If you file a workers’ compensation claim yourself, it could result in a dismissal or denial of your injuries.
According to the KWCA, injured parties who are filing an application must show that the injury occurred during the course and scope of employment. This means that if you were hurt while driving to or leaving from work, or while you were out on break, you might not be eligible for workers’ compensation. This is called the 'going and coming rule' and their are many ways to get around it, but you need an experienced attorney let you know how.
You also may have been denied due to your injury not being the 'prevailing factor' in your current need for treatment. In Kansas, the injury from work must be the 'prevailing factor' in your need for treatment. Further, if you exacerbated an underlying condition, accelerated a condition to the point where you now need treatment, or if you made a pre-existing condition symptomatic, even if you never had symptoms, you can be denied a claim.
Our Wichita law firm is well aware of the reasons that cases are often dismissed, and we are forward-thinking in making applications on behalf of clients so that we can avoid denials. We know the tricks, and we have been able to overcome a vast majority of these denials for our clients. This is just one way that hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer can work to your benefit.
Proving Your Injuries
Workers’ compensation attorneys often see clients who are experiencing repetitive trauma. These are problems that have gotten worse over time while performing the same movements over and over again at work.
Under the KWCA, the requirements for proving a cumulative injury are strict. Injured workers are often required to undergo clinical tests to establish that they do indeed have repetitive trauma. More than that, these claims are often denied because the employee did not give notice within 20 days of 1) any physician putting them on restrictions for the repetitive trauma, 2) any physician taking them off work for the repetitive trauma, 3) any physician telling them that the repetitive trauma is related to their work activity, or 4) 10 days from the last day they physically worked. If any of these apply to your repetitive injury, it is imperative to contact a lawyer immediately so that your claim is not dismissed.
At Slape & Howard, we undertsand how and why these types of claims can be denied. We can advise you how to report your claims and refer you to doctors who are knowledgeable about the KWCA, so that the diagnostic report about your cumulative injury proves acceptable. Our office is conveniently located in Wichita, but we gladly serve clients remotely throughout the state.
Appealing Your Case After a Denial or Dismissal
If you did not retain a workers’ compensation lawyer when you submitted your claim, and your application was dismissed or denied, you should consider obtaining legal counsel for your appeal. A workers’ compensation appeal can be even more difficult than the initial claim. It is important to know that just because an insurance company has denied your claim, it does not mean that you cannot get benefits. Most companies will deny your claim without ever going to court, ands when you hire an attorney it takes the decision out of the hands of the insurance company and into the hands of the courts.
If initially denied, the attorneys for your employer and its insurance company may call you in for a deposition opr attempt to get your testimony at a preliminary hearing. Generally, our office will seek to gather medical evidence to help prove your claim, so that we can overturn the denial. Generally, you will be asked questions under oath about your work and your injuries, and your attorney will be allowed to ask questions of the employer as well. We highly reccomend attending a hearing with an experienced workers comepnsation attroney at your side.
Slape & Howard can represent you at depositions, hearings and through any appeals. Our years of experience with these matters allow us to be strong advocates for our clients. Your case is important to us, and we will work diligently toward a successful outcome.
Contact a Workers' Compensation Lawyer in Wichita, Kansas
If you had an accident at work, or you are in pain from repetitive trauma, our team at Slape & Howard is eager to assist you with your claim. Workers’ compensation cases in Kansas can be tricky because the Kansas Workers’ Compensation Act tends to slight the employee in favor of the insurance company.
Although many people try to file a workers’ compensation application on their own, it’s a difficult and often unsuccessful route. 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 Slape & Howard for a consultation.