Loss of Use Attorneys in Wichita, Kansas
Workers' compensation is meant to be accessible to employees injured at work. Benefits, which may include medical bills and loss of income, are typically paid until the worker is ready to return to work. But what if you suffer an injury that leaves you without the use of a body part or one of your senses?
When injuries lead to impairments to a certain body part, rendering it unusable either partially or completely, you may be eligible to receive compensation for the loss of use. Our loss of use attorneys at Slape & Howard understand the stress and frustration that accompany any injury, especially when you lose the ability to use one or more parts of your body the same way you did before the accident. No matter your specific situation or injury, you deserve a clear path forward if you’ve been hurt at work.
No one should have to go through this alone. Set up a consultation with us to start seeking a positive outcome. Our workers' compensation attorneys serve workers in Wichita, Kansas, and throughout all of Kansas.
What Is a Loss of Use in Workers Compensation?
Loss of use refers to an injured worker’s inability to use a particular body part (e.g., an arm or leg) or sense such as hearing and vision. The inability to use a body part or sense can be devastating not only physically and psychologically, but also financially. A worker may be unable to perform their job duties or enjoy the same activities as before the injury.
The Workers Compensation Act in Kansas allows injured workers to receive permanent partial schedule disability benefits when they suffer a complete or partial loss of or loss of use of a body part because of a work-related injury. According to the official website of the state’s Department of Labor, such benefits amount to 66 2/3 percent of the worker’s average gross weekly wage. The Act outlines a list of body parts that can be eligible for permanent partial schedule disability benefits:
Hearing (one or both ears)
The number of weeks the worker can receive permanent partial schedule disability benefits depends on the type of the body part injured.
What Is a Scheduled Loss Award?
A scheduled loss award is the amount of money paid to an eligible worker for a certain number of weeks after they suffer a partial or complete loss of a body part or sense. In Kansas, the Workers Compensation Act assigns each body part a specific number of weeks the injured worker is entitled to receive the benefits.
In most cases, the injured worker should wait until they have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) before they can be considered eligible for a scheduled loss award. MMI is the point at which the worker has recovered as much as he or she is reasonably expected to.
The Process of Applying for Compensation
If you suffered an injury at work that resulted in a partial or complete loss of a body part or sense, it is critical that you seek immediate medical attention to document the severity of your injury and begin proper treatment right away. If you do not seek medical attention within a reasonable amount of time, your employer or their insurance carrier could seek to deny your workers' compensation claim by arguing that your failure to get medical care worsened your injury or that your injury is not related to work.
Under Kansas law, injured workers must provide notice to their employer within 20 days from the date of the incident. Failure to do so can lead to the denial of your claim. Once the employer is notified about your injury, they must report the injury to their workers' compensation insurance carrier. Then, the employer has the right to select an authorized healthcare provider to treat you.
It’s important to reach out for assistance from an attorney when applying for compensation after suffering a partial or complete loss of a body part or sense. Our loss-of-use attorneys in Wichita can help you pursue the benefits to which you are entitled under the law. Your settlement should be fair and cover all past, ongoing, and future expenses—our team can help you pursue this outcome.
Loss of Use Attorneys in Wichita, Kansas
Suffering a partial or complete loss of a body part or sense can be devastating. At Slape & Howard, we understand—and we’re here to help. We offer skilled legal guidance to workers in loss of use cases in Wichita and throughout the state of Kansas. We can help you determine the benefits available to you and assist you at every step of the workers compensation claims process. Get in touch with us today to discuss the specifics of your case.