Paducah Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Workplace accidents can result in a long and painful road to recovery. A serious injury can also affect your ability to earn a living now and in the future.
Kentucky workers’ compensation is designed to pay medical and income benefits if you suffer a work-related injury that prevents you from doing your job. Unfortunately, workers’ compensation doctors may not take your injury as seriously as you do, and your employer may begin to see you as an expense that needs to be controlled.
It sometimes takes an attorney’s help to make a claim and get the medical and other benefits you need. From our office in Paducah, KY, we handle worker’s compensation and personal injury cases throughout Kentucky.
If a third party contributed to your work injury or illness, you may be able to pursue a third-party lawsuit. For example, one of the following parties may also be liable for your accident:
- An outside contractor on the worksite.
- A negligent property owner.
- The manufacturer of a defective product used in the workplace.
- A negligent driver who caused an accident.
- Anyone on the job site not employed by your employer who
Any party outside of your employer or coworkers can typically be held responsible for your workplace injury if they were entirely or partially responsible for causing your accident.
Types of Compensation Available in a Third Party Claim
A third-party claim is a separate legal action from a workers’ compensation claim. However, it can be filed even if you receive workers’ comp benefits, to recover compensation beyond what workers’ comp will cover. However, the burden of proof will fall on you to prove that another party’s negligence caused your injury. If you are successful, the following types of compensation are commonly available:
- Medical Costs: Any current and future expenses for treatment that are not covered or disputed by your employer’s insurance company.
- Lost Income: Workers’ compensation benefits only cover 66 ⅔% of your average weekly wages. In a third-party claim, you can recover compensation for the full extent of your lost income and diminished lost earning capacity related to your injury.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the pain and suffering you have had to endure and any emotional distress (e.g., depression, anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, etc.).
- Punitive Damages: In cases involving an extremely reckless defendant (at-fault party), the court may award punitive damages as punishment for their behavior.
If a worker is killed, the surviving family can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit in addition to receiving workers’ comp death and burial benefits. The types of compensation possibly available include medical bills incurred by the deceased after the workplace accident not covered by workers’ comp, funeral and burial expenses, loss of expected income and benefits, loss of companionship, the deceased’s pain and suffering, and more.
What To Do After a Work Injury
There are critical steps to take after a work injury to ensure you recover the benefits and compensation you deserve:
- Notify your supervisor. In Paducah, you must report a work injury or illness to your employer within three days of it occurring, but the sooner, the better. If you fail to do so within that time, you may forfeit your right to worker’s compensation benefits. Once reported, you have two years to file a workers’ compensation claim.
- Seek medical care. Call 911 if you are severely injured. If you do not believe you require emergency medical care, your employer should have a list of medical providers to choose from. See a doctor as soon as possible and continue any recommended follow up treatment. If you are unhappy with the doctor’s diagnosis, you can request a second opinion.
- Document the scene. If you are not transported to the hospital, remain at the scene to take photos and videos of the area where the accident occurred, the cause of your injury, and your injury. Ask witnesses for the contact information and if they can make a brief recorded statement on your phone. All this information will be critical if you pursue a third-party claim.
- File the workers’ compensation paperwork. You must file the necessary workers’ comp paperwork then your employer is required to notify their insurance company.
If your claim is denied or you are offered an unfairly low settlement, contact an attorney as soon as possible.