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Kentucky Workers’ Compensation 101: An Overview of the Program

Posted on Wednesday, August 6th, 2014 at 4:42 pm    

Kentucky workers compIn Kentucky, it is mandatory for employers’ to provide workers’ compensation. If there is a job-related injury or death, it is the employer’s responsibility to provide the employee or the employee’s family with medical and disability benefits.

Who is Considered an Employer?

Under KRS 342.630, an employer is any person or entity with one or more employees. This definition includes state, city and county. That’s pretty straightforward. 

Who is Considered an Employee?

Under KRS 342.640, an employee is anyone working under contract for hire, expressed or implied; executive officers of corporations; state, county or city employees; volunteer firefighters; those who sell and deliver newspapers; and anyone person performing services in a trade profession or business. Although the list of covered employees is vast, under KRS 342.650 there are several exemptions including: agriculture employees, certain religious organizations and a domestic worker in a private home if less than two.

The 3 Major Components of Kentucky Workers’ Compensation…

  1. Medical Expense pay
  2. Disability pay
  3. Vocational Rehabilitation

Workers’ compensation can be viewed as a type of insurance that accommodates employees who need compensation for medical care due to an injury during the course of work in exchange for the employee’s right to sue their employer for negligence. Plans vary according to jurisdictions, though they can be made for weekly payments instead of wages as a type of disability insurance, compensation for past and future economic losses, the payment or reimbursement of the medical expenses as a type of health insurance, and benefits payable to the dependents of workers who were killed as a type of life insurance. Not included in worker compensation plans are punitive damages for employer negligence and general damages for pain and suffering.

If you or someone you know has been injured on the job, contact Lawrence & Associates today! We can help you get the benefits that you deserve!

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation


Hurt Working On the Water? Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Vs. The Jones Act (Admiralty Law)

Posted on Thursday, July 17th, 2014 at 7:48 am    

TugboatKentucky has a greater length of navigable waterways and streams than any other contiguous state, but many Kentucky attorneys know precious little about admiralty law. At Lawrence & Associates, we represent injured workers every day both in state based Worker’s Compensation and through the federal maritime courts. At our Fort Mitchell, Kentucky office, we fight for injured workers’ rights!

Compensation Via The Jones Act

The Jones Act (Admiralty Law) and Kentucky worker’s compensation systems offer very different remedies. Both the Jones Act and unseaworthiness claims under general maritime law allow for damages that are very similar to damages for other tort cases based in negligence. The plaintiff can present and recover for past and future medical expenses, past lost wages and future loss of earning capacity, and past and future pain and suffering.

Compensation Via Kentucky Workers’ Compensation

Worker’s Compensation claimants get Permanent Partial Disability. Permanent partial disability simply takes an impairment rating created by the American Medical Association, multiplies it by the employee’s average weekly wage and some arbitrary, statutorily derived factors, and then presents a weekly amount to be paid to the employee over the course of 425 weeks. This weekly sum replaces all lost earnings and pain and suffering damages that could be received in a trial.

If You Are Truly Injured, a Trial in Maritime Court Could Provide the Most Compensation

Although there are some other benefits received under the worker’s compensation system that can match or offer alternatives to a trial’s more traditional damages, generally an injured worker will receive greater damages via trial than through Worker’s Compensation. The only exception to this rule is a plaintiff that is not seriously injured, and who is likely to return to work with no impairment whatsoever. In that case, the lower cost and relative speed of the worker’s compensation system is an advantage to the plaintiff. Further, worker’s compensation allows for temporary total disability at two-thirds of the plaintiff’s average weekly wage until the injured worker reaches maximum medical improvement or returns to work. Maritime law’s corresponding benefit, Maintenance, is merely the replacement cost of daily expenses and is always far lower. So an injured worker whose damages are almost exclusively past, related medical bills and missing pay during a short period in which he or she cannot work may prefer the worker’s compensation system.

If you or someone you know has been injured on the job on the water, contact Lawrence & Associates today! We can help you get the benefits that you deserve!

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation


Can a Kentucky Employer Fire Me For Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Posted on Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 at 4:05 pm    

Workers CompIt’s one of the most common questions we hear from new clients: Can my employer fire me for filing a Workers’ Compensation claim? The short answer to this question is no. Kentucky law does not allow an employer to fire an employee in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim. The employer also cannot refuse to promote you or refuse to give you a raise because you filed a workers’ compensation claim. An employee that has filed a workers’ compensation claim is in one of the rare “protected classes” under the law, similar to gender and race. Just as an employer can’t fire you for being black or white, an employer can’t fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim.

Employers Can’t Fire You for Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim But They Can Get Nasty

As many Kenton County workers know, an employer can be cruelly creative and many employers will try to get around the prohibition against firing employees for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Kenton County employers will sometimes start finding problems in an employee’s work after they’ve been hurt on the job even though there were no problems before. Employers will change an injured employee’s hours so they don’t get the full benefit of their paycheck. Northern Kentucky employers will sometimes even begin treating an employee nastily, so the employee will want to quit before they can be fired. When a Northern Kentucky employee is having these kinds of problems with the employer, is it still a good idea to file a workers’ compensation claim?

So Should You File Even though They May Get Nasty? Absolutely!

Our years of experience at the Kenton County offices of Lawrence & Associates have taught us that an employer that will give an injured worker a hard time for no reason is the kind of employer that will fire the employee anyway. An employee working for that kind of employer is exactly the kind of injured worker that has to protect his or her rights. You can only protect your rights by filing a workers’ compensation claim, and in order to file a workers’ compensation claim correctly – and see it through to the end – you need a good lawyer. That’s where the experienced attorneys at Lawrence & Associates come in.

Fighting Everyday to Make Sure Injured Workers Get their Benefits

At Lawrence & Associates, we fight every day to make sure injured workers like you get the benefits you deserve. You deserve full treatment of your medical bills, TTD and PPD and potentially other benefits like vocational rehabilitation. Injured or not, no one can guarantee your job tomorrow. When you are injured, that means you have to take a stand and fight for the benefits that you have a legal right to receive under Kentucky law. We want to help you fight for your rights.

If you or someone you know has been injured on the job, contact Lawrence & Associates today! We can help you get the benefits that you deserve!

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation


Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Survivors Benefits – Who is Eligible?

Posted on Monday, June 23rd, 2014 at 10:30 am    

workers compensation benefitsWhile it is difficult enough when a worker suffers an injury while on the job, if injuries are severe enough to cause death, the situation becomes unimaginably worse. If you are the spouse or child of a worker who died in a work-related accident, you may be able to recover some financial compensation to help you through this trying time. A Northern Kentucky workers’ compensation attorney can help you understand Kentucky’s complex legal system set up to pay workers’ compensation benefits to the family of someone who has lost a loved one while on the job. 

People Who May Be Eligible for Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Survivors Benefits

Kentucky has a complex legal system set up to pay workers’ compensation benefits to the family of someone who suffers a fatal work injury. The rules are very specific and our attorneys will explain them to you in detail when you visit our office, but generally, the following people are eligible for benefits…

  • A surviving spouse
  • Minor children of the deceased worker
  • Mentally disabled adult children of the deceased worker
  • The parent of the deceased worker, if he or she had no spouse and no children

The state of Kentucky sets minimum and maximum amounts that are available to survivors. These amounts change each year. When you visit us, we will be able to give you an idea of how much you may be able to expect.

If a loved one has suffered a fatal injury while on the job, contact Lawrence & Associates today! We can help you and your family members get the survivor benefits that you deserve!

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation


Even If You Don’t Live in Kentucky, Talk to a Northern Kentucky Lawyer if You Where Hurt On the Job in Kentucky

Posted on Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 at 10:29 am    

View of Cincinnati Ohio from Kentucky

Because Lawrence & Associates is located along I-75 and conveniently close to Cincinnati, OH, we often help injured workers who live outside the state. It is very common for injured workers to work at a factory or warehouse – such as the Amazon warehouse in Boone County, Kentucky – but live in Ohio or Indiana. If you are injured while working in Kentucky, then you will be covered by Workers’ Compensation in Kentucky! Companies located within the state are not required to have Workers’ Comp insurance in the state where you live.

Kentucky’s law says that your employer has to provide Kentucky Workers’ Compensation to you if any of the following are true…

  1. You mostly work in Kentucky.
  2. You work all over, but were hired in Kentucky. This would be true for a lot of truck drivers who drive all over the country, but report back to a depot in Kentucky and were hired out of that depot.
  3. You work in a state where your employer doesn’t have Workers’ Comp insurance, but were hired in Kentucky. This is true for a lot of people that live in Cincinnati and work out of their homes in Cincinnati, but have been hired by a company in Northern Kentucky.
  4. You work outside the country, but were hired in Kentucky.

The Bottom-line

Basically, if you were injured while working in Kentucky or were hired in Kentucky and got injured elsewhere, you should consider talking to a Kentucky Workers’ Compensation attorney.  At Lawrence & Associates, we have helped many people just like you receive full and fair compensation for your injuries.

If you or someone you know has a Workers’ Comp issue, please contact a Northern Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Attorney today. Melissa Doss and Lawrence & Associates can help!

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation


Filing a First Report of Injury (FROI) Form is Not the Same as Filing a Claim for Workers’ Compensation

Posted on Thursday, May 1st, 2014 at 3:40 pm    

Workers Comp - Lawrence and AssociatesIn today’s world almost every employer has procedures in place when an employee is injured on the job. In many cases it involves documenting the events that led to the injury and recording them on a form for future use and reference. In Kentucky’s workers’ compensation system, this form is often referred to as a First Report of Injury (or FROI). 

First Report of Injury (or FROI)

In this report, the date and location of the injury and the circumstances surrounding the injury are disclosed. When an employee is injured on the job, the employer works with the injured worker in order to complete the form. Once the form has been completed, it is generally kept on site at the workplace. In addition to being kept on site, the employer should submit this form to the Department of Workers’ Claims in Frankfort, Kentucky. The FROI provides as a documentation of your injury, which can provide helpful information concerning your workers’ compensation claim down the road.

Filing the FROI Isn’t the Same as Filing  a Claim for Worker’s Compensation

Working with your employer to complete and file the FROI is not how an injured worker files a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Many injured workers are under the impression that they have filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits by filing a First Report of Injury. This is not true. Filing a First Report of Injury with your employer is helpful in your claim but it is not the same as filing a claim for benefits. It is key to understand the difference between filing a FROI and a workers’ compensation claim because in Kentucky, the statute of limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim is two years from the date of injury or two years after the last temporary total disability payment, whichever comes later. Although a FROI should be completed as soon as an employee is injured, filling out the FROI is insignificant for purposes of the statute of limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim. In other words, you can fill out a FROI and still lose your rights to benefits if you do not get an attorney and file a claim with the Department of Workers’ Claims.

If you or someone you know has a Workers’ Comp issue, please contact a Northern Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Attorney today. Danielle Lawrence and Lawrence & Associates can help!

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation

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