Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Dec. 8, 2018
When injured on the job, employees are entitled to seek workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits include, but are not limited to lost wages, medical care, and disability benefits, depending on the situation. Filing workers’ compensation claims can be tricky, as each state has its own procedures. The personal injury attorneys at Biesterveld & Crook, LLC encourage those who are curious about the process to read this blog for information on filing workers' compensation claims and what to expect.
Where to Begin
Reporting your injury or occupational illness to your employer is the first step in the process. It is strongly recommended that this be done quickly, as the longer you wait, the more skeptical the employer and/or insurance company will be towards the legitimacy of your claim. Emergency treatment is also an obvious first step for a workers’ compensation claim.
Once receiving any necessary emergency treatment and reporting the injury to your employer, submitting forms to the employer’s insurance company is the next step. Often times the employer will provide the necessary forms and will submit them to insurance, but not always.
The deadline for these steps varies by state, so it’s important to know the time restrictions and file all of the required documentation as quickly as possible.
Kansas Specifications and Laws
In Kansas, the injured employee has 20 days from the date medical treatment was sought to report the incident to the employer. The employer is then required to submit a claim for the employee’s injury within 28 days. This claim is filed with the Workers’ Compensation Board.
If the injured employee wishes to choose the doctor they receive treatment from, Kansas law requires the insurance carrier provide only $500 to cover medical bills. Maximum limits also exist in regard to wage replacement benefits. Employees are entitled to two-thirds of their average weekly benefits. The injured party may also receive up to $155,000 in permanent total disability or up to $130,000 in permanent partial disability.
Claim denial in Kansas can lead to several dispute resolution options, such as mediation or a hearing. With either scenario, it’s strongly recommended the injured worker consult with an experienced personal injury attorney that has handled workers’ compensation matters.
To learn more about Kansas Workers’ Compensation Laws, read the state statute or visit the Kansas Department of Labor’s “Benefits Information for Injured Workers” page.
Missouri Specifications and Laws
Missouri serves as a no-fault system of coverage for work-related injuries and illnesses. This means the state requires employers to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. In Missouri, an injured employee has 30 days to inform their employer of the injury. The state then has a two-year time frame to file the claim with the Division of Workers’ Compensation.
Types of benefits for injured workers in Missouri include all reasonable and necessary medical care, temporary total disability, permanent partial disability, permanent total disability, and up to $5,000 in burial costs in the event of death. For more details about each of these benefits, visit the Missouri Department of Labor’s “Benefits Available” page.
Employers in Missouri have specific obligations, such as obtaining and posting notice of workers’ compensation insurance if the employer has five or more employees. The employer also has the right to choose the medical provider for the injured employee.
To learn more about Missouri Workers’ Compensation Laws, click here.
Insurance’s Role and Appeals
The insurance company handling the claim will conduct an investigation into the injuries and the events causing them. They will then approve or deny the claim. When a claim is approved, the injured party should start receiving benefits soon thereafter. If the claim is denied, the injured party has the right to an appeal. This is often the step in the process where a workers’ compensation attorney steps in to do a more extensive investigation by gathering evidence to bolster the claim. This can sometimes lead to negotiations with the insurance company but can also lead to a trial.