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What Are Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Laws?

Injury or man with lawyer woman planning on documents for insurance. Kentucky Workers' Compensation Laws

If you sustain work-related injuries or illnesses, Kentucky workers’ compensation laws state that you may be able to receive two-thirds of your average weekly income following seven days without work, followed by payment for the first seven days after two weeks have passed.

It’s important to understand Kentucky workers’ compensation laws if you want to succeed with a case and recover total compensation for work injuries.

Need help with your workers’ comp case? Turn to the workers’ compensation attorneys at Young, Reverman & Bolotin by calling 513-400-0000 for a free consultation.

Workers’ Compensation Laws in Kentucky

According to workers’ comp laws in Kentucky, workers can receive Temporary Total Disability (TTD) payments equalling two-thirds of their average weekly earnings if they are out of work for seven days or longer. After two weeks, workers can also recover lost income for the first seven days without work.

Kentucky law also provides worker’s compensation benefits based on tiers, depending on a worker’s Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) rating. Workers with a PPD rating at or below 50% will receive benefits for up to 425 weeks following a work injury. Meanwhile, individuals with a PPD rating of 50% or higher will be able to recover benefits for as long as 525 weeks after the injury.

However, you may recover benefits until you reach your Social Security Retirement Age if you suffer a Total Permanent Disability (TPD).

In any case, workers’ compensation payments will come out of your employer’s workers’ comp insurance coverage, depending on the size of the company and industry. Failure to pay compensation to claimants could result in steep fines and audits.

Does Every Employer Have to Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Kentucky?

Generally, every employer in Kentucky is required to have workers’ compensation insurance coverage. However, there are exceptions, depending on the industry and nature of the employer’s relationship with workers.

For example, employers in the home care space or agriculture may not require insurance. Additionally, individuals or companies hiring independent contractors for work may not need coverage for these workers. Other parties exempt from workers’ comp insurance requirements include workers in maritime, railroad, religious organization, or federal jobs. Workers’ compensation for remote workers may also differ from others, depending on the nature of their employment.

Types of Benefits Available to Injured Workers in Kentucky

There are four types of workers’ compensation benefits that injured employees may recover in Kentucky, according to the current laws in place. These include:

  • Medical Expenses: The first type of benefit to consider is coverage for medical costs associated with the work injury or illness. These benefits can cover various medical expenses, including initial treatment and diagnostic tests, medication, hospitalization, rehabilitative equipment, or therapy.
  • Disability Benefits: If you sustain a disability because of your work injury or illness, you could recover disability benefits under Kentucky law. These can include benefits for TTD, TPD, PPD, and permanent total disability (PTD), depending on the severity and longevity of your disability. Your disability could render you unable to work for a limited time or for the rest of your life, meaning these benefits will help cover the wages you’re unable to earn while disabled.
  • Rehabilitation Benefits: If you require a period of rehabilitation and therapy to recover from your condition, you could recover rehabilitation benefits. These benefits cover physical therapy and occupational rehabilitation, helping you get back on your feet to continue working in the same capacity as your previous job or in another area.
  • Death Benefits and Funeral Expenses: If a worker dies because of his or her injuries or illness, death benefits cover the costs associated with the worker’s death, including lost income and burial and funeral costs. These benefits go to the worker’s immediate family, including children, spouses, or parents.

Calculation of Compensation for Lost Wages and Medical Expenses

There are numerous factors that will influence the total compensation you’re able to recover for lost income and medical costs, whether filing an occupation disease claim or an injury claim.

For example, your income history could affect the total amount of compensation you recover for lost wages, along with retraining requirements to provide you with employment opportunities in other areas due to disability. Other factors impacting compensation include the severity of your injuries or illness, your education level, ongoing medical costs, and the estimation of a permanent disability.

If you need help calculating your compensation, you can turn to a workers’ compensation lawyer in Kentucky for assistance.

Steps for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Kentucky

When preparing to file a workers’ comp case, the following are the steps you can expect to take throughout the process:

1. Seek Medical Attention

Seek medical care as soon as possible following a work-related accident or the onset of an illness. The sooner you seek professional care, the sooner you can be on your way to recovery and gather sufficient evidence to help prove the nature of your condition.

Conversely, the longer you wait to seek medical attention, the harder it will be to prove that your condition is work-related and collect helpful evidence to support your claim.

Your employer’s workers’ comp insurance policy may dictate which doctor you’re able to see for treatment.

2. Notify Your Employer

In addition to seeking medical attention, you should notify your employer of your injury or illness as soon as possible. It’s best to notify your employer within a week of learning of your condition, as your employer can then help you begin the claims process. Your employer should provide you with some guidance around filing a claim and the necessary paperwork to proceed with a case.

3. Consult an Attorney

While your workers’ comp case may appear straightforward and easy to navigate, these cases are often complex and require many steps and elements to consider if you want to succeed. As such, it’s ideal to speak with a workers’ comp attorney to discuss a case and the options available to you.

An attorney could help you determine the exact amount of compensation you’re able to recover based on your damages, and he or she could help you successfully navigate the claims process.

Make sure you consult an attorney as soon as possible after seeking medical care and notifying your employer.

4. File Your Claim on Time

One of the benefits of working with a workers’ comp attorney is the ability to file your claim on time. Otherwise, filing too late could leave you without the ability to recover compensation from your employer.

Like every other state, Kentucky has a statute of limitations in place for workers’ compensation cases. This statute gives you a limited amount of time to file a claim or lawsuit before you’re unable to recover compensation.

The Kentucky workers’ compensation statute of limitations is currently two years from the date of the work accident or discovery of your condition. In other words, you have two years to begin the claims process, or you may not be able to seek compensation at all, regardless of the severity of your injuries or the extent of the damages.

Is It Possible to File a Lawsuit in Addition to a Workers’ Comp Claim?

In some cases, workers may be able to file third-party lawsuits against various parties if they believe negligence or malicious intent contributed to their condition.

Third parties in these cases could include other drivers on the road while traveling within the scope of employment, parts or equipment manufacturers, contractors or subcontractors, maintenance providers, and others who could be responsible for your injury or illness.

In a third-party claim or suit, you may be able to recover certain non-economic damages in addition to medical expenses and lost income, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress.

It’s best to have an attorney by your side if you wish to file a third-party lawsuit in addition to a workers’ compensation claim. He or she can guide you through the process and help you navigate both cases to recover full compensation.

Understanding Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Laws

Knowing more about how Kentucky workers’ comp laws work can help you successfully file a claim to recover compensation from your employer or your employer’s insurer. In Kentucky, you may qualify for workers’ comp if you sustain a work injury or illness that puts you out of work for seven days or longer, and you have two years to file a claim before passing the statute of limitations.

Need help from an attorney to help you succeed with your claim? Contact us at Young, Reverman & Bolotin to schedule a consultation.

Jay A. Bolotin is a partner at the injury law firm of Young, Reverman & Bolotin. Serving the people of Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, Jay dedicates his career to helping clients in the tri-state area obtain financial compensation after suffering serious injuries. He focuses his practice on cases involving car accidents, trucking accidents, dog bites and animal attacks, and other types of personal injury incidents.

Years of Experience: More than 25 years
Registration Status:: Active
Bar Admissions: Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and Cincinati Bar Association