How Do You Know If You Have a Workers Comp Case?

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Not every injury qualifies for workers’ comp coverage – you have to meet certain statutory prerequisites in order to successfully claim compensation. Following are some questions you need to answer before you proceed with filing a claim.


Are You a Qualified Employee?

Only an employee can qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, and even then, there are certain classes of employees who do not qualify for coverage.

  • Independent contractors do not qualify for coverage. Ultimately, however, your employer cannot decide whether you are an employee or an independent contractor – it all depends on how much independence you enjoy. A plumber called in to fix a sink at a software company, for example, will probably not be considered an employee of the software company.
  • Volunteers are generally not covered under workers’ comp, although there are exceptions such as volunteer firefighters.
  • Domestic workers such as maids are not covered under workers’ comp.
  • Certain agricultural workers are not covered under workers’ comp.
  • Federal employees are covered under a federal program, not state workers’ comp.

Is Your Injury Work-Related?

Suppose you do heavy lifting for a trucking company, and you are suffering from back pain that only became debilitating after you were involved in a car accident that was unrelated to your job. In that case, it might be difficult for you to prove that it was your job duties, and not the car accident, that caused your injury. The workers’ comp insurance company will seize on anything like this to dispute your claim or at least limit their liability for your injury.

If you were injured at a company picnic, your injury probably qualifies for workers’ comp. If, on the other hand, you were injured on a lunch break off company property, your injury probably does not qualify for coverage. If you were injured in the company canteen, however, your injury probably does qualify for coverage.

Did You Meet the Applicable Deadlines?

Kentucky requires you to notify your employer “as soon as possible” after you realize you have a claim – typically, either as soon as possible after the accident or as soon as possible after you realize that your injury was work-related. Notify your employer in writing.

You generally have two years after the date of the accident to file a formal workers’ comp claim with the Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims (DWC). Missing the deadline could cause you big problems or even kill your claim altogether.

Don’t Risk a Significant Claim by Trying to Handle it on Your Own

Kentucky workers’ compensation law is deceptively complex, especially when it is applied to the unique facts of a particular case – and no two cases are exactly alike. Contact Kentucky workers’ compensation lawyer Glenn Martin Hammond for a consultation, by calling (606) 437-7777 or by filling out our online contact form. We serve clients throughout the state of Kentucky.

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