Kansas Workers' Compensation
Regardless of an employee's job functions, there is no industry that is immune from work injuries. Obviously, some jobs may be more dangerous than others, but if you have been injured on the job and need medical care, Kansas workman's or workers' compensation laws are designed to provide benefits.
Kansas workman's compensation is a no-fault insurance program that helps provide medical benefits and potentially wage loss compensation to employees who suffer from a work injury. Workman's compensation can help alleviate some of the economic consequences of a work injury without the employee filing a Kansas personal injury claim and proving their employer's negligence contributed to their work injury. The employee and the employer potentially benefit from this arrangement and avoid a lengthy legal battle.
Kansas workman's compensation is administered by the Department of Labor whose primary goal is to "advance the economic well being of all Kansans through responsive workforce services". They do this by attempting to perform their job with courtesy, stewardship, sound public police, clear communication and an emphasis on quality and accountability.
Hiring a Kansas Workers' Compensation Lawyer
Not all injured workers will need a work comp lawyer, but Kansas workman's comp laws can be complicated and difficult to navigate. Kansas employers, who are always represented by their own worker comp attorneys, may be less concerned with giving the employee the compensation they deserve after a work injury and more concerned with closing the case.
Hiring a Kansas workers' compensation lawyer may be a good idea if your employer does not acknowledge you suffered a work injury, the doctor tries to send you back to work before you feel you are ready to return, you have residual physical limitations and can not go back to work but you have been released to do so, or your workers' compensation claim has been denied.
Work Injuries NOT covered by Workman's Compensation in Kansas
Kansas workman's comp laws cover work injuries that arise "out of the course of employment". Work injuries that do not occur during the course of employment or result from any of the following are not covered under Kansas workman's comp laws:
- The employee was intoxicated at the time of the work injury
- The employee deliberately injured themselves.
- The work injury occurred while the employee was traveling to or from work
- The employee was at a voluntary work-related social function (unless part of the employee's normal job function)
Common Work Injuries Covered Under Kansas Workers' Compensation
Common Kansas work injuries and occupational illnesses which are generally covered under Kansas workers' comp laws can include: Neck injuries, Back injuries, Carpal Tunnel, Concussions, Heart attacks on the job, Strokes on the job, Amputations, Injuries from inhaling toxic chemicals, Closed head injuries, Paralysis, Burns, Spinal cord injuries, Abrasions, Electrocution, Puncture wounds, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Kansas Workers' Compensation Benefits
- Medical Benefits - Full medical benefits are provided to Kansas employees who suffer from a work injury while performing their normal job functions. Full medical benefits are provided without monetary or time limits and can include: doctor's expenses, hospitalizations, paid medical supplies and medications. Kansas employers choose the treating physician. Talk to your employer if you have questions about your treating physician. Under some conditions you may be paid $500 toward your medical care to see a physician of your choice or you may be able to request a hearing to change your doctor.
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD) - Temporary total disability benefits are paid to workers who are temporarily unable to return to work due to their Kansas work injury. The amount paid is 2/3 of the employee's gross average weekly wage up to a maximum allowed under Kansas workers' compensation law. Temporary total disability payments will continue for the duration of the worker's disability up to the maximum allowed or the doctor releases the employee to return to work. Temporary disability benefits will begin after a seven day waiting period. If the employee is injured more than 21 days, the first seven days will be compensated.
- Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (TPD) - Temporary partial disability benefits may be paid to Kansas employees who are released to return to light duty or limited work but whose wage is less than their wage prior to their work injury. Temporary partial disability benefits are paid at 2/3 the difference between the amount of wages the employee receives after their work injury and the worker's average weekly wage prior to their work injury.
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD) - Permanent total disability benefits are paid to Kansas employees who suffer an injury at work and have been permanently and totally disabled and can not return to any type of employment. The amount of PTD paid is based on a percentage of the employee's wages (subject to a maximum and minimum payout). Permanent total disability benefits may be made for the duration of the disability but can be offset by Social Security Disability Insurance or unemployment insurance payments.
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD) - Permanent partial disability benefits are paid to employees who suffer a permanent work injury but are able to return to work. PPD benefits may be scheduled or unscheduled. Scheduled benefits are paid for the loss of certain parts of the body. PPD compensation varies based on the body part and the amount and number of weeks listed on the schedule.
Unscheduled or general disabilities are those which affect the employee's head, neck, hips and back. The amount of PPD paid for general disabilities is based on the percentage of body loss. PPD for general disabilities is paid up to 415 weeks. Additional benefits may be paid for disfigurements from amputations.
- Death Benefits - Death benefits are paid to the beneficiaries of Kansas workers who are killed from an occupational disease or Kansas work injury. Compensation for death benefits are paid at 66.67% of the employee's average gross weekly wage before the employee's death. Death benefits are subject to state maximums. Death benefits may also be provided for burial expenses up to $5,000.