What is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

  • August 7th, 2018

what is workers compensation insuranceEach year, workplace accidents injure hundreds of thousands of American workers, resulting in trips to the hospital and even death.

Fortunately, Kentucky requires that employers have workers’ compensation insurance.

At Harville Law, we receive many questions, and one of the most common is, “What is workers’ compensation insurance?” Read on to find out.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Kentucky’s workers’ compensation benefits pay for reasonable and necessary medical expenses. You should not have to pay for anything, even copayments, and your own insurer should not be billed. Your employer will pay for medical care.

Injured workers might also qualify for a portion of their wages if their injury or illness prevents them from working. In Kentucky, you can receive two-thirds of your average weekly salary up to a state maximum. For example, if you make $450 a week, you can typically receive $300 in disability benefits. Workers might qualify for:

  • Temporary total disability benefits for a worker who cannot work as they recover.
  • Permanent partial disability benefits if some disability remains after reaching maximum medical improvement.
  • Permanent total disability benefits, if the worker has a permanent and complete inability to return to work.

If a loved one died, then Kentucky’s workers’ compensation provides a burial benefit as well as income payments to spouses and certain dependents.

No-Fault Benefits

The state’s workers’ comp system is “no fault,” meaning that workers do not need to prove that their employer is to blame for the injury or illness. Instead, you qualify for benefits if you suffered an injury or illness of a result of job-related duties. Because the system is no-fault, you can typically receive medical benefits much quicker than you could if you had to bring a lawsuit.

One tradeoff of the no-fault system, however, is that you cannot sue your employer if they were negligent. For example, your company might have violated state and federal safety standards, resulting in an accident. Because they are covered by the workers’ comp system, they are immune from lawsuit.

Know Your Rights and Obligations

To qualify for benefits, injured workers must notify their employers of the injury as soon as possible. Ideally, you should tell your boss before heading to the hospital if that is at all possible. Otherwise, notify your boss as soon as you can.

Once your employer receives notice of your injuries, they must provide benefits within a reasonable time. Unwarranted delay violates Kentucky law, KRS 342.040. If you feel that your employer is not paying benefits, you should speak with an attorney.

Injured on the Job? Contact Harville Law Offices Today

Kentucky’s workplace safety record is among the worst in the nation, and accidents will continue to occur. If you are being unfairly denied benefits, then you should speak to a Louisville workers’ compensation attorney about your options.

At Harville Law Offices, we can help you obtain the full benefits you are entitled to under our state’s workers’ comp laws. Our team has helped overturn adverse decisions and secure fair benefits for our clients.

To speak with an attorney, please call 502-245-2333 or contact us online to schedule a free case review.


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