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Have Questions? We’re Here to Help

When you’re hurt and worried about how you’re going to get help and back to working, you want answers. Hopefully you can find the answers to some of your questions below. If not, remember that you can call us anytime and consultations are always free.

If your injury qualifies you for workers’ compensation, you’ll have coverage for all of your medical costs while you are unable to work. If you have a long-term injury, workers’ comp will also pay to cover your current and future medical costs.

First, always make sure you receive appropriate medical treatment. Once you have taken care of that, notify your employer immediately. Even if you don’t think your problem is severe, the first step in a workplace injury procedure is to report it. Many injuries can take days or even weeks to show symptoms.

Unfortunately, many employers and their insurance companies don’t want to pay injured workers what they deserve in compensation so they will look for any reason to deny benefits. If you delay reporting your injury, many insurance companies will use that as a reason to turn down your claim, arguing you could not have been hurt that badly because you didn’t turn in your report right away.

No, neither Kansas or Missouri pay workers’ comp benefits. Instead, your employer’s insurance company pays these funds. If you feel an insurance
company is unfairly denying you from receiving benefits, or not giving you all the benefits you deserve, you can file an appeal with the state, and a workers’
compensation judge will hear your case.

In both Kansas and Missouri, you will receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage.

In Kansas, you can receive up to a maximum of 125 percent of your state’s average weekly wage (SAWW), while in Missouri, it is 105 percent.

In Kansas, the SAWW is $921, while in Missouri, it is $947 per week.

However, there are limits on how much you can receive in benefits in both states.

In Kansas, benefits don’t start until you have been off the job for seven days. Once you have been off the job for 21 consecutive days, you will become eligible to receive payment for the first seven days.

In Missouri, you won’t receive benefits for the first three workdays or less if you are unable to work. If you have been off the job for 14 consecutive days, you will receive payment for the first three days.

You are eligible for any necessary medical treatments to treat and heal the work-related injury. These include surgery or physical therapy, diagnostic services and prescriptions. Your employer and their insurance company can select a doctor for you to see.

In Kansas, yes. However, the insurance company will only cover the first $500.

In Missouri, if you want to use a different doctor than the one the company has chosen, you must pay for those costs yourself.

No, not without talking to an experienced workers’ comp attorney. Insurance companies will often try to force you to sign a settlement that doesn’t cover future medical costs. Remember, their only goal to save your employer money, and they do that by paying out as little as possible.

Never sign anything without first talking to an attorney. An attorney also knows
how to structure a settlement, so if you are also receiving Social Security disability benefits, accepting a settlement offer will not unduly reduce them.

The big difference between the two is this:

Workers’ Compensation

  • For when you are injured on the job
  • Pays up to two-thirds regular salary
  • You receive payments until full recovered or reach maximum medical
    improvement. You may be eligible for permanent total disability at this
    point

Long-Term Disability

  • When you are injured off the job
  • Paid through disability insurance program
  • Pays a percentage of your regular salary

When an employee gets injured, owners and managers should follow specific procedures:

  1. Take Care of the Injured Employee Immediately
    When an employee is injured, always make sure they get the medical care they need immediately. If the injury is severe, call 911. Otherwise, take them to the local ER or a doctor covered by their insurance.
  2. Protect the Scene of the Accident
    If an employee is seriously injured or dies, you need to limit access to the area to prevent other accidents or contamination of the scene. Make sure to preserve any equipment for materials involved in the injury.
  3. Prepare the Necessary Forms and Paperwork
    The manager or employer needs to complete the paperwork about the incident and send it to their workers’ compensation insurance carrier within 24 hours. If the employee believes their injury will require workers’ compensation insurance, they should also file the claim. If an employer has any concerns about what paperwork they need to complete for both the insurance carrier and for Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) records, they should contact the insurance carrier who will help them.
  4. Create a Program to Help Injured Employees Return to Work
    Some employees will need to observe medical restrictions and will need a transitional job. This does not need to be the same line of work the employee had previously, be in the same department, provide the same number of hours, or pay the same as the job they held before the injury. If they return to work at a modified position but at a lower wage rate, workers’ compensation should cover two-thirds of the difference between the salary of the pre-injury job and the post-injury job.
  5. Pay Attention to Safety
    You can help reduce costs of workers’ compensation by making sure the workplace is safe. Employers should have a plan on what to do when injuries occur and connect with local doctors who can treat their employees. Make sure workplace safely is your number one priority and have return-to-work program created if you don’t have one already.

Contact us at Phalen Law Firm and arrange for a free consultation where our attorneys will answer all your questions.

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Pittsburg Location
200 W. 4th St
PO Box 1346
Pittsburg, KS 66762