Carpal tunnel neck & back, shoulder and knee injuries are the most common injuries on the job. Any injury can be stressful and many questions can arise. Under Kansas law an injured worker is not legally required to obtain the services of an attorney, however, such injured worker if proceeding on his own (pro se) will be held to the same standard as an attorney. Contact Us.
Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Wichita KS
There are certain time requirements that must be followed to preserve an injured workers claim. Failure to do so can result in the denial of all worker’s compensation benefits. Since the claim is time sensitive it is important for the injured worked to contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney immediately.
Most employers are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance policy for its employees.
Workers’ compensation fee arrangements between injured workers and their attorneys must be a contingent fee. This means the attorney will not receive an attorney fee unless the attorney is successful in obtaining compensation (indemnity) benefits.
If the injured worker and the insurance carrier are unable to reach an agreement, the injured worked may proceed to a Preliminary Hearing requesting three types of benefits. These include payment of indemnity (money) benefits known as temporary total and/or temporary partial. This figure is determined within a mathematical formula established by law.
Additionally, the injured worker can request payment of medical bills incurred to date as well as seeking an authorized treating physician for future care. These benefits can be requested at the Preliminary Hearing.
Once hired, an attorney would initiate the process of obtaining appropriate medical records and medical bills relative to the injured worker. At some point in time, the injured worker will reach Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), which simply means no significant future medical care of treatment is anticipated. At this point most attorneys would schedule the injured worker to undergo an Independent Medical Examination (IME). This physician would then issue a written report indicating the impairment rating and work restrictions, if any.
A copy of the IME report would be sent to the insurance adjuster or workers’ compensation attorney hired by the employer and insurance carrier. At this point negotiations would normally ensue with the objective of achieving an amicable settlement. If a settlement (agreement) cannot be achieved, then the attorney for the injured worker would schedule a Regular Hearing. Usually, the injured worker (claimant) will testify at such hearing. The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at the Regular Hearing will establish terminal dates for both the claimant and the employer (respondent) and insurance carrier.
Typically, the attorney for the injured worker will take the evidentiary deposition of the IME physician and perhaps other witnesses. The employer and insurance carrier will usually conduct evidentiary depositions of their own medical experts.
After all the evidence has been produced and submitted, the Administrative Law Judge will issue a written decision. If disappointed by the decision, either party may appeal.
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