Kentucky workers’ compensation laws are anything but straightforward. Nevertheless, all Kentucky workers need to be aware of their rights in case they are injured at work.
The workers’ compensation laws that we have in place today were originally drafted to put the responsibility for work injuries and diseases on the industry and not the worker.
First, let us define “workplace injury.” A “workplace injury” is a work-related injury that occurs on the job and is due to work-related circumstances as determined by a third-party medical professional.
For example, you are working in a warehouse where you repeatedly lift heavy boxes. One day, you are lifting a box and feel a sharp pain in your back. You can no longer perform your job duty. This is what would be considered a workplace injury.
The first thing a worker needs to understand about workers’ compensation in Kentucky is its definition of a worker. Are you defined as a worker? In Kentucky there are numerous employment niches and certain groups are employees and others are not employees.
An employee, by definition, is anyone “in the service of an employer under any contract of hire.” (KRS 342.640) Occupations that are included in that definition are workers for a city, county or the state. This includes executive officers and volunteer firefighters, for example. Some occupations are exempt. This includes the agricultural sector, workers for religious organizations or charities, domestic housekeeping workers, and some religious organizations.
Every employer in Kentucky must offer workers’ compensation insurance. Employers are liable for compensation for injuries, diseases or death of their employees. Workers’ compensation cases can be tricky and complicated. It is best to get help from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
Lastly, workers may not be aware that they have the choice to waive rights to workers’ compensation coverage. Generally, it is not recommended to waive your workers’ compensation coverage.
If you choose to proceed with waiving your rights, you must file an Employee’s Notice of Rejection of Workers’ Compensation Act, otherwise known as the Form 4 Waiver. The waiver must be filed with the Department of Workers Claims to be effective and remains in place until voluntarily withdrawn.
The workers’ compensation process can be quite complex and complicated. If you or someone you love has been injured at work, speak to one of our lawyers right away. Hessig & Pohl are highly experienced workers’ compensation attorneys who know how to handle injury claims. They make sure you get fair and equitable compensation for your injuries. We do not quit until we get justice. Call us today for your free consultation at (502) 777-1111.