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Kentucky Workers' Compensation Laws

Worker’s compensation plays a big role in financial and medical security for millions of workers. 94% of United States employees are covered under workers’ compensation insurance by their employers. Workers’ compensation laws protect workers injured on-the-job by providing timely compensation and payment of current and future medical costs relating to the work injury without a lengthy court process.

Workers' compensation is typically the exclusive remedy for work-related injuries, which means that an employee cannot sue their employer for negligence or other claims, but there are some exceptions. For example, if the employer's conduct that caused the injury is considered wilful and wanton, an employee may file a claim against the employer outside of the workers' compensation system. Another exception to this exclusivity is if a third-party, other than the employer, is responsible for the injury, such as manufacturer of a product that caused the injury, then an employee can file a personal injury claim against that third-party.

Filing deadlines and adequately determining relief could be challenging for anyone without legal guidance. An experienced Louisville workers’ compensation lawyer could review your case and help you determine your options moving forward. Our legal team is ready to help workers injured on-the-job recover the benefits they need in the Louisville and Indiana area.

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Eligibility and Benefits for Kentucky Workers

When an employer provides workers’ compensation benefits and an employee agrees to work for them, the employee waives their right to sue the employer for work-related injuries. In Kentucky and Indiana, employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance. This is true whether the employee is working part-time or full-time. Employers must have workers’ compensation insurance or be self-insured.

Who is Covered Under Kentucky's Law?

A majority of workers in Kentucky are covered under workers’ compensation laws. However, independent contractors, agricultural workers, most domestic workers, and religious organization workers may not be covered.

Kentucky also prohibits most volunteer workers from being covered under workers’ compensation insurance. Only volunteer firefighters, police officers, and ambulance workers may be eligible for workers’ compensation.

Disability Benefits for Kentucky Employees

Physical injuries and diseases that arise out of employment are covered under workers’ compensation insurance. Kentucky Revised Statutes §342.0011 defines many of the disability benefits offered under workers’ compensation, including:

  • Medical costs
  • Choice of doctor
  • Temporary total disability
  • Permanent total disability
  • Permanent partial disability
  • Mental injuries that result from physical injuries

Take Legal Action for On-the-Job Injuries

If an employee is injured on-the-job or develops an employment-related disease, they should report it to their employer as soon as possible. This ensures the injury is timely documented, the memories of any witnesses are fresh, and any equipment involved in the accident is timely preserved for examination.

Upon receiving the claim, an employer should provide forms to file for workers’ compensation. All forms must be notarized and filed with the Department of Workers’ Claims. Depending on the type of injury, a claimant may need to file an injury claim form, occupational disease form, or hearing loss form. Other important forms that must be filed include employment history, medical history, medical waiver and consent, and social security release forms.

Workers’ compensation claimants in Louisville have two years to file their claim. Notice of acceptance or denial of the claim should be given within two months of filing the claim with the Department of Workers’ Claims. If denied, workers may appeal the case to an administrative law judge. If the judge denies the claim, workers may appeal the decision to the Workers’ Compensation Board, which may also be appealed to a Kentucky appellate court.

Consult with a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Getting injured or sick on-the-job could be a crushing blow mentally, physically, and financially. Workers’ compensation should help support you until you are able to get back on your feet.

It's important to note that the workers' compensation system can be complex, and it's a good idea to speak with an attorney who is familiar with Kentucky's workers' compensation laws if you are injured on the job. An attorney can help you understand the benefits you may be eligible for and help you navigate the claims process.

It can be confusing and overwhelming to stay on top of all of the filing requirements and deadlines on your own. A Louisville workers’ compensation lawyer could guide you through the process and help you fight for the benefits you are entitled to receive. We are ready to help injured employees in Indiana and Louisville get the benefits they are entitled to and deserve under the law. Get started on your case today.

9300 Shelbyville Rd
Suite 215A


KY  40222
5225 Dixie Hwy
Suite 100


KY  40216
7310 Turfway Road
Suite 550A


KY  41042
201 East Main St
Suite 300


KY  40507
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