What Can Help My Claim?
Depending on the circumstances, the workers' compensation claims process can be lengthy as you try to navigate the Kentucky system. This can become even more complicated if you attempt to challenge a denied claim. Although working with an experienced workers' compensation attorney is one of the most effective ways to ensure you can have a thorough case, obtaining the right evidence is a step in the right direction.
While most of this evidence can be obtained through your own records, others may require more time, so it's important to begin as soon as possible. Here are some of the most crucial pieces of evidence that can help your claim.
Your Written Statement
Your account of how the injury occurred is an essential part of understanding the events leading up to the injury-causing accident, the dangerous circumstances, and how you became injured. This written statement can also provide context into your role in the accident, as well as that of other employees, your employer, or the work environment.
This written statement may also be the foundation for your accident report, with which you must notify your employer within three days of the injury occurring.
Accident Report to Your Employer/Manager
In many workers' compensation cases, the insurance company will require an accident report to have been filed in order to proceed in the process. Commonly known as the "First Report of Injury" form, this is a requirement from the Kentucky Workers' Compensation Commission. Additionally, the state website encourages employees to notify their supervisor of the injury within 24 hours of seeking emergency medical treatment.
This report requires an extensive amount of information about your current employment status, wage rate, and the injury/illness that occurred. It also outlines what, if any, safety equipment and safeguards were required, provided, and used at the time of the incident.
Medical records are often recommended as evidence since they outline your medical history and the treatment you will receive for the injury sustained. Depending on the injury, the insurance company may try to make it seem like you had a preexisting condition or another medical issue before the work injury. Using your medical records can provide context for your condition and indicate the costs and length of treatment.
In some cases, a written testimonial from your doctor explaining your injury and how they perceive it occurred may also be recommended.
In addition to the testimonial from your doctor or another medical professional, utilizing expert testimony can be a crucial part of a successful claim. From occupational experts to accountants, they can provide a holistic view of how the injury came to be and its impact on your financial situation and home life.
For some of the most catastrophic injuries, you may require vocational rehabilitation. In these circumstances, it may be wise to use the testimony of these experts to explain the recovery process before you are able to seek work, as well as how your wages may be affected by this significant life change.
Witness Statements from Coworkers
While the size of your company may vary, those who have multiple coworkers they interact with daily or who were present at the time of the incident may benefit from having their testimony in their case. Statements from coworkers can provide insight into what the working conditions are like for your job and the standards and procedures in place to safeguard against injury.
There may be some circumstances in which multiple injuries have occurred at your company from similar working conditions over time. If this is the case, having sufficient coworker testimony may point to a bigger issue that could be remedied through legal action.
How Our Louisville Workers’ Compensation Firm Can Help
The team at Justice Law Office has spent over a decade providing legal guidance to injured workers throughout Kentucky and has helped dozens recover compensation for their injuries. If you’ve sustained an injury due to workplace conditions and need assistance through the workers’ compensation process, call (502) 822-2230 to schedule a free consultation.