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filing for workers' comp during corona pandemic

Filing for Workers’ Comp During Corona

Episode 7:  Louisville Worker’s Compensation attorney Scott Scheynost discusses filing your workers’ compensation claim during the Corona Virus.  The process is still moving forward, although there are a few relevant changes. 

Kentucky workers’ compensation claims are quite often handled at a distance.  Scott has handled claims for clients across Kentucky and in other states.  Documents can be sent to clients and other individuals via email, mail, fax and other methods.  Much of the initial information can be handled over the phone. 

Some of the forms may need to be notarized.  Banks and even the UPS store typically performs notary services.  Many healthcare professionals are still available either in person, via telemedicine and/or the phone. The important issue to remember is that you can still file for workers’ comp during corona.

Delays Can Work in Your Favor

In a workers’ comp claim, an important step is getting the injured individual to maximum medical improvement (MMI).  This process is being delayed, due to some limitation on medical procedures, but that simply means your temporary total disability payments (TTD) will continue.

The independent medical examination (IME) is a factor in assigning your MMI and determining your impairment rating.  This rating helps to determine if you can return to work, whether restrictions or limitations to your physical ability will be assigned and other issues.  This is the area experiencing a delay for many clients, but there are ways to deal with this issue.  At the same time, remember your TTD benefit payments will continue during this process.  Those benefits stop, once you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI).

The Scheynost Law Office Takes Preventative Measures

Scott and his staff are taking steps to comply with directives to ensure your safety related to the Corona virus crisis.  Please call in advance, to help us minimize contact with other clients.  The staff is limited to minimize potential exposure.  They are working from home.

Much of the work continues as it always did.  The workers’ compensation system is done without a lot of ongoing content.

Statute of Limitation

There’s a statute of limitation, which is a window of time during which you can file a claim.  In Kentucky that window is 2 years from the date of injury or the last date they paid TDD benefits.  If you go beyond this window, even by 1 day, you may not be able to file a workers’ compensation claim.  That’s why it’s important not to delay getting the process started.

Even though social distancing and other measures are in place, and some legal proceedings including hearings and benefit review conferences have been delayed, the statute of limitation is still in place.  That window has not been expanded. Therefore, if you’ve been injured, don’t wait. It’s important that you file for workers’ comp during corona.

Additional Accommodations

In most cases, the attorneys will have depositions.  This is a legal process enabling the other side to ask questions about your injury, status and other related topics.  Courts are allowing depositions to be held remotely, via video or phone. 

Hearings may also now be held remotely.  This is not happening in every case, but the systems and processes are evolving.  Most of the documents required for a workers’ compensation hearing are already required to be filed electronically.

If You Were Hurt Outside of Kentucky

It’s fairly common for someone to be injured outside of Kentucky, but still qualify to file a KY workers’ compensation claim.  Scott has to be able to prove the company or some other group has a legal connection to Kentucky.  If that can be done, you may be eligible to file here.  The previous information still applies to those types of cases.

Workers’ Comp Cases are Handled on a Contingency Fee Basis

This means that the attorney gets paid only when he/she wins the case.  There’s no hourly fee or retainer.  If the attorney were to lose the case, the client is typically only responsible for some miscellaneous court costs and related fees.  These are much less than the actual attorney’s fees.

In Kentucky, a workers’ compensation attorney receives a limited amount.  The maximum possible for an attorney is $18,000.  This means that even if you receive well over 6-figures in benefits and settlements, Scott’s fee is capped.  It’s computed on a percentage basis, which is also on a sliding scale.  A typical car wreck attorney normally charges 33%-40%.    Scott will be happy to more fully explain the fees, before you hire him.

Contact Scott Scheynost at (502) 937-5287.  This podcast is meant to provide information and is not legal advice.  Scott’s principal office is located at 7619 Dixie Highway, Louisville, KY 40258.  Co-host Jim Ray is a non-attorney spokesperson.  This is an advertisement.

Scott Scheynost discusses filing for workers' comp during corona