Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Great News for Kentucky Workers!

The Kentucky worker's compensation law sets out the benefits you get when injured on the job. It basically pays for lost wages and medical treatment made necessary by your work-related injury.

There is a formula in the law that determines how much money you get per week for a permanent "partial" disability. The most important part of the formula is the "impairment rating". The impairment rating is determined by doctors, using a big book put out by the AMA (American Medical Association) called the Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.

The Kentucky system has been using the 5th Edition of the AMA Guides for years. Recently the AMA came out with a 6th Edition, but the lawyers who represent injured workers smelled a rat. It turned out that the new edition would have slashed percentage ratings on many common work injuries! This means that money benefits for injured workers would be slashed!

So a group of concerned people worked hard and convinced the KY Legislature to pass a bill keeping the 5th Edition permanently. This bill should become law very soon. It maintains current benefit levels, and keeps injured workers from financially sinking even farther in their time of need.

Worker's Comp benefits are "stingy" enough as it is. So it's great news that the 5th Edition AMA Guides have been made permanent!

Monday, March 8, 2010

8 Arguments Adjustors use to Damage your KY Car Wreck Case

Auto insurance companies use all types of arguments and tactics to avoid paying claims. The following list contains arguments commonly used by insurance adjustors who want to pay you little or nothing for your injuries and other damages.

The insurance company may try to argue that:

1. Your vehicle was the cause of the wreck, due to bald tires, faulty brakes, or tail lights not working.

2. You had “warning of the danger” within enough time to have avoided the accident if only you had been paying attention.

3. You could have avoided the accident if you had not been going “too fast for conditions”.

4. You made an unnecessary and unexpected stop.

5. You made a sudden and unsafe lane change without warning.

6. You gave no “stop” or “turn” signal.

7. There are supposedly no “independent witnesses” who can be found to substantiate your version of what happened.

8. There are supposedly witnesses the insurance company knows about, who dispute your version of the facts or substantiate the wrongdoer’s version.


The Insurance Adjustor considers it their job to seek out and find as many defenses and arguments as possible against you in your case. The Adjustor will question you carefully. It all starts when the Adjustor “Just wants to take your statement”. Do NOT give the insurance company a statement until AFTER you talk to an attorney.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Do you have to give a "recorded statement" to the insurance company after a car wreck?

When you’ve been injured in a car wreck that wasn’t your fault, you’ve got a lot of things on your mind, most of them unpleasant. Such as dealing with your pain, the hassle of missing work, the need for medical treatment. What happens to my damaged vehicle? Who’ll take my kids to school while I’m in the hospital?

It can be overwhelming. So the last thing you need to worry about is being grilled by an insurance adjustor. Unfortunately, it happens a lot. The more severe the wreck, the more urgently the insurance company wants to get a recorded statement. And here’s the kicker: The at-fault adjustor is not a neutral party. The adjustor is actively trying to trip you up, so that their insurance company will not have to pay!

Many times, an adjustor will imply or tell you outright that you must give a recorded statement. They’ll say that in order to “set up their file”, you’re required to talk to them. If you refuse, they threaten that you won’t be able to make a claim later!

This is not true! You are not required to talk to the insurance company for the driver who caused your wreck. Furthermore, it is a bad idea to do so, at least before you’ve talked with an attorney experienced at handling auto injury cases.

Remember, the insurance company for the driver who caused your injuries does not want to pay you anything. They are not in your corner.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

5 Phases of a Workers Compensation Case

A serious injury on the job can throw your whole life into confusion. So the last thing you need is uncertainty from your lawyer. This post lays out the phases of a typical case, and what happens at each phase. Although each individual case will have its own twists and turns, but they all have similarities, too.

Phase 1: Investigation

You meet with an attorney and find out if you have a case. You decide to hire the attorney to represent you on the claim. You sign a contract and provide needed information to the attorney’s office. The attorney’s office opens your file and you typically have a case manager assigned to work on your case along with your attorney.

Phase 2: Treatment

For approximately 30 days, the attorney will gather additional information, such as medical records and any claim information from the State Department of Workers Claims or Industrial Commission (depending on which State you are in) and also from the workers compensation insurance company for your employer. Once the requested information is received, the attorney will contact you to check your status. The attorney’s office should call you at least monthly for an update on your medical treatment and status. During this time, you will be treating with your medical doctor and following his advice on recommended treatment to help you recover. When you reach Maximum Medical Improvement (“MMI” or, “as good as you’re going to get”), your doctor will release you and your attorney can begin on the next phase of your case.

Phase 3: Released

Once your doctor has released you from care, any income benefits you may be receiving from the workers compensation insurance company will stop. Your attorney’s staff will begin working to obtain an Impairment Rating from your doctor, or an independent medical evaluator, so that your attorney can begin settlement negotiations for you with the insurance company.

Phase 4: Settlement Negotiation

Your attorney will begin negotiating with the insurance company (or their attorney) for a settlement that is fair and reasonable under your State’s Workers Compensation Law guidelines.

Phase 5: Litigation

If your attorney cannot reach a satisfactory settlement with the insurance company, then he attorney will file a formal claim with your State Department of Workers Claims and your case will be assigned to a Judge for a decision.

Call the Frank Jenkins Law Office if you have questions, at 1-800 WORKERS or visit our website at www.frankjenkinslaw.com