Category Archives: Workers’ Compensation

Kansas woman appeals denial of workers’ compensation claim

Workplace injuries can result in the injured person being unable to continue working for a period of time, and thus also suffer a possible loss of pay. A person in Kansas thus affected can petition for workers’ compensation benefits.

In the case of one woman who claims she suffered shoulder and neck injuries at her workplace, the legal process took an unexpected turn. An administrative law judge determined she had not proved that the neck injury was indeed a workplace injury; the judge did, however, decide that the woman was eligible to be compensated for the shoulder injury, which resulted in a 16 percent permanent partial impairment.

The Kansas Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board later affirmed this decision. The woman believes the decision to be erroneous, and has appealed the verdict to the Kansas Court of Appeals, which was scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case in late March in Leavenworth. The woman also argues that the Board incorrectly computed her average weekly wage.

In order to recover workers’ compensation benefits an injured worker does not have to prove any negligence or fault on behalf of the employer. It is, however, necessary that the injury should have occurred while the employee was in the course and scope of their employment. While worker’s compensation wage loss benefits are less than 100% of the lost wages, they do provide significant relief. Medical and disability benefits are also recoverable. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help an injured worker fight for all the benefits to which they are legally entitled.

Source:, “Court of Appeals to hear arguments in Leavenworth,”, March 12, 2014

Workplace injuries major health concern among employees

In Kansas City, if a person suffers a workplace injury, the state workers’ compensation system takes care of all of the expenses. The problem is that workplace injuries are not uncommon. Sometimes, they can lead to serious consequences and sometimes the injuries can even lead to brain injury and death. It can also be difficult to find the responsible party in the event of such a tragedy.

According to recent statistics, employers from the U.S. pay $1 billion each week for the cost of direct workers compensation. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration, the problem of repetitive motion injury is growing and this results in about 23 days of work absence for each incident.

The most common form of injury experienced by janitors and custodial workers is a shoulder injury. To reduce work-related injuries, companies should provide physical therapy and occupational health programs to employees. It is very important to prevent injuries by educating employees and modifying their workplace environment.

Workers compensation provides benefits for those who have suffered work-related injuries. It covers medical and wage benefits. An employee can seek benefits for various injuries caused by toxic materials, work-related accidents, and repetitive stress injuries.

If employees are injured in a workplace in Kansas, or any other state because of negligence, they may request the advice from an experienced attorney and seek compensation for their injury in the form of medical expenses and lost wages. A professional attorney may help an injured worker gain better insight into any work-related injury and offer advice on what the next steps for the injured employee should be.

Source: News Medical, “BU faculty develops physical therapy intervention to minimize workplace injury, reduce costs,” Feb. 25, 2014

Kansas FedEx worker injured on the job, dies in hospital

A workplace accident can happen to anyone at any time. Even in the most unlikely scenarios, an unexpected fall or roof collapse can take someone by surprise and result in injuries — or, in the worst case scenario, rob a worker of their life.

A worker died recently in suburban Kansas. The man, a 62-year-old FedEx employee, was taken to a hospital after being pinned between a dock and a trailer. A trailer was pulling out of the FedEx lot when the man slipped under it. He died while being treated for his injuries. The accident is under investigation and the cause was not immediately known.

When a worker is killed or injured on the job, there can be many complications for both the victim and the victim’s family and loved ones. Of course, every accident — whether it results in mere cuts and bruises or a fatality — has the potential to be traumatic, and there is often lasting emotional pain and suffering.

But then there is the pain and suffering that can be costly in a more literal sense. In many cases, contracting an illness or suffering an injury at work will result in lost wages — something family members and victims often cannot afford. What’s more, victims and their families are often left with hefty medical expenses from hospitalization and the long-term treatments these injuries and illnesses can require.

Thankfully, there is a way for victims involved in such accidents and their families to claim benefits from their employers. Even when the employer is not at fault, workers may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits that offer employees the chance to receive an exclusive remedy to help ease the pain and suffering caused by the accident.

Source: The Kansas City Star, “FedEx worker dies after being pinned between dock and truck in Shawnee,” Nov. 20, 2013

Tree service worker electrocuted on job

As with every other state in the U.S., Kansas requires employers to purchase workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. For the many who work in high-risk environments, this statute is of great importance because of the hazards and injuries these workers are exposed to daily.

One high-risk profession is that of a tree service worker. Tree service workers are expected to work at dangerous heights; they need extensive training, and have to use safety equipment to minimize the already high-risk of injury; and what’s more, they are constantly exposed to electrical hazards — power lines and electrical conductors come into play in their day-to-day work lives.

Recently, two tree service workers were injured on the job. While working on a home, one of the workers accidentally made contact with a power line. This caused the worker to receive an electrical shock, which jolted him from the ladder he was standing on. He fell, and his colleague tried to catch him. The man’s colleague suffered leg injuries as a result; the first man suffered fall injuries, and burns from the electrical shock.

Sadly, these kinds of injuries are all too common in high-risk work environments. But thankfully, workers’ compensation exists to help ease the burden of such incidents. Workers’ compensation covers a number of expenses, including replacement income and medical care. Any permanent injuries will be compensated, as well as benefits to survivors who have lost loved ones on the job. To make sure one receives the compensation for which they are entitled, there are legal professionals available to analyze one’s case and ensure that every right is covered.

Source: News Times, “2 tree service workers injured in NJ accident,” Nov. 3, 2013

Building collapse injures construction worker

Kansas residents have read multiple posts in this blog pertaining to injuries that happen in the workplace. While injuries can happen at any time and for a variety of reasons, there are some professions that have unique and special rules when it comes to injuries due to the dangerous nature of the profession. One of these professions are construction workers. Kansas residents should understand their legal rights, should a construction site accident occur.

Recently, construction workers were working on repairing a home when the back wall of the four family home collapsed. One of the construction workers fell when the collapse occurred and then suffered additional injuries as he was hit by falling bricks and other debris. He was transported a hospital and his condition is unknown as this time.

Injured construction workers will likely have a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. The procedure for the filing of a workers’ compensation claim is very similar to filing any other type of insurance claim. Once the claim has been approved, the injured worker will receive compensation pertaining to all their medical bills, including prescribed medication and even gas mileage to and from medical appointments or follow-up procedures. If a worker is temporarily or permanent disability due to the injuries, workers’ compensation will provide compensation to the injured individual.

Similar to other types of insurance claims, workers’ compensation claims can be met with some of the same challenges. Employers may try to fight the claim. In some cases, employers may try to argue that the injury did not happen while the individual was on the job. In other cases, employers may try to argue that the injury occurred as a result of negligence or recklessness on behalf of the employee. In such circumstances, it may be beneficial to have the expert guidance of an experienced workers’ compensation legal professional.

Source: KMOV St. Louis, “Worker injured after building collapses in north St. Louis,” Oct. 23, 2013

Highway worker injured by drunk driver

Kansas residents know that certain occupations can pose a higher risk of injuries than others. However, nearly all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance so that any worker who is injured while on the job has an opportunity to receive financial compensation for their injuries. Certain occupations pose a higher risk of injuries than others. Many Kansas drivers have probably seen signs posted in construction zones warning drivers to slow down and use caution. These signs help protect the safety of the construction workers working on the road.

Even in non-construction areas, accidents on highways and roadways are a common occurrence. Drivers cause accidents all the time due to a variety of circumstances. Sometimes drivers are impaired, other times individuals are just not paying attention. Car accidents always have the potential to cause injury or damage but the risk for injury is greatly heightened when the accident involved a highway construction worker.

Recently, a worker in Indiana was working in a construction zone on the highway when he was struck by a man in a pick-up truck. The driver of the truck ran through two orange barrels that were in place to alert drivers to construction on the highway. The truck traveled over 1,500 feet in the closed lane before rear-ending a truck that belonged to employees of an asphalt company that was hired to do the work on the road.

One of the workers was transported to a local hospital and was treated for rib and internal injuries. The driver of the truck was found to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.54 percent, which is well over the legal limit. He faces multiple criminal charges related to the accident.

In addition to civil charges that may be pursued against this type of negligent driver, an injured worker may also be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits from his employer from injuries sustained during the course of employment. This compensation can help with medical bills, lost wages, as well as any necessary rehabilitation that is required due to the injuries suffered. Experienced worker’s compensation legal professionals can assist Kansas residents who have been injured while working on the job and ensure that they receive all the compensation to which they are entitled.

Source: The Tribune Star, “Workers injured by impaired driver,” Clarence Williams, Oct. 11, 2013

Company must answer for death of worker and pay millions in fines

Kansas residents should pay close attention to a case involving a plant in South Dakota. In the news, individuals often hear of injuries or even death occurring at various places of employment. However, this most recent case should prove to be illustrative for both employees and employers.

Adams Thermal Systems is a company that manufactures cooling systems for engines in both highway and off-highway vehicles. In 2011, an employee of the company was tragically killed in workplace related accident due to the company’s failure to provide a safe working environment. The worker was instructed by management to bypass a security measure in order to keep a machine that makes radiator cores running. The worker was crushed in the machine.

The company has finally reached a an agreement with both the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Attorney’s office to pay just over $1.3 million in fines and criminal penalties as a result of the death of their employee. The settlement is composed of $450,000 which will go the widow of the deceased spouse, a criminal fine of an additional $450,000 and an OHSA fine of $435,000 as a result of over 66 violations.

When a workplace accident or death occur, the employer is liable to the injured worker or their family in the form of worker’s compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits are both state and federal mandated. These benefits not only cover the negligence or carelessness of an employer, as in the above case, but it also covers instances where it is the employee who was being negligent. There are certain limits to worker’s compensation and employers may try to deny claims in particular situations, including ones involving drug or alcohol use by their employee.

Kansas residents who have been injured on the job should immediately file a claim for worker’s compensation benefits. Experienced legal professionals are available to assist victims and make sure that they receive all the compensation to which they are entitled and that they employer is brought to justice.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, “Adams Thermal Systems to pay $1.33 million to resolve OSHA citations, criminal penalties in 2011 death of worker at South Dakota plant,” Sept. 5, 2013

OHSA cites company for multiple safety violations

Residents in Johnson City, Kansas, are no stranger to hard work. Whether one has a job with multiple occupational hazards, or one works behind a desk, employees are entitled to a safe work environment.

Recently, a metal finishing company has gotten itself into hot water with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OHSA inspected the work place after workers had complained that they were not evacuated when there was a gas leak on the premises. OHSA found 14 safety violations being committed by the company, including failure to train its employees on proper use of industrial equipment, inadequate labeling of hazardous material and failure to perform medical evaluations on its employees for proper respirator use.

The company faces penalties over $46,000. The company can choose to contest the violations found by the OHSA inspectors, or if it does not contest the findings, the company must fix the violations in the time frame given by OHSA and pay the penalties assessed.

Fortunately, no employee was harmed as a result of the multiple violations found in their work place. Not all individuals are so lucky. When an employee is hurt on the job, they are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Worker’s compensation benefits are mandated by every state. They require employers to make payments to employees who suffer injuries connected to their work.

Employers often carry worker’s compensation insurance to provide for injured employees. This insurance covers the employee’s medical expenses, lost wages, additional compensation for injuries that will not heal, as well as compensation to the loved ones of employees who are killed while on the job. Not all injuries are covered under workers’ compensation insurance. It is crucial that any individual who has been injured in the work place ensure that their rights are protected and seek the appropriate assistance in pursuit of justice.

Source:, “Badger Metal Finishing cited by US Labor Department’s OSHA for 14 violations, including failing to evacuate workers during a natural gas leak,” August 12, 2013

Car hits and kills landscape worker in Wichita

A recent accident in Wichita took the life of a landscape worker. The 47-year-old was reportedly hit by a car as he worked alongside the road. A police officer indicated that the vehicle, driven by a 20-year-old, was not fully on the road when the collision happened. The car also hit a fire hydrant that flooded the street with water.

A woman who arrived at the scene happened to be a medical assistant, and she and another woman tried to help the man by performing CPR. Unfortunately, by the time emergency responders arrived, the victim had already passed away. The accident was still under investigation at the time of a July 29 report in The Wichita Eagle.

The police officer who commented on the accident warned pedestrians and drivers alike about roadside dangers, but it would certainly appear, if the driver’s car hopped the curb, that the worker was simply doing his job when he was struck.

In a case in which a work-related accident leads to the death of a worker, workers’ compensation benefits may be available to the family of the deceased. However, if a worker was injured or killed by the negligence of a third party, a personal injury or wrongful death claim may be a better course of legal action. In the event that faulty work equipment caused a worker’s injuries, a product liability lawsuit may be necessary for the injured party to receive compensation for damages.

In our Leawood and Topeka law practice, we help individuals and families understand their legal rights under our state’s workers’ compensation and personal injury laws. To learn more, please visit our workers’ compensation site.

Source: The Wichita Eagle, “Landscape worker killed when car leaves road, hits him in southwest Wichita,” Raymond Howze, July 29, 2013