If you have been injured in a workplace accident or have a diagnosed illness or injury that is related to the performance of your job duties, filing a claim for workers' compensation benefits may substantially relieve the financial strain of needing medical care and not being able to work. Because the process for obtaining benefits is so complex, and because employers and work comp insurance carriers have their own attorneys, you may need your own lawyer to be successful. At the Overland Park law offices of Hoffmeister Doherty & Webb, LLC, we provide knowledgeable advice and effective legal representation for injured workers throughout the greater Kansas and Missouri region. With more than 80 years of combined workers' compensation experience and a proven track record of success at all stages of the claims and appeals processes, you can feel confident in our ability to protect your rights and interests.

The process described below is only an overview. Because there are a number of important filing deadlines, dates and other details that can easily be missed, we strongly encourage you to contact us or another experienced workers' compensation lawyer prior to moving forward with any claim.

Absent a need for emergency medical treatment, the first step in the process is to report your accident, workplace injury and/or medical diagnosis to the designated department or individual with your employer. If no designation has been provided to you by your employer, this notice must be given to your supervisor or manager within 30 days. If you attempt to seek medical treatment on your own or discontinue employment with your current employer, this deadline can be shortened to 20 days. This notice but be written and include the particulars of your injuries, and make it apparent to your employer that you claiming benefits as a result of your workplace injury.*

Next, continue get the medical care you need and follow your physician's treatment recommendations. Your medical expenses will be 100 percent covered by your employer or the employer's work comp insurance carrier, provided you receive treatment from a physician or health care provider approved by your employer and/or the employer's insurer. If you don't like the doctor your employer has chosen, you can request a change of physician hearing with an administrative law judge who may then order your employer to provide a list of two different physicians for you to choose from. Kansas' workers' compensation statute also allows an injured worker to choose his or her own doctor, at the employer's expense, up to a maximum cost of $500.

The next step in the process is to file an application for a workers' compensation hearing. In Kansas, you are required to do this within three years of the date of accident or within two years of the last payment of compensation, whichever is later. Click here for information and claim forms for Kansas workers compensation cases. In Missouri, the statutory time limit for filing a claim is generally two years from the date of injury or diagnosis, but may be longer in some cases. Click here for information and claim forms for Missouri workers compensation cases.

Next, there will be a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ) scheduled, which you must attend. If your claim for benefits is denied at this stage, you can request that the Kansas Workers' Compensation Appeals Board review your claim and the ALJ's decision. If the appeals board agrees with the previous denial, you may seek to have your case reviewed by the state Court of Appeals. The last stage of the appeals process is to ask the state Supreme Court to exercise its discretionary authority to hear your case.

Our lawyers can evaluate the facts and circumstances of your case, explain your legal rights and help you recover all of the workers' compensation benefits you are entitled to receive under Kansas or Missouri state law. Because of our experience practicing in both Kansas and Missouri, we are able to advise clients who work across state lines as to where they can and/or should file their claims to obtain the best compensation benefits.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

We offer free consultations and will advance all costs related to pursuing your claim for workers' compensation benefits in Kansas or Missouri. Both states limit attorney fees in workers' compensation claims to a maximum of 25 percent of past due benefits only, which means that HDW will recover no fees unless we are successful on your behalf.

To learn more about workers' compensation claims in Kansas or your rights as an injured worker, contact Hoffmeister Doherty & Webb online or call our Overland Park law office at 913-653-8000.

*The time limits described above only apply to injuries occurring on or after May 15, 2011. If your injury occurred before this date, please contact us for a more accurate timeline in your case.