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A new prevailing factor Kansas workers compensation law went into effect in on May 15, 2011. Your workplace accident must now be the “prevailing factor in causing your injury, medical condition, and resulting disability or impairment.” This new prevailing factor Kansas workers compensation law is stated in K.S.A. 44-508, which states that the accident must cause more than a mere aggravation of a preexisting injury. It’s the claimant’s burden to come form with sufficient proof of ‘the prevailing factor.’
This is proving to be a difficult burden for claimants to overcome. Most of the Administrative Law Judges and the Kansas Workers Compensation Board want the claimant to come forward with more evidence of causation than the historical testimony by the claimant that “I fell and got hurt.” In all but the most obvious cases, the claimant now must come forward with an expert medical opinion stating that the accident was the prevailing factor in causing the injury and medical condition before benefits will be provided. This is difficult for claimants to do without the help of an experienced workers compensation attorney.
Employers and insurance companies are using this new law to their advantage. Many claimants are being denied treatment without having this evidence in hand. Either they are denied treatment or they are sent to a workers compensation doctor who states that either the working conditions or the workplace accident weren’t the prevailing factor of the claimant’s injury. Rather they blame the injury on genetics or degenerative joint disease.
It’s important for claimants to know that the employer and the insurance company, and their workers compensation doctor, do not have the last say in this matter. If you have been denied treatment for what you believe was a work related accident, you owe it to yourself to talk to an experienced Kansas workers compensation attorney to see how you should proceed.
You are always welcome to call my office for a free consultation. Call Stephanie Wilson at 785-393-0736. I handle cases throughout northeast Kansas.