Rodger W. Lofton
Attorney at Law

928 Broadway
Paducah, KY 42001

Phone: (270) 444-9999
Fax: (270) 444-0036

Rodger W. Lofton Attorney at Law

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about Worker's Comp, Auto Accidents, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, Social Security Disability

Do you have questions about workers’ compensation, personal injury, and social security disability cases? We at Rodger W. Lofton, Attorney at Law are here to help give you the answers to those questions. Below we have the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions including:

Workers’ Compensation

What is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that starts when an employee has either contracted a work-related illness or been injured while on the job. An employee is provided wage replacements (if they have to take time off of work) and medical benefits in exchange for waiving the right to sue their employer for negligence. 

What is the Time Limit on Filing a Worker’s Compensation Claim in Kentucky?

The statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims in Kentucky is two years. Your claim must be filed within two years of either discovering the injury or sustaining the work-related injury in an accident. An example of what a “discovery” is could include a doctor diagnosing you with cancer that has been caused by working conditions over time. 

Who Qualifies for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

All businesses and employers in Kentucky are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance if they have employees. In order to be eligible for worker’s compensation, you must suffer from an occupational disease or a work-related injury. The law allows people to receive benefits even if their own negligence is the cause of the accident. However, there are some exceptions. This includes farmworkers, domestic workers who are employed in a private home, independent contractors, workers who are protected by federal law, and members of certain religious organizations.

If you have been hurt while on the job but aren’t sure if you qualify for workers’ compensation, you may still have some options. Feel free to give our team a call today!

What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?

Workers’ compensation benefits are on a case-by-case basis. Typically, the benefits include lost wages, medical expenses, vocational training, and even rehabilitation.

Other Potential Benefits Include:

  • Death Benefits
  • Mileage Reimbursement
  • Temporary Disability
  • Permanent Disability

Who Pays for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Your employer’s insurance company is the one to pay out your workers’ compensation benefits. 

Can You Collect Workers’ Compensation and Work at the Same Time?

You can collect your benefits and work at the same time! There are some benefits that cover a portion of your lost wages if you are forced to miss work. However, if your doctor says that you can continue working despite your injury, it should be safe and permissible to do so.

What Should an Employee do if Hurt on the Job?

You should first immediately seek medical attention. No matter if you are in serious pain or not, a medical exam is a necessary part of the claims process. After this, inform your employer of the incident in writing within 30 days of the accident happening or the diagnosis of the illness. This is a vital step, so make sure you do this even if your employer already is informed about the accident. You should make sure to include a detailed description of how the accident occurred. Make sure to include the time, date, and location of the incident. Your employer will then be able to provide you with the needed paperwork and help you with the next steps. 

Personal Injury

What is a personal injury claim?

Personal injury claims are a type of insurance claim that occurs when someone who has been injured in an accident seeks money damages from a person or organization who may be held legally responsible for causing the injury.  If the defendant is found liable for the plaintiff’s injuries, the defendant or their insurance company will have to pay for the damages that are related to the injuries. This can include medical bills, pain and suffering, and other types of expenses related to the injury. 

What is the Personal Injury Claim Process?

A personal injury claim begins when you first present your claim to the defendant. This can be either by providing them with the notice of a claim and trying to directly negotiate an out-of-court settlement or this could be by submitting the appropriate legal paperwork to your local court in order to file a lawsuit.

After this step, you have time to then build your case. This includes contacting witnesses, gathering evidence, getting medical examinations, and investigating the party that caused the accident. You and the defendant can both bring preliminary motions to the court.

Your attorney will try to negotiate a settlement with the defendant. Most cases end up resolving this way, which allows you to collect your insurance payment. However, if the defendant is refusing to cooperate, your case will go to trial. If this happens your attorney will argue for a settlement on your behalf. 

How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim?

In some situations, you must file your claim within one year of the date of your accident. Otherwise, it will most likely be dismissed because it is “passed the statute of limitations”.  This “statute of limitations” can be extended, however, it is always suggested that you submit your case immediately, while the evidence is still fresh. 

What Do I Do After an Accident?

Here are several important steps to take after you have been in a personal injury accident:

  • Take a photo of your injuries and any property damage.
  • Write down exactly what happened while the memory is still fresh in your mind.
  • Create a list of witnesses and their contact information.
  • Visit a doctor for a checkup or treatment as soon as possible.
  • Follow your doctor’s care plan and attend all appointments following the accident.
  • Call a local personal injury attorney for further assistance. 

How Much is My Personal Injury Case Worth?

There unfortunately is no one way to determine the value of your specific case. However, your attorney will be able to help you figure out the approximate value. This value will factor in any economic damages that you have suffered as a result of the accident. This can include medical treatments, property damage, lost wages, and physical therapy. You should be able to recover any costs related to your accident plus some additional funds that can make up for the pain and suffering that you have had to endure.

What Damages are Available in a Personal Injury Case?

We have listed damages that are awarded compensation in a personal injury case:

  • Property Damage
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Medical Expenses
  • Lost Wages

If an individual passes away, their family can be awarded the above damages as well as burial and funeral expenses and other death benefits. 

Social Security

What Does it Take to Win a Social Security Case?

Winning a social security claim is like working a puzzle. As your attorney, we gather all the pieces including medical records, physician statements, handicapped permits, and prescription drug information. After this, we submit the records to the Social Security Administration in order to prove your disability.

We must show that based on your work history, education, age, and the conditions that you suffer from will prevent you from maintaining any type of employment. If you believe that you are entitled to Social Security disability benefits, give the office of Rodger W. Lofton a call today!

What Happens If I am Denied?

If you receive a disability denial, you can have your case appealed. You will need to contact your social security disability lawyer as soon as you receive the denial. This is because social security appeals must be filed within 60 days of the denial. 

What is the Different Between Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is available to those who meet certain medical or financial criteria. SSI does not require you to have paid into Social Security through a previous employer.

Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are available to eligible disabled workers who have paid into the social security system throughout their employment over time. They also must be unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or could result in death. In order to be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, you must have worked at least five out of the previous ten years. 

What Factors are Considered in Determining Whether I Receive Social Security Disability?

Factors that are considered for Social Security Disability include:

  • What Treatment you Have Received
  • Medical Test Results
  • Your Medical Condition(s)
  • How Your Medical Condition(s) Limit Your Activities
  • When Your Medical Conditions Began

What is Social Security Disability?

If you are unable to work due to an illness, injury, or other disability that is likely to last at least a year or possibly result in death, the Social Security Administration can provide financial assistance through the Social Security Disability program.

It is similar to insurance for workers, and the system is funded by all workers’ Social Security paycheck taxes. To receive these benefits, applicants must meet certain work history criteria and demonstrate that they are not able to perform any form of work for an extended period of time. This period of time is usually 12 months or longer. 

How do I apply for Social Security Disability Benefits?

The typical application process can take three to five months, and in some cases longer. It is crucial that you apply for your SSD benefits as soon as you become aware that you have a condition that will prevent you from working for 12 or more months.

Before applying for SSD you should gather all of the information that you can about your condition. This includes medical records, lab & diagnostic imaging results, and the names and contact information of the physicians who have treated you. Also having your Social Security number, proof of your age, your employment history, and your most recent tax return are also important. 

Are Social Security Disability Benefits Difficult to Obtain?

The process of receiving SSD benefits can be a long and difficult one. This is why we recommend that you get the help of an attorney in order to make this complex process a lot simpler. The social security administration defines “disability” and medical evidence proving you are unable to perform work of any kind is required. Just because you can no longer perform the tasks of your old job, does not mean you will be able to win your disability claim.

How Do I Win My Social Security Disability Case?

In order to win your case, you must present evidence to the Social Security Administration that proves that the mental or physical conditions which you are suffering from preventing you from maintaining any type of employment for an extended period of time, usually over 12 months or more. To win your case you need evidence that includes medical records, physician statements, medication information, and any other proof that your disability is severe enough to prevent you from being employed. If you do not have good medical records, you will have a hard time winning your disability case. 

What Happens When I Win My Social Security Disability Case?

When you win your SSD case, you will then receive a letter telling you that your application has been approved. It will also include the amount of your monthly benefit and the effective date. Your monthly benefit is based on the average lifetime earnings you have.  After this, you will then receive regular payments for your claim. Also, you should be receiving past-due benefits as well. 

What Happens If I am Denied Social Security Disability Benefits?

If you have been denied SSD benefits, do not give up. Initially, most disability claims are denied. If your claim has been denied, you should immediately contact an experienced disability lawyer who will help you file an appeal. There are several points in the disability claim process when you may need to file an appeal.

If you have been denied disability after the first application, you could appeal through a Request for Reconsideration. If the reconsideration is denied, you may request to have a hearing before an administrative law judge who can review the evidence of your disability and issue a judgment. If the judgment is not favorable, you may have additional times to appeal.

You only get a limited number of times that you get to appeal at each stage of the process. If you miss a deadline, you may have to start your case all over again. Contact our office to learn more about appealing for disability benefits. 

Why Do I Need a Disability Lawyer for My Case?

The Law Office of Rodger W. Lofton works hard to ensure that you are able to get the Social Security Disability benefits that you deserve. We understand how hard it can be to get a favorable outcome for your SSD case. That is why our team is here to ensure that we do everything in our power to make sure you get the benefits you deserve. Our attorney will meet with you directly, help you file the necessary paperwork, gather medical records and other evidence of your condition as well as file appeals, and prepare you for your disability hearing. We are here to fight for your rights every step of the way. We know what it takes to win a disability case, and we are here to help you win yours. 

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As an experienced, tenacious attorney, I will help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.