Episode 39: Calloway County personal injury attorney Jeff Roberts announces the opening of his new Hopkinsville office to better serve clients in and around the Christian County area. He will still maintain his primary location, in Murray. He’ll explain how this second office should make it more convenient for clients.
Jeff has practiced in Murray for 30 years. He’s developed a state-wide practice for workers’ compensation, personal injury and social security disability. Hopkinsville is a larger population center. He’s already handled several cases involving General Motors in Bowling Green. The additional office provides a better option for him to meet with clients closer to where they live, rather than traveling to Murray.
Jeff will lease office space from attorney Mike Burman. Mike doesn’t handle workers’ comp or social security disability claims, so it’s a good fit for two attorneys who have a history of working on cases together.
The law can be very complex. While many client discussions can be handled over the phone, Jeff has always preferred face to face meetings. He explains that there are often non-verbal signals he can see, that don’t always come across on the phone. This is especially important when he notices someone may not have fully understood something or didn’t want to ask a particular question. He wants to ensure his clients are able to make a well-informed decision about their cases. Meeting face to face in Hopkinsville makes that even more possible.
In the past, it’s been possible for Jeff to meet with clients at a restaurant or at their homes. Unfortunately, sometimes this isn’t either the most private place to have privileged discussions about highly sensitive issues related to a client’s case. By opening the new location in Christian County, he can ensure it’s both convenient and private for his clients.
Handling Workers’ Compensation Claims throughout Western Kentucky
Jeff comments that there are many employers and manufacturing facilities throughout the area. There doesn’t seem to be as many local workers’ comp attorneys available to help injured workers with their claims. There seem to be a number of advertising attorneys, from outside of the region, trying to appeal to people who were hurt on the job. Nevertheless, a working with an attorney who is able to meet face to face seems to be a preference for many people.
Common Types of Injuries in Workers’ Comp Cases
In manufacturing and light industrial work, there are a variety of different injuries, including:
- Low back injury from heavy lifting
- Shoulder injury from overhead work and repetitive use of the arms
- Neck injury from lifting over the head
- Knee injury from moving product and twisting to move it
- Joint injury (including the spine, wrist, elbow, hip)
- Fractures from the impact of falling items
Machine shops and stamping facilities can have catastrophic injuries such as:
Am I Covered by Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Laws?
If you’re working in the state of Kentucky and sustain a work-related injury, you are most-likely covered by workers’ comp. There are a few exceptions and some workers may elect to voluntarily reject coverage, but those are definitely the exception to the rule.
If you receive a W-2, you’re usually covered. If you are classified as an independent contractor, there’s still a chance you may be misclassified and therefore would still be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
How Soon Do the KY Workers’ Comp Payments Begin?
Jeff explains that the benefits kick in fairly quickly. You must be off work due to a work-related injury for 7 days before you begin receiving benefits. You are required to notify your employer as soon as practicable, after the injury occurs. The carrier still has the right to investigate the claim, but generally, you may already be receiving Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefit payments.
The TTD benefits are not taxed. They are 66 2/3rds of your average weekly wage, subject to caps. It won’t be exactly what you were bringing in prior to being injured at work, but it will definitely help to pay some of the household bills.
How Do My Medical Bills Get Paid?
Shortly after your claim is filed, you should receive a letter from the worker’s compensation insurance carrier providing the claim number, the address and the name of the person to whom the medical bills should be sent for the insurance company. Jeff recommends that you give this information to you doctor or medical provider and they will bill the insurance carrier directly.
If you do receive a medical bill in the mail, all you have to do is to let them know the treatment is for a work-related injury and provide them the above information.
As an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, Jeff Roberts has represented injured workers for nearly 30 years. He understands the Kentucky workers’ comp system and can explain the process in an understandable way to make it easier to begin.
Could My Employer Retaliate Against Me for Filing a Kentucky Workers’ Comp Claim?
Kentucky law prevents an employer from retaliating against an injured worker for hiring an attorney or for filing a work-related injury claim.
Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (SSDI)
Jeff also handles a significant number of SSDI claims for injured people. It’s not uncommon to see these claims if someone has been working in a very labor-intensive job over a longer period of time. The body simply wears out due to the strenuous activity. If you’re an older worker, it may not be realistic or feasible for you to find employment in a different type of work. If this sounds like your situation, you may be eligible for SSDI benefits. Jeff can meet with you in either his Murray or Hopkinsville office.
Jeff’s Hopkinsville Office Address Is: 1610 South Virginia St., Hopkinsville, KY 42240
Can Jeff Roberts Handle My SSDI Claim if I Don’t Live in Kentucky?
Yes. Social security is a federal program. Jeff is licensed to practice social security disability in all 50 states. While the vast majority of the clams he’s handled have been in Western Kentucky, he’s handled them in roughly 10 different states, including Tennessee.
This may be a significant advantage for people living in and around Christian County. Jeff’s new Hopkinsville office will make it easy for people in Clarksville, TN.
Can I File for Workers’ Comp and SSDI?
You can file a Kentucky workers’ compensation claim and a claim for SSDI benefits, at the same time. Many people often qualify for both, assuming you were involved in a work-related injury.
The idea is to get a safety net in place, in case you aren’t able to return to work. If you eventually are able to return to work, the SSDI claim can be dropped.
There is a long delay from the time a claim for SSDI benefits is filed to when the benefits actually begin to be paid. During this time, you may reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). Once MMI is reached the workers’ comp TTD payments will end. If you wait until that point to begin filing for your SSDI benefits, you may find yourself in a very financially challenging position.
Jeff Roberts Is an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Over the past 30 years, Jeff has earned the respect of other attorneys throughout the state. He’s handled trucking collisions, car accidents, motorcycle wrecks, dog bite injury claims, premises liability and other forms of personal injury cases, including nursing home neglect and abuse.
In some circumstances, a client may be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim, and SSID claim and a personal injury claim at the same time. The Roberts Law Office can handle all three types. Jeff can also work with another injury attorney to handle the KY workers’ comp and/or social security disability claim. Not all injury firms handle the three different types.
Jeff Roberts Represents Personal Injury Clients Throughout Kentucky
With offices is located in Calloway County and now Christian County, Jeff actually has a history of representing personal injury clients across the state. He’s represented clients from Paducah, Bowling Green, Louisville, Covington, Whitesville and many other Kentucky locations. He’s not just a Western Kentucky injury attorney.
We hope you found this episode insightful and helpful. Thank you for listening!
Is It Time to Speak with an Attorney about Your Injury Claim?
The office phone number is (270) 753-0053 or toll free at 800-844-5108. For more information, visit www.JeffRobertsLaw.com. This podcast is meant to provide information and is not legal advice. Jeff’s principal office is located at 509 Main Street, Murray, Kentucky. Co-host Jim Ray is a non-attorney spokesperson. This is an advertisement.