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Like other states, Kansas has enacted a series of laws to provide benefits to employees that suffer from work-related injuries. If an employee is hurt in the course and scope of employment, the injury is covered by the Act. This means that the employee doesn't need to show the employer did anything wrong. Instead, by showing that the injury occurred at work while the employee was performing a normal work activity, the employee is entitled to medical treatment and other benefits.
There are few definitive answers in the law; it is a complex body of exceptions and exclusions. However, this is as close to black and white as the law gets. If the injury is work-related, the employer is to provide medical treatment to the employee. And this is only fair. The employer reaps all the rewards of an employees hard work, usually in the form of higher profits. The employee would not be there, doing the hard work, if he or she didn't need the money. So when an injury occurs, the employer is rightfully responsible for treating the work-related injury.
Worker's Compensation claims are unique. When an employer fails to uphold its end of the bargain, the injured employee doesn't file a lawsuit in court. Instead, work comp claims are handled by an administrative body--the Kansas Department of Labor. This administrative body processes and hears disputes arising from work-related injuries. Just like courts, this body can require an employer to pay benefits to the employee or provide treatment. However, when a decision has been made, the party that is unhappy with the decision may have the option to appeal the decision and ultimately reach a court for a determination. One other important take away from work comp claims being handled by an administrative body is the lack of a jury. A jury will never hear a worker's compensation claim.
As discussed above, work comp is litigated outside the courtroom. This alone will give many lawyers pause, as different rules of control how these proceedings progress. Second, to put it both bluntly and accurately: these laws are confusing. The Kansas Worker's Compensation Act is amended almost every year. This means the law constantly changes. It also means the laws are a Frankenstein-like combination of old and new language. This all leads to a single, basic truism: you have to be willing to devote your career to understanding this area of law. Just like doctors, lawyers must specialize in areas of law to gain the understanding needed to litigate in those areas. Work comp is no different.
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