With the ever-changing and often worsening workers' compensation laws, which states' rules can apply will often make a significant difference. Kansas and Missouri each have plusses and minuses in their procedures and available benefits. There are times where an injured worker in the Kansas City area can have jurisdiction in both states or even in another state. Being able to choose the proper jurisdiction could mean a faster hearing process to secure medical treatment and temporary disability benefits being denied, or a greater amount in permanent disability benefits when the claim is resolved.
There are specific ways to determine which state may have jurisdiction over a claim. It is important that the attorney you speak with knows the right questions to ask in order to determine this. It is even more important that the attorney be either licensed in both states or be immediately willing to guide you to another attorney who practices in the other state if needed.
An injured worker recently retained our firm after terminating another attorney who had not been taking necessary action on the claim. That attorney is only licensed in Missouri and never advised the worker that he could bring his claim in both Missouri and Kansas. After terminating that representation and coming to us, we quickly determined that Kansas jurisdiction was better for his situation. Almost immediately after filing the necessary Kansas documents, the insurance carrier more than doubled their settlement offer. While it's still not enough, it's a good start!
While no two cases are the same, all options should be fully explored by a knowledgeable and capable attorney. If we can ever assist you by providing proper advice and taking necessary action, please do not hesitate to contact us.