Determining Jurisdiction in Your Workers’ Compensation Claim

Although workers’ compensation is federally mandated, it is governed by state laws.

kansas-city-moEach state has their own interpretations and guidelines on how the insurance works for the employee and employers. In order to determine which state has jurisdiction, it is generally accepted that the state where the contract was made between the parties has jurisdiction over it. If you are having an issue with a workers’ compensation claim over where it should be filed, contact a Kansas City workers’ compensation attorney. With their proximity to neighboring Kansas, they have much experience with these types of cases.

Living in Missouri – Working in Kansas

Many of our Kansas City residents apply for and accept employment in Kansas. When work-related issues such as workers’ compensation claims come up, the state of Missouri will generally look at where the employment contract was finalized to determine jurisdiction. Most often it takes place in Kansas, but some jobs, such as construction, easily move back and forth over the state border making determining jurisdiction an issue.

Which State Should Oversee the Claim?

Take, for example, a Kansas City contractor who responded to an ad in one of the city’s newspapers. The initial interview took place in Kansas, but the offer for the job and acceptance took place over the phone later that day while the employee was in his Kansas City, Missouri home. This is not an unusual occurrence but did become an issue for the employee when he was injured at work and needed to collect disability insurance. Being that the laws are more favorable in Missouri, it was in the employer’s best interest to have the claim recognized in Kansas.

Many facts were taken into consideration by the review panel before they rendered their final decision. The employer, for example, tried to claim that the first day of employment was actually a second interview. The Kansas City workers’ compensation attorney not only was able to show how no second interviews were ever conducted by this company, but they also had time card evidence showing that the employee was paid for that day. He had filled out his work and tax information before ever speaking with another supervisor. This was enough for the board to decide that the employment agreement was in fact made over the phone while the employee was in Missouri, allowing Missouri laws to oversee the disability benefits.

Determining Jurisdiction

It is not easy to have jurisdiction changed from the state where the employer is based and requires a lot of investigation on the part of a qualified Kansas City workers’ compensation attorney. Insurance companies will fight long and hard when their money is at stake to keep the claim in the state that will give them the most benefit.

Whenever you are up against big insurance companies, you need help to defend your rights. A workers’ compensation claim review is similar to a civil trial and dependent on facts and evidence in order to be a success. Do not try and attempt an appeal by yourself. Contact The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (816) 399-3706. We will help you receive your rightful benefits.

 Photo credit: Paul Sableman via Flickr

Updated: June 10, 2019

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