If you are hurt on the job in Missouri, you will most likely qualify for workers compensation. Missouri workers compensation law takes the place of ordinary negligence laws. Only under very limited circumstances are employees able to recover against their employers for negligence (outside of Missouri workers compensation law).
The main difference between a work comp claim and a negligence claim, is that under workers compensation, the employee does not have to prove the employer was negligent. All the employee must show is that he or she sustained an injury while working and that the work was the prevailing factor in causing the injury- that’s it. You can recover even if you caused the workplace injury to yourself. In these cases, it is important you contact a Missouri workers compensation lawyer immediately.
Under Missouri’s workers compensation law, you must notify your supervisor within thirty days of your injury or you may lose your right to benefits. It is very important you tell your supervisor how the injury occurred, as well as where and when it happened. Make sure you communicate this information to your employer in writing and keep a copy of this.
Under Missouri work comp law, you are entitled to medical treatment for your injuries. Your employer will be responsible for making payments to your hospital and doctor. While you are receiving treatment for your workers compensation injury, you may be entitled to receive Temporary Total Disability, sometimes referred to as “TTD.” This is compensation for the time you are unable to work because of your injury. If you never fully recover from your injury, your doctor may classify you as either Permanent Total Disability (if you can never return to work) or as Permanent Partial Disability (if you can return to work with restrictions).
The amount of work comp benefits you are entitled to depends upon your rated wage multiplied by different factors, including the body part injured and the degree of permanency attributed to that body part. In order to determine what your workers compensation benefits should be, you need to contact a Missouri work comp lawyer.
Realize that Missouri law allows the employer to choose your treating doctor. Therefore, the doctor will often have an interest in getting you back to work as fast as possible and will place the employers interests above yours. Of course, the doctor wants the employers (and its work comp carrier’s business), so these doctors “toe the line” to make them happy by minimizing the value of the claims. The work comp doctors do this by providing minimal treatment and getting you back working as soon as possible. Many times, these doctors will minimize your injury. Remember, these doctors are on your employer’s side. They are paid by your employer’s workers compensation insurer. These doctors want to keep your employer and the workers compensation insurer happy by keeping your injuries to a minimum. This way, the insurer does not have to pay full value for your work comp injury.
Yes, you can choose to treat with whatever doctor you want. however, workers compensation may not pay for it. For this reason, our law firm will send you to an independent doctor that will give you a fair and complete evaluation and will cover this expense.
Missouri Workers’ Compensation benefits are typically granted to injured workers or the dependent family members of workers who die from on-the-job injuries. The benefits which may be received from workers’ compensation include income, medical benefits, vocational rehabilitation, permanent disability compensation and death benefits.
The sooner you contact a Missouri workers compensation lawyer to investigate your work comp claim, the better. There are time sensitive deadlines you must meet in order to secure your right to workers compensation benefits. Your work comp attorney will help you understand these deadlines and guide you through this process.
The Bradley Law Firm has decades of experience handling Missouri workers compensation claims. Contact us today and speak to an experienced work comp lawyer about your case for free.