If you are injured while working, you may be entitled to Missouri Worker’s Compensation benefits.
These benefits include, but are not limited to:
- Medical treatment until you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement
- Temporary Total Disability for the time you miss from work as recover from your injuries
- Permanent Partial or Permanent Total Disability benefits once your medical treatment is completed
In addition to the above basic benefits, there are also additional benefits that might apply to your claim including mileage reimbursement, disfigurement payments and other types of benefits. Unfortunately, sometimes work related injuries result in a death. If this is the case, a different measure of benefits under Missouri workers’ compensation law is applicable to provide for surviving dependents of the deceased employee.
Regardless of what benefits may be applicable to your potential claim, hopefully these benefits are all freely offered, clearly explained, and fairly valued by the employer/workers’ compensation insurer. Unfortunately, many times little or no explanation is given to claimants by the employer/insurer about the process, potential benefits, or the mechanism by which ultimate payments are fairly calculated. This leaves many injured workers guessing as to whether they have been treated fairly and compensated appropriately for their loss.
In some work situations, you may have been injured due to the negligence of someone who was not your employer. While claims for negligence against an employer are generally not allowed if the employer maintained workers’ compensation insurance, negligence claims against third parties are sometimes possible under Missouri law. If this is the case in your situation, you may have two claims arising out of your work related injury: A workers’ compensation claim against your employer and a liability claim against the negligent third party. Only a thorough review of the facts can determine if claims in addition to your workers’ compensation claim may exist.
It is important to remember that a workers’ compensation insurance adjuster works for the insurer not for you. While the adjuster or nurse case administrator may be very friendly and give you information while attempting to guide you through the system, these are employees paid by the insurer. It is their job to get the claim finished and minimize the amount of money the insurer has to expend to resolve your claim. You may even be encouraged the insurer’s employees not to consult an attorney. The bottom line is that this is terrible advice for any claimant, and these type of recommendations are calculated to save the insurance company money.
Given the complexity of the benefits involved and frequent lack of clear communication between injured workers and employers/insurers, every worker with a potential workers’ compensation claim should consult an injury attorney before signing anything. It is possible to lose your rights to pursue a claim if you voluntarily sign away your rights or if you allow the statute of limitations period (the time you have under the law to file an official workers’ compensation claim) to run out. As a result, it is important to contact an injury attorney early in the process and as soon after your injury as possible.
Disputes frequently arise between claimants and employers/insurers over a myriad of issues, including:
- Was the injury was caused by a work related event
- What injuries were caused by the work related event
- Appropriate medical treatment for those injuries
- Timely payment of Temporary Total Disability benefits
- The point at which the claimant truly reaches Maximum Medical Improvement
- The percentage of total disability used to calculate Permanent Partial disability payments
- Claimant’s status as Permanently and Totally disabled
The list above is not exhaustive, but the potential disputes above illustrate the difficulties that an injured worker may encounter when he or she attempts to handle the claim with no attorney.
If you have been injured on the job, please contact Price & Randle, LLC so that we can review the facts of your case with you in detail. Each claim is different, and it is essential that you received a full and fair evaluation of your potential claim by an injury attorney before you determine how proceed with your claim.