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Workers Comp Lawyers in Joplin, Missouri (MO)

Personal injuries cause pain, suffering, and financial hardship. The financial security of your family is often at stake. We are proud to have earned successful case results that have given clients the compensation they were owed and put their families back on solid financial ground.

We are personal injury experts who have achieved results for our clients in Joplin for over 40 years.

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Dedicated Joplin Workers Compensation Lawyers

You are likely entitled to workers’ compensation if you suffered a workplace injury. Most businesses in Joplin and other Missouri cities have Workers’ Compensation insurance.

Filing a worker’s compensation claim under Missouri workers’ compensation law against your employer is simply a request for benefits. Injured workers must not prove their employer was at fault to recover. The Joplin and St. Louis workers’ comp lawyers at our firm can help you know what kind of benefits you may receive under MO workers’ compensation coverage from insurance companies and your office. If you have suffered a work-related injury, we offer a free consultation.

We Have the Resources and Expertise to Help You

We have represented injured Missourians for over 40+ years. We have experience representing injured workers in nearly every industry, including trucking, construction, heavy equipment, factory, industrial, health care, and education, and every type of injury, including:

  • Knee Injuries
  • Shoulder Injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Sight and Hearing Loss
  • Muscle Tears
  • Meniscus Tears
  • Repetitive Stress Disorders
  • Neck injuries
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, CTS
  • Brain Injury
  • Heart Attack
  • Amputation
  • Burns
  • Wrongful Death

We understand a workplace injury’s emotional, physical, and financial tolls. We will fight to get you all the benefits to which you may be entitled, including:

  • Payment for medical expenses
  • Lost wages while disabled due to your injury
  • Permanent Partial Disability payments or Permanent Total Disability payments when applicable
  • Vocational rehabilitation, including job retraining and job placement assistance
  • Death Benefits for surviving family members when applicable

The Joplin Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at our firm are committed to helping you recover the compensation you deserve. We will handle your workers’ compensation case with compassion and dedication. Our experienced attorneys have a thorough knowledge of Missouri workers’ compensation law. They will take the time to explain the process thoroughly so that you can make informed decisions about your case.

You Owe Us Nothing Unless We Recover Money for You

If you cannot travel to our offices, most Workers Comp benefits claims can be opened over the telephone without the client visiting the law firm. Sometimes, we can meet at your home or another location to discuss your case.

If you have suffered a work-related injury and have any questions about your workers’ compensation claim or would like to set up a telephone conference or visit our law firm for an initial consultation, call us in St. Louis at 866-580-1964, in Joplin, Missouri, at 417-695-5781, or Toll-Free at 800-371-8220 or send us an email.

Our personal injury lawyers will evaluate your case free of charge. We will never take a fee until we obtain a settlement or award for you.


Workers Compensation Claims

If you have been hurt on the job, you are (or will be) dealing with an experienced insurance company adjuster. Missouri workers’ compensation law is complicated, technical, and full of traps for the unknowing. We will represent you on a contingency fee basis. This means there is no attorney’s fee unless we recover your money or benefits. If you are injured on the job, here are some things you need to do:

  • Report the workplace accident to your employer as soon as possible.
  • Write down how the accident happened while it is still fresh in your mind.
  • See your doctor as soon as possible and tell them that you were injured.
  • Do not sign any documents from the employers or the insurance company without talking to a workers’ compensation attorney about it first. You may be signing away some essential rights.
  • Call an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.

If you have been injured and have questions about your workers’ compensation claim, contact our worker’s comp lawyers today for an initial free consultation. You can also visit our law firm for a confidential meeting. We do not charge for an initial consultation on the phone or office.

Workers’ Compensation Injuries

Workers’ Compensation injuries come in many forms. The injuries discussed below are just some workplace injuries that Missouri Workers’ Compensation may cover.

  • Accidents caused by other workers
  • An injury caused by defective equipment
  • Injuries sustained on the job in a motor vehicle accident
  • Work-induced Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Occupational Diseases

If unsure whether you have suffered an injury covered by Workers’ Compensation, call us at our Joplin MO office (417-695-5781), Toll-Free at 800-371-8220, or email us to set up a free initial consultation.

Accidents Caused by Other Workers

If you are injured on the job by another worker, you are entitled to certain workers’ compensation benefits. There are limited circumstances, such as horseplay or a personal injury by a fellow worker, in which you may be unable to collect these benefits. If your employer refuses to provide medical care because of these circumstances, you should contact our workers’ compensation lawyers in Joplin for a free consultation.

An Injury Caused by Defective Equipment

If you got a personal injury at work because of unsafe or defective equipment, you are probably entitled to some degree of compensation. Under some circumstances, you may also have a right to damages from the company (other than your employer) that manufactured, installed, or maintained the equipment. These types of workers’ compensation claims are usually called product liability claims. If defective or unsafe products have injured you, you should contact a Joplin MO lawyer experienced in Workers’ Compensation and products liability law.

Injuries Sustained on the Job in a Motor Vehicle Accident

A car or truck accident is like any other on-the-job accident, and you will usually be entitled to benefits under Workers’ Compensation coverage, including medical care, lost wages benefits, and the lump sum payment for permanent or partial disability. In addition to these Workers’ comp benefits, you may be entitled to recover damages for negligence against another driver.

The damages you can recover in a suit based on negligence are sometimes much broader than the benefits under Workers’ Comp coverage. For example, in a negligence claim, you can recover damages for pain and suffering, all of your lost wages, future lost wages, and impairment to your future earning capacity.

Work-induced Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a wrist and hand injury caused by repetitive use of hands. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by repetitive work motions, such as assembly lines, poultry plants, and even clerical work. There are other types of similar repetitive motion injuries, such as tendonitis. If you have a repetitive motion injury, contact an attorney experienced in this work.

Occupational Diseases

You may be entitled to medical benefits if you have a work-related disease. Examples of occupational diseases include hearing loss due to industrial noise, radiation disability, diseases of the lungs, contagious or infectious diseases, and lead poisoning.


Workers’ Comp Benefits

In Missouri, employers must carry workers’ compensation coverage if they have five or more employees. However, employers must take workers’ compensation coverage even if they have just one employee in the construction industry.

Employers who have employees in the exempt categories or don’t have the required number of employees and choose not to purchase workers’ compensation coverage are exposed to civil lawsuits that can be brought by workers injured on the job.

Determining the full compensation benefits you are entitled to under Missouri Workers’ Compensation Law can be complicated. The determination can depend on your average weekly wage calculations, which can be challenging depending on the industry in which you work.

The insurance company’s adjuster will often argue that your workplace injury is not severe and will attempt to minimize your workers’ compensation benefits. We have been representing injured Missourians for 40+ years, and our attorneys know which workers’ comp benefits you are entitled to receive and how to get them for you. We provide answers to all the questions you might have. We will never take a fee for our legal services unless and until we obtain a settlement or award for you.

Missouri Workers’ Compensation Law Discrimination

The law prohibits employers from retaliating or discriminating against an employee for filing an MO Workers’ Compensation claim. Missouri’s Workers’ Compensation laws give employees a right to recover benefits for workplace injuries, and employers cannot discriminate or retaliate against employees for enforcing their legal rights. This law protects injured employees from being fired, demoted, or harassed for making workers’ comp claims.

Employers often try to discourage employees from making Workers’ compensation claims. That is especially true where employers are self-insured, meaning they pay the benefits out of their own pockets rather than having insurance. We have seen cases where employers reluctantly provide some required medical care and temporary benefits but will fire an injured employee if the employee pursues their full workers’ compensation benefits for permanent injuries.

The Missouri Supreme Court recently changed the law in favor of employees who have been the victim of this type of discrimination. Under the old law, employees had to prove that the Workers’ Compensation claim was the “exclusive” cause for retaliation, harassment, or discrimination. This was a demanding standard because employers could almost always make up some other excuse for firing an employee.

The law recently changed so that employees only have to show that the work comp claim contributed to the decision to fire the employee. This standard is fairer to employees and holds employers accountable for improper discrimination more effectively.

Call us if you have been fired or retaliated against after making a claim. We will review your case free of charge. If we take your case, you will not have any out-of-pocket expenses or owe us anything unless our Joplin Workers’ Compensation attorneys successfully recover compensation on your claim.


Loss of Employment: What if I Cannot Return to Work?

The answer to this question involves several complicated issues. If you cannot return to work because of your work-related injury, you may be entitled to a weekly benefit of two-thirds of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum cap, for the rest of your life.

To be entitled to this benefit, you must be disabled from any employment. Suppose you are totally disabled because of a combination of a pre-existing disability plus the disability caused by your work-related accident. In that case, you may be entitled to the Second Injury Fund benefits. Generally, this benefit is two-thirds of your average weekly wage, up to the maximum cap, for the rest of your life.

Under Workers’ Compensation, you are not totally disabled simply because you cannot return to your old job. To be totally disabled under Missouri Workers’ Compensation Law, you must be disabled from all employment and not simply the work you had before the accident.

Any time you are disabled from employment, you should consider whether you are entitled to Social Security disability benefits. There is sometimes a set-off between Social Security disability benefits and Workers’ benefits, and you should always contact an attorney experienced in Workers’ Compensation law if you are receiving or plan on receiving both Workers’ Compensation and Social Security disability benefits.

Is My Employer Required to Hold My Job?

The Missouri Workers’ Comp Law does not require the employer to hold your job while you recover from your disability. However, other federal and state statutes give injured workers some protection, such as the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Family Leave Act, and the Missouri Human Rights Act. These laws are complicated, and if you believe you have not been treated fairly, you should contact our Joplin Workers’ Compensation attorneys, who are experienced in this area of the law.

Civil Negligence Claims Against Your Employer or Fellow Employees

Generally, you cannot bring a negligence claim against your employer to recover for work-related injuries. However, there are limited circumstances in which a negligence action can be brought against the employer or fellow employees.

The most common circumstance in which an employer can be liable for negligence is if the employer has fewer than five employees and is, therefore, not covered by the Workers’ Compensation statute.

The other exceptions that allow a negligence suit against an employer or fellow employees are limited and complex. To be safe, you should always ask an experienced Joplin MO attorney if there is a possible negligence claim.

What About a Negligence Lawsuit Against 3rd Parties?

If your injury was caused by the negligent activities of someone who does not work for your employer, you might have a “third party” claim against the negligent party. This third-party claim might be available in addition to Workers’ Compensation benefits.

Money damages in a “third party” claim are often greater than the Workers’ Comp benefits available for the same injury. The possible existence of a “third party” case is a good reason why a trucker should promptly consult with an experienced Joplin Missouri workers’ compensation lawyers.


Second Injury Fund

If you had an injury or disability before you got injured on the job, you might qualify for additional benefits from the Missouri Second Injury Fund. The purpose of the Second Injury Fund is to encourage employers to hire and retain employees with disabilities.

An injured employee must have a permanent pre-existing disability to trigger the liability of the Fund. The prior disability must be “of such seriousness as to constitute a hindrance or obstacle to employment.” In some cases, the Second Injury Fund’s benefits can be substantial.

How Does the Second Injury Fund Work?

For example, an injured employee may be entitled to lifetime weekly benefits from the Second Injury Fund when a permanent total disability results from a combination of the employee’s pre-existing conditions and those caused by the current injury. In death cases, when the employer failed to obtain Workers’ Compensation insurance, the Second Injury Fund can be held responsible for death benefits to the employee’s dependents.

The Fund is also responsible for paying injured workers’ medical bills when the employer fails to ensure its Workers’ Compensation liability. The Fund also provides workers’ comp benefits to injured employees undergoing physical rehabilitation. To qualify for these benefits, the employee must be seriously injured and receive therapy at a facility certified by the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation. If the injured worker qualifies, they will receive $40 per week for up to 20 weeks for rehabilitation.

The Second Injury Fund also provides benefits to injured employees with multiple jobs. Suppose an employee cannot work at a job due to an injury that occurred while working at another job. In that case, benefits may be claimed from the Second Injury Fund in connection with the position at which the employee was not injured.

The Second Injury Fund is funded by a surcharge applied to Workers’ Compensation insurance premiums paid by employers. The Missouri legislature has capped the amount of the surcharge paid by employers, which has caused the Second Injury Fund to be underfunded. Unless the Missouri legislature acts, in the near future, the Fund will become insolvent and unable to pay claims. Contact your local state legislator and encourage them to remove the cap on the premium surcharge so that the Second Injury Fund can continue to pay worthy claims. If you have more questions or need legal advice regarding Workers’ Compensation insurance, our Joplin, Missouri, compensation attorneys can help.

Nursing Accidents and Injuries

Nurses’ Workers’ Compensation claims are among the most common Workers’ Compensation claims. By this measure, hospitals are among the most dangerous places to work as far as work injuries.

Nurses are twice as likely to suffer a work injury than the average private industry worker. Recent reports recorded 58,860 work-related injuries annually in hospitals that caused missed work time. Nurses are on their feet for long hours, helping care for people who suffer from illness, diseases, and injuries.

Nursing is a rewarding job, but it can take a physical and emotional toll. Nursing assistants and orderlies suffer injuries almost three times the rate of construction laborers. Registered nurses have more back and arm injuries than all but four other occupations (according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data) ­ including truckers and workers who lug heavy loads in warehouses. Some of nurses’ most common Workers’ Compensation claims are back injuries, slips and falls, and needle sticks.

Back Injuries for Nurses

Back injuries are the most common Workers’ Compensation injuries suffered by nurses. Nurses must move, lift and carry patients regularly (often at awkward, uncomfortable angles), leading to back injuries. Overexertion, stress, and repeated heavy lifting can cause injuries such as muscle tears, tendon strains, herniated discs, sprains, and overall soreness.

The rising rate of obesity among patients coupled with staffing shortages has put added pressure on nurses, forcing them to lift heavier people and to work more often than they would have in recent years. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the nursing industry reports the highest amount of work-related back pain among female workers.

The CDC also states that 12 percent of nurses leave the profession entirely, citing a back injury. Laboratory studies show that the method of lifting and moving patients that hospitals and nursing schools have taught for more than a century ­ using “proper body mechanics” ­ is dangerous. There’s a well-known solution: using mechanical lifts to move patients, much like heavy machinery on an assembly line. But hospitals around the country routinely choose other funding priorities.

Slip and Fall Injuries for Nurses

Slips and falls occur due to a spill or slick spot on the floor, improper footwear, or just being in a hurry. While sometimes these can leave the victim unscathed, often, the fall results in a severe work injury, particularly to the knees and ankles. Tendon and muscle strains to the knees and ankles can be very painful and take extensive time to heal, causing a nurse to be unable to work for a prolonged period.

Needle Stick Injuries for Nurses

According to the American Nursing Association, 64 percent of nurses say they experienced a prick by a syringe or needle while on the job. While these pricks may cause a tiny puncture wound or slight bleeding, that’s not the full extent of the danger. Needle sticks come with serious possibilities of infections and bloodborne pathogens if a syringe has been used already. This puts the nurse at risk for HIV and other severe conditions. If you are a nurse injured, call us today at 314-862-6865 or 417-695-5781 for a free case evaluation. Our Joplin Workers’ Comp attorneys have been helping injured nurses for 40 years. We can help you too!


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