Dedicated Workmans Comp Lawyers in Missouri
Helping Victims of On-the-Job Injuries
On-the-job injuries can be the beginning of a trying time in your life. In addition to dealing with the physical and emotional pain of an injury, you have to deal with the workers’ compensation system.
Workers’ compensation is supposed to be a streamlined system that quickly gets you medical treatment, lost wages reimbursement, and payment for your permanent injuries. That is often not the case. Workers’ compensation insurance companies have a financial incentive to delay, deny, and discourage. That is what they do.
Top Reasons People Hire a Workers’ Comp Attorney
Injured workers often face some of the following problems:
- Extensive medical bills due to a workplace injury
- Issues with your workers’ compensation claim process
- Not being fairly compensated
- Lost income
- Delays in settling a claim
Here’s how our St. Louis workers’ compensation attorneys can help!
- If you have been injured on the job, facing extensive medical bills can be frightening. We can help you reimburse your medical expenses and treatment of your injuries.
- It’s not uncommon for a workers’ compensation claim to be denied or ignored. However, you can fight back with our help. Injured workers can request mediation, a hardship hearing, or an appeal and possibly a hearing in court in front of an administrative law judge.
- If the amount that has been offered to you by the insurance company or the insurance company’s lawyer, our St. Louis workers’ compensation attorneys can negotiate a different amount. Everyone has the right to obtain full and fair compensation, and we are here to help you achieve that.
- Those who have suffered a workplace injury and can’t return to work until they recover are probably worried about how they will pay their bills. But, if you have missed time from work but no one is paying for your lost time benefits, you should definitely reach out to our law firm.
- If it has been more than a year since the accident, and your claim is still not settled, don’t waste any more of your time. There are time limits on how long someone can wait to file a claim, and in Missouri, workers’ compensation claims usually have to be filed within two years from the date of injury.
If your employer has told you that an accident you’ve experienced is not covered under workers’ compensation law or refuses to report your injury to the Division of Workers’ Compensation or an insurance company, speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
St. Louis, MO, workers’ compensation attorneys at Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien, P.C. will give their best to ensure you get the proper medical care and maximum compensation possible, including timely benefit payments.
St. Louis Workers’ Compensation Claims Explained
Employees injured at work have a right to three workers’ compensation benefits under the law:
- Medical care: You are entitled to reimbursement for the medical costs of the necessary treatments to cure your work injuries.
- Temporary wage replacement: You have a right to weekly payments while you are injured and unable to work.
- Permanent injury payments: You have a right to permanent total disability payments if you are injured and unable to work as a result of your injuries, or permanent partial disability payment if you are able to return to work.
Missouri’s workers’ compensation system is organized under the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Division of Workers’ Compensation handles the programs which make sure injured Missouri workers come back to work as quickly as possible and that they are provided for while recovering. This Division also ensures that those workers who can’t return to work get benefits that Missouri workers’ compensation laws allow.
If you file a workers’ comp claim, there are Missouri laws to protect you from retaliation or discrimination from your employer. Our workplace discrimination attorneys in St. Louis understands that the laws in Missouri give employees the right to recover compensation if they have been injured at work, and we represent clients in the event their employer impedes on this right by firing, demoting, or harassing them for making a claim.
Top 10 Reason to Hire a Workplace Compensation Attorney in St. Louis, Missouri
Our St. Louis Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Are Ready to Help
1. Claim Denied
This is the most obvious reason why you need to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer in St. Louis, Missouri. You report the injury, request medical benefits, lost wages, and other benefits and reimbursements, and the employer/insurer refuses. An attorney can explain the situations where the employer/insurer has investigated the injury claim and there are serious questions about whether the claim is compensable. Unfortunately, as any lawyer, we see many cases where no investigation (or half-hearted investigation) is done, and the employer/insurer still denies the claim.
2. Claim ignored
Workers’ compensation is supposed to be a quick and efficient system for giving care and benefits to injured workers in Missouri. The system only works this way if employers/insurers live up to their obligations. This is when an attorney needs to step in. The law and common courtesy require that they timely respond to worker injuries. After all, injured workers are physically, emotionally, and often financially hurting – a Missouri workers’ compensation lawyer can help.
3. Fired after making a claim
Employers are not required to hold your job for you if you are injured and unable to work. If you are fired without cause, you are still entitled to all of your workers’ compensation benefits. However, some employers will make up a reason or “cause” for firing an employee after a work injury to avoid paying TTD benefits. Missouri law prohibits employers from firing workers for making a workers’ comp claim.
4. Make work jobs
If your doctor releases you back to work with restrictions, your employer can make a modified job available within the legal restrictions. If it does so, your employer does not have to pay TTD. Many of these jobs involve things like sitting in the office opening mail and are often painful to a recently injured employee.
5. Refusal to honor work restrictions
Some employers in St. Louis, MO, say they will make a job available within your medical restrictions – but they do not. They will put you in a job that requires you to lift more than you are supposed to or sit longer than you are able. This can cause unnecessary pain and risk of further injury in Missouri.
6. Bills unpaid, prescriptions unreimbursed
Employers are often slow to pay or deny prescriptions and medical referrals for workers who need attention right away. A personal injury lawyer from our firm has no problem reaching out on your behalf. Speak with tough attorneys who know how to beat insurance companies!
7. Refusal to authorize medical treatment for workers
Employer/insurance companies choose the doctors you see, and sometimes they refuse to provide the medical care recommended by their own doctors. It’s not uncommon for an employer and insurance company to refuse to send the injured worker to an appropriate doctor. An injured worker may see another doctor or a surgeon but at their own expense. Even if they have health insurance, it may not be helpful, as many health insurance policies have an exclusion for workplace injuries. Our St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyers will stand up for your rights!
8. Late TTD checks
Late TTD checks are another common form of harassment. The check from the insurance company should arrive every week, and injured workers rely on these checks to pay their bills and feed their families. There is no excuse for delayed TTD checks. Employers/insurers know workers rely on these checks to make ends meet but they far too often harass employees by delaying payments after the injury. Our workers’ comp lawyers do battle with insurance companies all day every day. Contact our law firm now!
9. Refusal to pay for permanent damages
Employers will sometimes provide the personal care they are obligated to provide but then fail to pay the employer for permanent injuries after they reach maximum personal improvement. Sometimes, even if you’ve tried to be fair, you need a personal injury lawyer in Missouri to have your back, contact us today and schedule a free consultation with our workers’ compensation lawyers.
10. Low –ball offers for permanent injuries.
The doctors were chosen by the employer/insurer often give you an impairment rating once you have reached maximum medical improvement. These ratings are usually too low and a personal injury lawyer from our firm can spot these a mile away. They often try to justify these low ratings by claiming your injuries are “pre-existing” conditions and not related to the work accident.
Don’t forget that your employer is required to pay you for workers comp benefits such as medical expenses and lost wages only until you reach maximum medical improvement. If it is estimated that you will not get any better, the employer will probably offer a settlement to compensate you for any diminishment in your capacity to work that you have suffered due to the workplace injury.
Workers’ Compensation Injuries in St. Louis, Missouri
Helping You Get Back On Your Feet After an Injury in St. Louis
Suffering an injury at work is painful for your body and your wallet, as you can possibly end up missing time at work. The good news about these types of injuries is that you may qualify to receive compensation during your recovery. The St. Louis, Missouri, personal injury attorneys at Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien, P.C. know how to help you get the legal and financial compensation and the proper medical care that you need to make a speedy recovery from your injury.
Workers’ Compensation Law in St. Louis, Missouri
Depending on the circumstances of your injury in St. Louis, MO, you may be entitled to compensation. If you were injured due to the actions of your coworkers, then you are able to file a legal claim and receive financial compensation. You can also file a Missouri workers compensation claim if you were injured by defective equipment, which may also be grounds for a product liability legal claim.
Other circumstances that qualify you for a workers’ compensation claim including:
- Motor vehicle accident while on-the-job
- Carpal tunnel syndrome caused by work-related duties
- Occupational diseases, such as loss of hearing and vision
Wrongful Death and Workers’ Compensation Claim
If employees died due to workplace accidents, certain individuals may become entitled to death benefits. These individuals are typically surviving spouses or surviving dependent children. However, there are some conditions that have to be met.
For example, if an individual has died because of work-related injuries, these individuals will most likely be able to claim death benefits. That may also be the case if a worker suffers a permanent disability because of work-related injuries and dies from a cause that is not related to the on-the-job injury.
Some workers’ compensation cases can become wrongful death claims. That can occur if there is someone else at-fault who is not an employer. If you believe a third party is responsible for the death of your loved one on the job, contacting an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible is essential, so evidence that can prove your claim is not destroyed.
Retaliation Following a Workers’ Comp Claim In The State of Missouri
As an employee in Missouri, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim when injured at work. State laws prevent your employer from discriminating against you following the submission of the compensation claim. While most employers are aware of the legal protections you are given, some choose to ignore them and create a hostile work environment for you anyway.
Workers’ Comp Benefits in St. Louis, Missouri: What You Need To Know?
How Can a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Help Injured Victims Get Compensation?
Those who have been injured in a workplace accident in Missouri can have their world turned upside down. As these injuries can be severe, recovering from them and returning to life can take years and cost a considerable amount of money. An experienced St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer from our law firm can help you get fair compensation for workplace injuries while protecting your rights.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits Available in St. Louis, Missouri
Depending on the injury sustained in the workplace in St. Louis, the benefits offered by the state of Missouri can vary (a workers’ compensation lawyer from our team is happy to explain). A person who suffers a back strain will receive different benefits from another person who lost a body part. Payments are also determined based on the recovery time. However, a St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer can tell you that most cases calculate benefits using the worker’s average weekly wage.
Benefit payments in St. Louis, Missouri can occur in ways such as:
- Temporary partial disability benefits — assuming the person is able to continue working even partial hours, this method subtracts the new wage from the former, normal wage and gives two-thirds of that amount back to the person in recovery
- Temporary total disability benefits — a person unable to return to work receives two-thirds of their weekly wages until they can return to work
- Permanent partial disability benefits — as above, those who suffered injuries that prevent them from returning to work receive two-thirds of their weekly wage, available as lump sum payments if desired
- Permanent total disability benefits — this payment is a lifetime benefit of two-thirds of the wage at the time of the injury, available in a lump sum if desired
Bear in mind, that it’s crucial to immediately report a workplace injury to a supervisor or employer. Failure to report your injury within 30 days may jeopardize your ability to receive workers’ comp benefits.
If your employer doesn’t want to provide a form for you to complete, take a piece of paper and write everything out, including what happened, time and place, as well as the date and the nature of the injury. If you hand-deliver a workplace injury notice, keep a record of the full name of the person you delivered it to and the date when that occurred.
A Lawyer Can Help You Understand Your Rights in St. Louis, Missouri
Workers’ compensation is not a handout: Some of our clients are uncomfortable about filing workers’ compensation claims because they think of workers’ compensation as a “handout.” It is not. Workers’ compensation is an insurance benefit required by law as a bargain between employees and employers.
Employees in St. Louis, MO, have few legal protections. Employees cannot sue their employers in court for negligence, and employers can fire employees for (almost) any reason, including when a work injury leaves them unable to work. The trade-off is that employees in St. Louis are protected by workers’ compensation which provides them medical bills reimbursement, temporary wage replacement, and compensation for permanent injuries suffered on the job. It is one of the few protections for American workers.
Missouri workers’ compensation laws require that most businesses carry worker’s compensation insurance, intended to protect employees if they are injured on the job. In fact, every business that has five or more employees must have this type of insurance coverage. Although there are some exceptions, an injured worker usually has the right to pursue a worker’s comp claim.
Don’t fear having a lawyer file a workers’ compensation claim: It is against the law for your employer to fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. After all, if employers try to discourage workers from filing claims, the employer is evading its part of the “bargain” and its obligation to injured workers.
While we understand fears of filing, it is important not to let them stop your Missouri workers’ compensation attorney from filing an injury claim when injured on the job.