A serious work injury can leave you dealing with tremendous pain, not to mention worried about how your injury will affect your ability to keep up with your job duties and financial responsibilities. If you have been injured on the job, in most cases, you are entitled to claim workers’ compensation benefits through your employer.
Benefits for injured workers under workers’ compensation can cover various costs, including medical bills and a portion of lost wages. However, trying to manage a claim alone could prove challenging. The experienced attorneys at OnderLaw can manage your workers’ compensation claim on your behalf and fight to ensure you receive all benefits the law entitles you to receive.
Filing for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
You could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for a wide range of injuries that you could suffer on the job. These include serious injuries like:
- Fall injuries
- Broken bones
- Crushing injuries
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Back, neck, head, and knee injuries
Individuals who have been diagnosed with an occupational disease or long-term disability due to a work incident or work-related conditions can also be entitled to benefits.
Since most companies with an employee headcount of five or more individuals are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, if you are hurt at work, chances are that you can claim these benefits. Even if your company does not carry workers’ compensation coverage, you could still have legal options.
For example, if a negligent third party other than your employer had a hand in your accident, you may have legal grounds to file a personal injury claim against them. Remember that you can almost never file a lawsuit against your employer, as companies with workers’ compensation insurance are generally shielded from these claims.
You have to notify your employer in writing when you are injured on the job with a report that gives specific details about the incident and the type of injury you have. Although the law gives you two years to file a workers’ compensation claim, you must submit that initial report to your employer no later than 30 days from the date you are injured.
At that point, your employer has five days to inform their workers’ compensation insurance carrier about the incident. The workers’ compensation carrier gets another 30 days to notify the Missouri Department of Labor about your incident.
Temporary vs. Permanent Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Once you notify the employer about your injury, the company should provide you with a list of approved medical providers from whom you can receive treatment. You should not have to pay a dime for covered medical treatment related to your work injury. In addition to medical benefits, if your injury prevents you from working, you can receive temporary or partial disability benefits to repay you for a portion of your lost income. There are four primary types of benefits:
- Temporary partial disability (your injury temporarily affects your ability to perform certain job tasks)
- Temporary total disability (your injury temporarily affects your ability to perform any of your job tasks)
- Permanent partial disability (your injury permanently affects your ability to perform certain job tasks)
- Permanent total disability (your injury permanently affects your ability to perform any meaningful work)
Benefits are based on 66 2/3 percent of your average weekly wage but cannot exceed certain caps set by the state. The workers’ compensation insurance company will likely contact you once you and your employer start a claim. However, you should immediately speak with an attorney who can help guide you through the entire process and ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
Employers commonly wait too long to notify the workers’ compensation carrier or may even try to say that the injury is not work-related. Efforts by the insurance company to minimize or deny injured worker claims are common, too, and if this happens in your case, it could impact the amount of benefits you ultimately receive.
We can provide tailored legal advice from day one of your case. Our proactive legal team at OnderLaw will help you collect evidence like medical records and other documentation to support your claim, review any proposed benefits, and help you seek all available compensation related to your medical treatment and lost income.
A Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help You Get the Benefits you Deserve
Whether you have already filed a claim seeking benefits under workers’ compensation or are getting ready to start a claim, you should speak with one of our reliable lawyers who can go over your legal rights and options. Even if you think your employer is on your side, you should understand that their insurance company is ultimately not looking out for your best interests but their bottom line. Insurance companies have a reputation for trying to avoid paying injured workers the full benefits owed, denying claims, or even ending benefits early.
If you would like to speak with an attorney about filing a workers’ compensation claim, do not hesitate to give OnderLaw a call today. A member of our legal team can evaluate your situation and explain the best next steps for your claim.