If you are suffering from a work-related injury or disease, you may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits on a temporary or even permanent basis. While some workers’ compensation cases may be relatively smooth and proceed through the system with few bumps, the system is set up to put claimants at a disadvantage. This means that without competent legal representation, it could take much longer to get a workers’ comp settlement in Missouri than it should.
The experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at OnderLaw can protect your rights and work diligently to recover the benefits you need for your injury. You should never accept a settlement without first speaking to a lawyer who is deeply familiar with the state’s workers’ compensation laws and has successfully gone to bat against the system many times before.
Factors that Impact the Length of Your Missouri Workers’ Comp Case
Multiple factors can impact the length of your Missouri workers’ compensation case and how long it takes you to achieve a settlement. Insurance companies in these cases often offer a settlement early on in the game.
Early settlement offers are usually about trying to get the injured worker to settle for a low figure that doesn’t come close to reflecting the real value of the losses they are experiencing. The insurance company may not offer a settlement at all though, or deny the claim outright in some cases.
Every Missouri workers’ compensation case is slightly different, so the time from filing a claim to reaching a potential settlement will vary accordingly. Some cases can wrap up in as little as six months, but it’s not uncommon for these claims to take a year or longer to conclude. Of course, delays or other stonewalling actions your employer or the insurance company use—such as denying requested medical care or poor response times—could impact this timeline.
The kind of injury you have, how long you need to recover, the nature of the medical treatment you require, and whether or not you will be temporarily or permanently disabled are other contributing factors. If you need surgery or ongoing medical care, this could also impact the timeline of your workers’ compensation case.
Workers’ compensation cases involving extensive negotiations or appeals may take longer to settle, but you should receive the full payout of benefits you are entitled to under the law. Insurance companies often hope their tactics will frustrate claimants into settling the case just to be done with it. The attorneys at OnderLaw will not allow them to get by with these schemes, and we know what steps to take to work towards the most favorable outcome and settlement of your claim.
How Does a Workers’ Comp Settlement Work in Missouri?
Workers’ compensation cases in Missouri go through several key stages before ever getting to the settlement phase. When you are hurt at work, you must first notify your employer. While state law gives you up to two years from the date of the injury to launch a workers’ compensation claim, you still have to tell your employer about your work injury no later than 30 days from the date of the incident.
Your employer should then report the injury to their insurance carrier, who will notify the Division of Workers’ Compensation. The company should also provide a list of doctors covered under the workers’ compensation provider network. In addition to helping ensure you receive the medical treatment you require, your proactive workers’ compensation lawyer can also file the claim on your behalf with the state.
Depending on your work injury, you may need weeks, months, or even years of treatment. If your injury is serious enough to inhibit you from working, you may also be eligible for temporary or permanent lost wage benefits on top of medical benefits. Typically, you will need to be released from treatment and designated at maximum medical improvement (MMI) by your doctor before you pursue a settlement. If you reach MMI and are ready to return to work, this is the point at which the claim could transition to the settlement stage.
However, some doctors may designate a patient at MMI too soon, and these disputes could affect the duration of a case. Also, if your injury inflicts a permanent total disability, you could be entitled to benefits for life to compensate for a portion of your lost wages. These are just a few instances that could dictate how achieving a settlement works in your case.
You need a trusted attorney on your side who can handle the routine aspects of workers’ compensation claims as well as the challenges that may arise, whether that means negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company or representing your case in court. At OnderLaw, we can collect your medical records, witness and expert testimony, and other evidence that will be vital to construct a complete claim for the highest possible worker’s compensation settlement.
Talk With a Missouri Attorney Before Settling Your Workers’ Comp Claim
Whether you have been offered a workers’ compensation settlement already or are just starting your claim, you need to make sure you have a qualified lawyer on the case as soon as possible. Any number of issues can affect how long it takes to get a workers’ comp settlement in Missouri.
The insurance company will sometimes deny your claim outright, offer a settlement early on before you have calculated the full costs of your injury, or your employer could dispute the injury. These are just a few common hurdles that could affect your potential settlement.
At OnderLaw, our attorneys are ready for the curveballs that the workers’ compensation system throws at injured workers, and we will give your case the attention it deserves. Our legal professionals have the resources and experience necessary to overcome these challenges while advocating tirelessly to get you the benefits you deserve. Contact OnderLaw today for your free, one-on-one legal consultation with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer.