If you have had a workers’ compensation claim denied, contact a St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer at OnderLaw to discuss getting the compensation you need to recover from your work-related injury. Our dedicated injury attorneys will be your loyal advocate throughout the entire legal process.
- Why Choose OnderLaw?
- What You Should Do After Suffering A Job-Related Injury or Illness?
- How OnderLaw Investigates Workers’ Compensation Cases
- Benefits Included in Workers’ Compensation Coverage
- Most Common Causes of Workplace Accidents
- Injuries Covered Under Workers’ Compensation
- Missouri Workplace Accidents Statistics
- How Much Does A St. Louis Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Cost?
- Missouri Workers’ Compensation Laws
- Filing A Lawsuit in Missouri for an Occupational Injury
- Contact OnderLaw Now
Why Choose OnderLaw?
OnderLaw has a notable record of success helping our St. Louis personal injury clients receive the workers’ compensation benefits they need for on-the-job injuries or illnesses.
We will put our skill and experience to work for you. We use an innovative approach for each of our clients’ cases, combining our knowledge of the field with the specifics of the accident to create an individualized plan to help you win.
In addition to the high-quality legal counsel you will receive when working with OnderLaw, you can also expect compassionate support from each of our attorneys.
Our past results speak for themselves. We have recovered billions for injured clients and know what it takes to get our clients the compensation they deserve after a work accident.
OnderLaw offers a free initial consultation about your workers’ compensation case. When we take your case, we do not charge anything for our legal services until we win compensation for you.
OnderLaw attorneys understand that a workers’ compensation claim is complicated and often confusing. We will make this process as easy for you as possible, answering each of your questions and making sure that you fully understand your rights.
What You Should Do After Suffering A Job-Related Injury or Illness?
If you sustained injuries while performing your job duties or developed an illness due to poor conditions at work, you should take some steps to protect your rights to benefits. Missouri law requires businesses with at least five employees to provide workers’ compensation insurance. The only exception to this is employers in the construction industry. Then workers’ comp insurance is a requirement if there are one or more employees.
To pursue the benefits available through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, follow the steps below:
Report your injury. Let your employer know about your work-related injury immediately. If you don’t initiate a claim within 30 days of the accident, you could lose your rights to benefit payments.
Complete the necessary forms. After reporting the injury, your employer should provide the forms you’ll need to fill out to send to the insurance company. If they don’t provide one, you can print it from the Missouri Department of Labor website and submit it directly to the Department of Labor and the insurance company yourself.
Seek medical treatment. You must see a doctor approved by your employer. The insurance company will only cover medical costs for doctors on the approved list. If you see a doctor of your choice, you could end up paying out of pocket.
Hire a lawyer. Before you even file a claim, you should hire an experienced and qualified St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney from OnderLaw. We understand the state laws and procedures for recovering benefits. You stand a much better chance of receiving the maximum benefit payments you deserve with us by your side than if you choose not to seek legal representation.
How OnderLaw Investigates Workers’ Compensation Cases
The St. Louis workers’ compensation attorneys of OnderLaw know how to maximize the value of a client’s case and gather all the necessary evidence that proves they deserve benefits for the injuries they suffered. When you hire us, we will investigate the accident to prove that your injury is work-related and legitimate.
We will speak with your treating physicians and request copies of your medical records. We will review every document we receive to ensure the doctors explicitly stated that you suffered a workplace injury or illness and require ongoing treatment to recover. If your doctors don’t mention your injury in their notes or that it occurred while you were performing your job duties, it could negatively impact your claim.
OnderLaw can also collect other evidence crucial to proving you have a disabling injury or illness that prevents you from working. Examples include:
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- An incident report from the employer
- Video surveillance of the accident
- Photos from the scene, such as evidence of deplorable working conditions, causing you to get hurt
- Copies of all your medical records, bills, prescriptions, and other costs associated with the injury
We could also enlist the help of experts, such as medical experts and vocational experts. They can speak to the fact that your injury resulted in some type of disability, and you’re unable to return to your regular job duties as a result. They could provide written statements and even testify in court if the insurance company denies your claim and we need file an appeal.
Benefits Included in Workers’ Compensation Coverage
When you are managing a severe work-related injury or illness, you may need emergency medical care and ongoing medical treatment, depending on the severity of your injuries.
Medical services are expensive, but workers’ compensation will help ensure that you do not have to compromise your health because of financial constraints.
Workers’ compensation may cover all necessary medical treatment, including but not limited to:
- Doctor’s visits
- Physical therapy
- Psychological therapy
- Prescription medication
- Medical devices, such as wheelchairs or walkers
Although medical bills are usually the most pressing concern after an illness or injury, medical treatment coverage is only one part of workers’ compensation. This policy will also protect you from the financial losses you may experience because of your time away from work.
If your doctor determines that you cannot return to work while recovering from an injury or illness, you may be eligible for lost wages payment from your employer. The Missouri Department of Labor categorizes this lost time at work in one of two ways:
You are entirely unable to perform your job during your recovery. You can receive compensation at 66 2/3% of your average weekly earnings during this time.
You have some limitations on the work you can perform during your recovery. If your employer reduces your pay, while you cannot work in your usual capacity, they must pay you weekly compensation, at 66 2/3% of the difference between your earnings before and after the accident.
This protection of lost wages under Missouri’s workers’ compensation laws gives you the time and space you need to heal while reducing some of the financial stress you may face.
However, some serious work-related injuries and illnesses are so severe that you may require permanent disability benefits because of your lost ability to return to work.
Employers calculate permanent disability benefits using the same standards as temporary disability, differentiating between total and partial disability, but these benefits apply for an extended time.
Most Common Causes of Workplace Accidents
You can sustain injuries whether you’re working on a construction site or in a corporate office. Hazards are everywhere, creating conditions conducive to severe accidents. If you got hurt while doing your job, you could file a workers’ compensation claim for benefits.
The most common causes of job-related injuries include:
- Overexertion – Carrying, pushing, and lifting objects at work can lead to an overexertion injury that causes pain in the muscles, joints, and other parts of the body.
- Slip/trip and fall – Employees can slip or trip over something and fall when someone negligently leaves a hazard where people walk, a recently mopped floor doesn’t contain warning signs, or there’s loose carpeting, to name a few examples.
- Fall from heights – Some jobs require working on ladders, scaffolding, roofs, and other areas high off the ground. Without the proper restraints or safety equipment, you could fall off to the ground below.
- Struck by equipment or objects – Unsecured objects could fall off a platform onto someone walking under it, and they could sustain a traumatic blow to the head or another injury.
- Motor vehicle accidents – Many people have jobs where they have to drive a vehicle to deliver food from a restaurant, products from a retail store, or building materials to a construction site. A negligent driver could cause an accident, leading to injuries requiring workers’ comp benefits to heal.
- Repetitive motions – If you’re performing the same task over and over, you could suffer a repetitive motion injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
You’re entitled to workers’ compensation benefits no matter how the accident occurred, as long as you were performing the duties of your job at the time, and your employer has a workers’ comp insurance policy.
Contact our dedicated workers’ compensation lawyers in St. Louis immediately so we can help you with your claim and fight for the maximum benefits you deserve.
Injuries Covered Under Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation applies to almost all injuries you suffer at work. Workers’ compensation also applies to long-term illnesses or disabilities that resulted from your work.
Some work environments, such as construction or mechanical work, are more prone to accidents and injuries than others because of inherent safety risks.
However, if a company disregards safety guidelines or otherwise neglects to keep its employees safe, any workplace can have significant hazards that lead to an injury or illness.
Some of the most common workplace injuries that workers’ compensation covers include:
These types of injuries usually occur during an accident that occurs in the workplace. However, the nature of the work you are doing may also lead to long-term health problems, known as occupational illnesses.
Repetitive motion, heavy lifting, or prolonged exposure to dangerous environments may all result in cumulative damage to the body, which appears later in your life or after a significant length of time at a job.
Some of the most common occupational illnesses covered under workers’ compensation include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Repetitive strain or stress injuries
- Diseases from toxin exposure
- Hearing loss
- Psychological distress
- Respiratory diseases
Occupational illnesses are often more challenging to prove and receive compensation for because you must demonstrate that your work directly caused these long-term effects.
However, whether you have a work accident that results in an immediate injury or you have health concerns related to your work, you need financial compensation to help you manage these problems.
Missouri Workplace Accidents Statistics
How Much Does a St. Louis Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Cost?
OnderLaw takes cases on a contingency fee basis. That means we don’t charge upfront fees to provide our clients with legal representation. You’re already facing other challenges while pursuing benefits to pay for your medical treatment and supplement your lost income. You shouldn’t suffer more financial burdens.
When you hire us, our workplace injury attorneys will begin working on your case without expecting upfront legal fees or costs. We don’t collect any fees unless we can recover workers’ compensation benefits or financial compensation from a third-party lawsuit. If we don’t win your case, you won’t have to pay us.
Missouri Workers’ Compensation Laws
Workers’ compensation is a type of accident insurance policy that the United States requires most employers to carry. This policy aims to protect employees in the event of a work-related injury or illness.
When you file a workers’ compensation claim, private insurance agencies, or state-run workers’ compensation funds will cover the cost associated with your injury. Although the U.S. Department of Labor oversees government employees’ compensation, every state has different policies regarding workers’ compensation for private employers.
In Missouri, every company that employs more than five people and all construction companies that employ one or more people must have a workers’ compensation policy.
Companies have two options for providing workers’ compensation to their employees. One is to purchase this insurance through a private agency. The other is to get special permission from the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation to self-insure worker liabilities. These strict laws are in place in Missouri to protect most employees throughout the state after a workplace accident.
Unfortunately, not all companies follow these requirements, or they may misrepresent their coverage to avoid paying employees after an accident. It is also essential to recognize that some companies may try to take advantage of this challenging situation in an attempt to prevent you from receiving compensation.
Your employer may tell you that compensation will come out of your salary or that you are at risk of losing work hours or your job if you seek compensation. Both of these tactics violate workers’ compensation policies. This financial compensation should never come from your salary, nor should you ever experience workplace penalties for seeking workers’ compensation.
If your employer or their insurance provider tries to pressure you to stop your claim, or if they do not offer you the compensation you deserve, they are breaking the law. Without workers’ compensation, you may be facing an unjust financial burden after an accident.
Compensation after a workplace accident or illness should fall on your employer’s shoulders, especially when they could have – and should have – prevented your injuries or illness from ever occurring. Our St. Louis work injury lawyers will hold them accountable.
Filing a Lawsuit in Missouri for an Occupational Injury
Workers’ compensation laws prohibit injured workers from suing their employers after a job-related accident. However, you could file a lawsuit against a third party that was at fault for the accident, such as a contractor or another employee.
There’s a statute of limitations you must comply with if you want to sue someone for causing your injuries at work. This is a strict deadline, and if it passes, you could lose your right to sue anyone for compensation in this matter. Missouri follows a five-year statute of limitations. That means you have five years from the accident date to file your lawsuit.
One exception could pause the clock and delay the deadline. This is known as the discovery rule. Sometimes there’s a situation where the injury or illness isn’t discovered until months or years later. For example, a construction worker might develop mesothelioma from asbestos exposure. The five-year clock would not begin to run until the date they know or should have known about the harm they suffered on the job.
When you file a third-party lawsuit, you can pursue compensation for various losses that aren’t available in a workers’ compensation claim. These include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Damage to personal property
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Out of pocket expenses
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If you lost a loved one due to the negligent actions of an employee, maintenance company, or another third-party, you could pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death cases follow a three-year statute of limitations. That means you must file your lawsuit within three years of your family member’s death from the injury or illness they suffered on the job.
The losses available for compensation include:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Medical bills associated with your loved one’s fatal illness or injury
- Pain and suffering the victim experienced right before dying
- The value of lost wages and benefits the deceased would have earned if they survived the accident
- Loss of companionship, consortium, guidance, support, comfort, and counsel provided to you and your family by your loved one
The determined workers’ comp attorneys at OnderLaw will review all the details of your case to determine the types of losses you’re entitled to and whether you can proceed with a third-party or wrongful death lawsuit. You should receive full compensation for the suffering another person’s actions caused.
Contact Our St. Louis Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Now
If a workplace accident or illness has affected you or a loved one, you need legal counsel when filing for your workers’ compensation. Even when you have a justified claim, many employers try to avoid paying an injured or sick employee.
The lawyers at OnderLaw know the tactics that employers use, and we will fight back so you can get the compensation you need.
However, you must act quickly because you may only have 30 days to file a workers’ compensation claim after an accident or the diagnosis of an illness.
Contact OnderLaw today to get a St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer working on your case.