A serious workplace injury can leave you feeling desperate with mounting financial worries, particularly if your injury prevents you from returning to work for an extended period or ever again. The vast majority of companies in Missouri are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance that pays out benefits for injured employees. These benefits are to be paid out regardless of fault whenever an employee is injured on the job.

The amount and duration of benefits paid in workers’ compensation settlements in St. Louis depend on multiple factors, including the severity of your injury, the medical treatment required, and the extent to which your injuries prevent you from performing some or all of your job tasks. Unfortunately, companies sometimes retaliate against injured workers. Often insurance carriers find any reason they can to justify denial of claims or paying out the minimum settlement possible.

At OnderLaw, our attorneys fight day in and day out on behalf of injured workers. A trusted workers’ comp lawyer can help you seek the maximum available settlement for your injury while protecting your rights and interests from the very beginning of your case.

Qualifying for Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers’ compensation coverage applies to a wide range of injuries you can sustain while performing the functions and duties of your job. These injuries could include:

  • Lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Internal injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Strained or torn muscles

Although workers’ compensation benefits revolve around a no-fault system, insurance carriers are notorious for trying to deny claims or reduce the value of benefits that they have to pay out to injured workers.

For example, if you don’t report your claim right away, the insurance company might try to say that your injury isn’t that serious or is unrelated to your job. They often try these tactics and more to reduce the benefits you may be eligible to claim. It is very important that you promptly report your injury to your employer so that you can receive medical treatment as soon as possible. Missouri law provides you up to 30 days from the date of the injury to report your claim to your employer, but the sooner you do so, the better.

Once you notify your employer, the company has five days to inform their insurance carrier about your injury. Any delay on your part or the part of your employer could put your workers’ compensation benefits at risk. Be sure to preserve any evidence you have to support your claim for benefits, such as a record of days missed from work, photos of the scene of the incident (if applicable), and photos of your injuries.

Our experienced St. Louis workers’ compensation attorneys can help you seek the maximum settlement you are owed after you suffer an injury at work. From helping you file the initial accident report to collecting supporting evidence, we can build a thorough case on your behalf to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks and so you can focus on your health.

While most companies in Missouri must purchase and maintain workers’ compensation insurance, companies that are very small or exempt from the list of entities required to carry this coverage are notable exceptions. Even so, if you are injured on the job, you may still have legal options. One of our reliable lawyers can assess your situation and provide advice tailored to your specific case.

How to Pursue a Workers’ Compensation Settlement

Even if you have already been offered a settlement in your workers’ compensation case, you should speak with a trusted attorney in St. Louis before you take decisive action. Insurance companies often try to settle these cases quickly, which could mean you are forced to return to work before you are physically ready. Settling too soon could also mean you miss out on valuable benefits you might otherwise be entitled to receive to pay for your medical care and lost wages.

Workers’ compensation benefits can be paid out in a lump sum or weekly. Usually, you are eligible to receive these benefits after you have missed three days of work. If your injury keeps you out of work for over 14 days, you can also receive retroactive benefits for that initial three-day waiting period. Workers’ compensation benefits can cover up to two-thirds of your weekly pre-tax earnings.

Workers’ comp benefits can provide numerous types of coverage, including situations involving temporary and permanent disabilities. For example, if your injury prevents you from working temporarily, you may be entitled to temporary total disability benefits. If you can still work, but your injury leaves you permanently unable to carry out certain tasks, you may be entitled to permanent partial disability benefits.

Obtaining the maximum payout of the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to may take more than presenting a strong case to the insurance company. Sometimes, these cases involve a series of hearings or even settlement discussions through mediation or arbitration. You need to make sure you have an attorney on your side from day one who can help you seek the full scope of benefits available and aggressively advocate for your interests at all stages of your case.

Discuss Workers’ Compensation Settlements With a St. Louis Attorney

There are many reasons why it is beneficial to have a lawyer overseeing your workers’ compensation case, for example:

  • Your employer could try to blame your injury on a preexisting condition;
  • The insurance carrier could try to reject or devalue your claim;
  • Your employer might not be accommodating the current work limitations of your injury; or
  • You may be having issues getting the medical care you need because you are confined to a narrow list of doctors approved by your employer’s network.

Even if it seems like your claim proceeding is normal, far too often these cases get clogged in the system, which could delay the payout of your benefits. If you have questions about workers’ compensation settlements in St. Louis, you should speak with a lawyer who can explain your best legal options and make sure nothing falls through the cracks with your case. Contact OnderLaw today to receive your confidential consultation with one of our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys.