St. Louis Workers' Compensation Attorneys
Helping Injured Workers in Missouri Secure the Benefits They Need
When you have been injured in an accident and want to secure financial compensation by filing a personal injury claim, it is necessary to prove that the accident was caused by the negligence or wrongful actions of another person. If you are injured on the job, however, this is not the case.
Workers' compensation benefits are intended to make up for the losses you have suffered as a result of a workplace accident or work-related illness. Chapter 287 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri contains the workers' compensation laws of our state. These laws state your obligations and rights, and the rights and obligations of your employer should you be injured, have an accident, or get an occupational disease or injury.
Workers' compensation is a no-fault insurance policy that does not require you to demonstrate another person’s liability. Provided that you did not cause your injury through willful negligence, you can file a claim for benefits with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer. Under state law, all Missouri businesses with five or more employees, and nearly all construction companies, are required to carry workers' comp insurance.
Were you injured on the job? Our St. Louis workers' compensation lawyers at Meyerkord & Kurth are here to help. From paperwork to representation, we are here to take the burden off your shoulders. Call us today at (800) 391-4318.
Why You Should Work with a Workers' Compensation Lawyer
By law, most employers are required to have workers' compensation insurance coverage to pay for workers’ medical care, missed wages, partial or full disability, and even death benefits. However, your employer may try to dissuade you from filing a claim by failing to provide you with the information you need. Our workers' compensation attorneys in St. Louis can explain everything you need to know in such a situation.
Filing for workers' compensation benefits is similar to any other insurance claim; the insurance companies often deny or reduce your payment if they think they can get away with it. Insurance adjusters do not work for you—they are paid by your employer. It is their job to help their company pay as little as possible. Though they may frame their work as protection against false claims, they will often deny fully legitimate cases.
When you have an experienced attorney on your side, it becomes much more difficult for insurance companies to offer an unfair settlement. While a lawyer is not required when filing a workers’ comp claim, you may want to consult with one before you start the process.
Though the workers’ compensation program was created to protect injured workers, it does not always provide the immediate support a victim needs. The process may be slow, which can further stress someone who is already dealing with a serious injury. Our team at Meyerkord & Kurth can help you get through the red tape and insurance paperwork so you can access the medical treatment you need to recover.
What Does Workers' Compensation Cover?
When your claim for workers' compensation is approved, you can receive the medical treatment you need to achieve the maximum medical improvement (MMI), the level at which your work-related injury has healed as well as your doctor expects it will. You can also receive disability benefits to help replace your lost wages so you can continue to support your family. Unfortunately, these wage-replacement benefits are calculated at a rate of 66.6% of a worker's average weekly wage. No one needs financial worries while they are trying to recover from an injury.
There are different types of disability benefits that provide different amounts, depending on whether you are temporarily or permanently disabled and whether you are fully or partially disabled. Your eligibility will be assessed by your healthcare provider, but if you believe your injury has been understated, we can help you challenge its classification. We want you to get the best care possible and the financial flexibility you need.
After an injury, it is important that you communicate with your employer. Your employer is required to provide medical treatment, but holding back any information regarding pain, suffering, and other complications can hinder your treatment and recovery. It is also imperative that your physician provides you with written documentation regarding your treatment plan and rehabilitation, and the estimated amount of time you may be unable to work. This may assist you in receiving disability benefits. At the end of the designated medical treatment, you will also need to provide a full medical report from your caregiver to your employer, and then the employer or their insurance company can provide you with compensation.
Temporary Disability Benefits
Each year, thousands of people will apply for workers' compensation benefits; however, it is important that you realize that there are multiple benefit packages that you can apply for based on your eligibility. Most people will only need to receive temporary disability. Temporary disability will be available to you if you are out of work for more than 14 days with a three-day waiting period. This disability insurance will cover medical costs and part of your salary during the time that you are unable to work. Temporary disability payments will cease after you return to work.
Partial vs. Total Disability
Temporary partial disability is paid on a weekly basis and equates to approximately two-thirds of the difference between your earnings prior to the accident and the amount of money that the employee will earn during the time that he or she is unable to work. Temporary total disability will usually be paid to the injured individual still at a rate of two-thirds of normal income, but will not exceed the maximum amount set by law.
Permanent Disability Benefits
A permanent disability often means that the victim will no longer be able to work or will have to learn a new trade in order to secure income. Determining permanent disability benefit payments are done on a rating scale. The total amount of disability will be determined by the type and severity of the injury, the percentage that was determined for your disability, and what your average weekly income was prior to the injury.
Working & Non-Working Wage Loss
If you are still able to work but take a dock in pay because of medical restrictions, you may be able to receive compensation in the form of working wage loss benefits. Even if you are still working at the same company but in a different position than the one that you were previously in, you may still be eligible. In the event that your injury leaves you completely unable to work, you will be able to receive non-working wage loss benefits. These benefits will be a portion of your pay, usually about two-thirds, and can be given to you on a weekly basis or as one large lump sum.
Are you grieving the loss of a loved one? Was their death caused by a work-related injury or illness? If so, surviving family members may be entitled to workers' compensation death benefits. Beneficiaries of the deceased victim will receive at least two-thirds of the average weekly pay, and the employer will pay for funeral expenses up to $5,000. Under Missouri law, you only have 30 days after the death to notify the Division of Workers' Compensation and apply for benefits. With such a limited amount of time, it is important that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
Filing a Lawsuit Against a Negligent Third Party
While your worker is protected from most liability through the workers’ compensation program, if any third parties were involved in your accident, they might share in liability. Our team can investigate the accident to determine whether you have grounds to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim against a third party. Unlike workers’ compensation claims, bringing a lawsuit against another contractor, the manufacturer of faulty equipment, or other liable parties is more involved than filing paperwork; you will want a highly experienced attorney on your side.
Call Meyerkord & Kurth for a Free Consultation
Our firm is dedicated to protecting the rights of injured workers as they pursue workers’ compensation claims. The law was written to help people in your situation receive full medical coverage and other benefits. We will help protect your right to receive the settlement you need for your recovery and other financial demands. Our firm is family-owned, and we are dedicated to serving the needs of workers who have been hurt or disabled on the job. We understand the enormous economic pressures placed on the family of a worker who cannot work due to their injuries.
While we may need to aggressively negotiate with the workers' compensation insurance company to get you the best settlement possible, we want to make sure your settlement terms are right and sufficient for your needs based upon the degree of the injury and other damages suffered. With over 95 years of experience serving clients in both Missouri and Illinois, we’ve handled many complex workers’ compensation cases.
Contact us at (800) 391-4318 to schedule a free case evaluation with our team at Meyerkord & Kurth. Our workers' compensation lawyers in St. Louis will meet you wherever is most convenient, and are available 24/7.
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