Watch out for these 5 signs that suggest you may be getting less than what you are entitled to.
Do you have an open worker’s compensation case because of a workplace injury? Watch out for these 5 signs that suggest you may be getting less than what you are entitled to.
1. Saying You Can’t File for Compensation
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning it does not matter if the accident was your fault, a coworker’s, or even your employers. Injured employees can collect these benefits regardless of who is at fault, yet they may be told they can’t either because the employer doesn’t completely understand how the program works, or they are actively trying to prevent employers from collecting these benefits to avoid paying higher premiums.
An employee who also doesn’t know their rights may believe them, and start focusing on getting adequate treatment on their own.
2. Not Accounting for Any Travel Expenses
In some cases, you may have to travel a bit to see your worker’s comp doctor. Missouri statute specifically mentions that the insurance company must cover the employee’s reasonable traveling expenses (up to 250 miles each way).
However, if you’ve already made a few longer trips to see your doctor and nobody has asked for any gas bills or bus tickets, the insurance company is possibly trying to avoid covering these costs.
3. Not Giving You Enough in Lost Wages
In Missouri, lost wages are generally calculated at 66 2/3% of the injured worker’s average weekly wage, which is usually paid weekly. These payments are meant for injured workers who are required to take some time off from work to recover from their injuries.
You should calculate what you’d be entitled to and compare it with what you’re receiving.
4. Getting Approved for Modified Work Too Soon
You can generally get these lost wage benefits as long as you are required to stay home and recover. However, when your worker’s comp doctor clears you, either to return full time or for modified work, you typically lose these benefits.
Some workers may be cleared to return to work too soon, for a lot of different reasons. The doctor may not be 100% aware of how demanding your job is, or they may recommend modified tasks. Your employer may not have any modified tasks to give you, creating even more employment issues for you.
5. Being Encouraged to Accept a Settlement
At the end of the worker’s comp claim, you’ll receive a final settlement that will account for future expenses. However, once you accept the settlement there is generally no going back, even if your condition gets worse over time.
The insurance company may press you to accept the settlement, even put a deadline on it. It’s essential not to sign anything until after you have an experienced workers compensation lawyer review your case.
Protect Your Legal Right to Workers Compensation
Have you suffered a workplace injury? Contact a St. Louis worker’s compensation lawyer at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann 24/7 now to make sure your rights are protected.
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