If you have been injured on the job, it is important to keep in mind the answers to these commonly asked questions regarding Missouri workers compensation.
What Injuries Are Compensable?
There are many different types of injuries that can occur in the workplace. Some occupations, like construction, might be more dangerous and have an increased chance of injury than an occupation involving office work. However, accidents can happen anywhere under many different circumstances. There are different types of compensable St. Louis work injuries. There are occupational diseases, sudden onset injuries, and cumulative injuries that develop over a period of time.
What Should You Do?
Regardless of the type of injury you sustain, as soon as you begin noticing symptoms you should immediately report the injury to your employer. It is crucial to report the injury as soon as possible to protect the integrity of your claim. The more time that passes between the time you were injured and the time you report the injury, gives the insurance company more of an opportunity to claim that there was another cause of your injury.
Reporting an injury immediately is more complicated when the injury is an occupational disease that may not present symptoms for several years or a cumulative injury that develops over time. These injuries should still be reported and medically evaluated as quickly as possible whenever you become symptomatic or the injury impacts your life.
Where Should You Seek Medical Care?
If your injury requires medical treatment, notify your employer and request to see a doctor. Your employer is usually required to direct you where to seek medical care for any injury that “arises out of the course of employment.” If your employer does not provide treatment options or does not acknowledge your injury or request, you should seek help from a workers’ compensation attorney.
You are typically required to seek care from the provider chosen by your employer or their insurance company. You can choose to see your own doctor, but you must pay for it yourself.
Sometimes requiring an injured employee to see a specific doctor may not be particularly convenient and the employee might have to travel out of the local area to get treatment. If this happens then the employer usually has to pay for travel (gas mileage) expenses in advance or reimburse the employee after the doctor’s appointment.
What Happens If There Are Complications?
The workers’ compensation system is designed to operate smoothly and efficiently, getting injured employees the treatment and benefits they need. But many employees run into snags in the process that delay treatment or benefits. If this happens it would be a good idea to contact a Missouri workers’ compensation attorney for legal advice.
There may be a minor dispute about what constitutes “reasonable” travel costs, an employer might delay getting the injured individual the care they need, or an injury claim might be denied by the insurance company altogether. Having the aid of an experienced attorney who understands how to successfully navigate the workers’ compensation system is extremely important if you hope to receive the full benefits to which you are entitled under Missouri law.
Law Office of James M. Hoffmann
Our law firm has over 20 years of experience working to protect the rights of injured Missouri workers. If you have been injured on the job, call the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300 to schedule a free and private consultation.