Because workers’ compensation claims can become complicated, it is important to consult with a Missouri workers’ compensation lawyer.
Millions of workers in the United States perform hazardous tasks as a part of their employment duties and many of them are injured in workplace accidents. Generally, an injured employee must comply with some requirements to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Who Can File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Employees involved in work-related accidents can file a workers’ compensation claim. The spouse or dependents are not allowed to file a workers’ compensation claim in behalf of the injured worker. However, the workers’ compensation system allows spouses or dependents to file for benefits for work-related deaths. These benefits offer a stop-gap measure for the loss of income following the death of the employee. These benefits normally end upon:
- the remarriage or death of the spouse
- the death of the dependents
Payments Made For the Claim
Although a wide variety of workers’ compensation benefits are offered, employees involved in work-related accidents may receive:
- medical expense reimbursements
- full or partial payment of lost wages
- death benefits
Procedure for Claiming Benefits
1. Inform the employer about the injury. Workers’ compensation law requires employees to report their work-related injuries to their employers within a specific time period.
2. Provide an injury report within the stipulated period of time. Missouri state law requires employees to provide a notification about the injury within 30 days. Employees may lose the right to receive benefits if their employers are not informed within the specified time period. If possible, employees should inform their employers about the injury as soon as possible.
3. Follow notification procedures. Although no special form may be required to inform the employer or state agency about work-related injuries, some laws require written notices. The employer or state agency may also have a form for the employee to complete. It is advisable for an injured employee to provide a written notification and retain a copy.
4. The employer’s duty. After an employer comes to know about a work-related accident, they should contact their insurance company, which may result in one of two things:
- The claim is approved. The employer and insurance company may approve the claim and provide a notice of compensation payable to the employee.
- The claim is denied. If the claim is denied, the employee can file an appeal with the state workers’ compensation agency. The state provides a specific time period for employees to file an appeal. The time period may range from one month up to three years from the injury date. In occupational disease cases, the time period starts from the date when the disease is diagnosed.
Appeals Can Be Filed
If a workers’ compensation claim is denied, an appeal can be filed with the state court system. The employee can file an appeal if they feel they should receive more benefits or their claim was denied. The employer or insurance company can also file an appeal if they think the claim was too high or it should have been denied.
Workers’ compensation cases can become quite complicated and the insurance company may try to turn down the claim or offer too little. It is important that you consult a knowledgeable Missouri workers’ compensation lawyer to ensure that you get the right amount of compensation. Call The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300.