Report the work injury to your employer, seek medical care, understand your rights, & file a workers’ compensation claim with the help of an attorney.
Experiencing a work-related injury is stressful and confusing. Not only do you have to deal with the physical pain and potential loss of wages, but navigating the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim in Missouri can be daunting. Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll walk you through the general steps you need to take after workplace injury.
1. Report Your Injury: The very first thing you should do after suffering a work-related injury is to inform your employer immediately. This notification should ideally be in writing, detailing the incident and the injuries sustained. In Missouri, you have 30 days from the date of injury to report it. Failure to do so could jeopardize your ability to receive compensation.
2. Seek Medical Attention: After reporting your injury, see a doctor promptly. Not only is this critical for your health, but your medical records will also serve as crucial evidence in your workers’ compensation claim.
3. Understand Your Rights: Missouri’s workers’ compensation laws can be complex. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with your rights. For example, you have the right to receive medical care, to get compensation for lost wages, and to not be retaliated against for filing a claim.
4. File a Formal Claim: Although informing your employer is the first step, it’s not a formal claim. If your employer doesn’t start the claim process or if there’s a dispute about your injury, you might need to file a formal claim with the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation. The claim form, called a “Claim for Compensation,” must be filed within two years of the injury or within two years from the date when the benefits were last paid.
5. Consider Consulting an Attorney: Navigating the workers’ compensation landscape can be tricky. Wondering, “when should I get a lawyer for worker comp?” The answer is the sooner, the better. An attorney can guide you through the process, ensuring that you receive all the benefits you’re entitled to. Remember, the insurance companies have lawyers working for them – shouldn’t you have someone on your side?
Why It’s Essential to Consult an Experienced Attorney
Now, you might be asking, “Is it really necessary to get a lawyer?” The answer is a resounding yes. Here’s why:
- Experience: The workers’ compensation laws in Missouri are intricate. By consulting an experienced St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer, you can ensure you’re not missing out on any benefits you are legally entitled to.
- Negotiating Power: Insurance companies might try to minimize your compensation. With over 30 years of experience and thousands of cases under his belt, a seasoned attorney like James M. Hoffmann can ensure you’re treated fairly.
- Peace of Mind: Navigating a workers’ compensation claim while recovering from an injury is stressful. Having an attorney handle the legal side of things can give you peace of mind, letting you focus solely on your recovery.
- Protecting Your Rights: There could be situations where your employer or the insurance company might not have your best interests at heart. An attorney can step in to ensure your rights are protected.
While it’s technically possible to file a workers’ compensation claim on your own in Missouri, it’s not always advisable. Especially when you’re recovering from an injury, the last thing you want is the added stress of navigating the legal system. By consulting an experienced attorney, you can be sure that your rights are protected, and that you’re receiving the compensation you deserve.If you’ve recently suffered a work-related injury and are wondering about the next steps, don’t hesitate. Speak with a Missouri workers’ compensation attorney at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. With over 30 years of experience, thousands of cases, and offering a free consultation, they are your trusted partner in ensuring your rights are safeguarded. You don’t have to navigate this path alone. Let an experienced St. Louis workers compensation lawyer guide you through the process.
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