Workers compensation laws differ from state to state.
Because employers and their insurance companies will oftentimes put their own interests ahead of those of injured workers, any worker who sustains an injury while on the job should be familiar with their rights and the benefits that they are entitled to. While employers and their insurance companies may try to minimize the extent of your injuries or disability in order to save money, this could negatively impact the benefits you receive.
If you are trying to resolve your claim by settling, you should consult with a Missouri workers’ compensation attorney. In addition to preventing you from currently performing your job, your workplace injury can have long term effects that require ongoing medical treatment, medication, rehabilitation, or even vocational training. If you are unable to return to your job after a period of time and need to settle your workers’ comp claim, a workers’ compensation attorney can determine what an appropriate settlement amount will be, taking into consideration the current expenses relating to the injury, and a prediction of future expenses.
While the system that the state puts in place is actually supposed to be fairly straightforward, the reality is that it is not unusual for workers’ comp cases to become somewhat complicated, depending on the circumstances and the benefits you are entitled to. For instance, if you are entitled to social security benefits as well, or if you receive Medicare, these things can be impacted by the workers’ comp benefits.
Statutes of limitation
There are a few deadlines you must be aware of. In Missouri, the statute of limitation for filing a workers’ comp claim is within two years of the injury or within two years of the time that the last payment was made relating to the injury. The same is true if a death occurs as the result of a workplace accident with respect to the time that a family member has to file for benefits. If the employer does not file a claim with the Division within three years of the injury, you can file a claim.
What to do:
In order to protect your rights and your claim, it is very important to document each step of the process. As soon as you become injured, report the injury to your supervisor, who should give you the injury claim form. Your employer must report the injury to the Division of Workers’ Compensation. To be on the safe side, because you are carefully documenting everything, you should file a claim with the Division as well. As the injured worker, you have the responsibility of making sure that your employer reports your injury. Next, your employer will designate a physician who you can go to to receive medical care. Once the doctor diagnoses you, if you are unable to work, you should be able to receive additional workers’ comp benefits.
Generally, your employer will cover the cost of all medical treatment regarding your workplace injury. There should be no deductible and all bills should go to the employer.
St. Louis Workers’ Comp Attorneys
If you have any questions about the claims process or if your claim has been denied and you wish to appeal, contact a Missouri workers’ compensation attorney. Your attorney can help to guide you through the process, advocate for you, and make sure that you receive the benefits that you are entitled to.
To schedule a free consultation contact the trusted St. Louis Workers Compensation Lawyers at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. Call us at (314) 361-4300 or fill out our online contact form.