Because of the number of workers’ compensation rules and regulations, one small mistake could cost you thousands of d0llars in benefits.
Workers’ compensation was specifically designed to ensure that an injured worker is able to receive treatment at the employer’s expense, yet with the number of rules and regulations surrounding it, one small mistake could cost you thousands of dollars in benefits. As a Missouri employee, it is in your best interest to understand how the process works so that you can avoid giving the insurance company any cause to deny your claim.
In the event that your claim is unjustly denied, speak with a Missouri workers’ compensation attorney at our law office. We will help you to appeal the denial in order to have your benefits re-instated.
Any time you are involved in an accident at work, file an incident report with your immediate supervisor, even if you do not think you are hurt. Document the date and time just in case injuries present themselves later on. If you do require medical care, it is the employer’s responsibility to provide you with a list of medical facilities and doctors who are a part of their workers’ compensation insurance plan. You must use these providers in order to be covered by the workers’ compensation insurance. If you choose a doctor not on the list, your claim can be denied and you will have to pay the expenses yourself. Also, understand that your own health insurance may not cover you, once they realize that this was a work-related injury.
During the course of your treatment, keep your employer abreast of your progress and bring copies of any paperwork given to you by the doctor. They will also be monitoring your progress, but it helps if you are actively participating in keeping them up to date. If you are unable to work, send the documents to your employer, with a return receipt to ensure that they got them.
What Happens if You Need Additional Medical Care
If your treating physician deems that you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) and you disagree, you must make a written request for additional care. If you continue care on your own without expressed approval from your employer, you may be responsible for the payment of any treatment and procedures.
A corrections officer in Missouri was denied a request for surgery after suffering a knee injury on the job. The request was made in writing and subsequently denied. In pain, she went ahead with the surgery anyway, using her personal insurance to cover the cost. At her appeal hearing with the Labor Board, it was her written request that compelled the board to rule in her favor and require the state corrections department to reimburse her close to $45,000 for her medical treatment.
The best course of action is to contact a Missouri workers’ compensation attorney first and then begin the appeal process. If the need for additional medical care is dire, you may request an expedited hearing. With the correct documentation in place, you ensure that a lack of paperwork does not cost you to lose out on your benefits. Contact The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300 for a free consultation.