The Missouri Workers Compensation system is not your friend.
When you are hurt on the job, you are entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits. This insurance is mandatory in the state of Missouri. It is a policy that a business or company must take out to ensure that if one of their workers is injured while working, the employer has the means to pay for the injury. That becomes increasingly important if someone sustains a life-altering injury and can no longer work in the same capacity. Medical bills can add up quickly, leaving an uninsured company without the necessary resources.
If you are injured while working and the workers’ compensation insurance carrier is questioning your injuries, the extent of them, or even how they happened, then it is a good idea to hire a St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer to have on your side. There are common reasons why an insurance company will question your injury, and these are the things that you can do about it.
Questioning the Severity
If the insurance company is questioning the severity of the injuries you sustained, then you will need documentation of your injuries from your physician. The insurance company does have the right to request an independent medical evaluation (an IME). You do have to be evaluated if they order it, or you may not be eligible to collect. The company must pay for the evaluation, but you have to go or you can forfeit your benefits.
Questioning Whether You were Engaged in Work-Related Activities
To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you have to prove that the injury was sustained while you were working under the scope and the authority of your employment. That isn’t always easy. If you are going to talk to the insurance company about what happened, never make any recorded statements or put anything in writing without first consulting a St. Louis workmens comp attorney. Anything you say can and will be used by the insurance company to deny you coverage if they feel they can.
Questioning Whether You Mitigated Your Injuries
When you are injured on the job, you do have the obligation to mitigate your injuries. That means that you have to go to scheduled appointments, follow through with treatment and therapy, and listen to the recommendations from your physician. That also means that you have to return to work when the doctor determines you are capable of doing so. Even if you return in a diminished or alternative capacity, you must return to work when you are able or you can lose your eligibility.
The best thing to do if your injuries are being questioned by an insurance company is to have a St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney represent you to ensure that you are taking the necessary precautions to cover yourself and that you aren’t doing anything to forfeit your eligibility status. You do have to follow through with treatment, but you do not have to make any statements without your lawyer present, especially any that could potentially leave you high and dry.