If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, seek help from a qualified Missouri workers’ compensation attorney.
Equal exposure is a defense tactic that is used by workers’ compensation insurance companies to deny a claim for a workplace injury. Workers’ compensation was designed to help injured employees receive medical treatment, and protect employers from possible lawsuits from these injured employees. Unfortunately, some employers may try to avoid payments necessitating the employee to seek help from a qualified Missouri workers’ compensation attorney. Only an experienced lawyer will know the common tricks an insurance company will use and how best to combat them.
What Is Equal Exposure?
The equal exposure defense analyzes the accident itself and says that it could have just as easily happened outside of the workplace, making it non-work-related. For instance, a Missouri office worker making coffee in the break room slips and injures her ankle. Since she was not performing a job related task, and there was no fault on behalf of the employer that contributed to the accident, she is denied coverage for her injury. Had she gotten the same injury in the photo copy room, the outcome may have been completely different.
The rulings surrounding equal exposure defenses are fluid and very case specific. A seasoned Missouri workers’ compensation lawyer knows what the courts need to hear in order to get a ruling in your favor. As an employee, you have the right to appeal any decision made by your employer regarding your claim and you should exercise that right with the help of an attorney.
The Burden of Proof
Burden of proof weighs heavily in equal exposure defenses. The Missouri workers’ compensation attorney working with you has the difficult task of showing how the injury you sustained could not have happened to you anywhere else except your job. While on the surface this could seemingly lead to all claims being denied based on that premise, Missouri courts are beginning to shift their rulings in favor of the employee. The feeling being that so long as an employee is on the premises of their employment, they have the right to be protected from injury, regardless of whether they were acting in the scope of their job duties or not.
When the Employee Is Injured Outside of the Work Premises
Of course, that belief does not extend to employees who leave the building on a regular basis to do their jobs. In the case where an employee is injured outside of the work premises a qualified Missouri workers’ compensation lawyer will still have to provide evidence that the employee was doing the job for which they were hired, and would not have been exposed to the accident that caused their injury otherwise.
Each workers’ compensation claim that is denied and then appealed is heard by a panel of judges and decided on a case by case basis. There are dozens of mitigating factors to consider with workers’ compensation claims that make them more complicated than your typical civil lawsuit. For this reason it is always wise to seek the counsel of a specialized workers’ compensation attorney to get you the compensation you deserve. Call The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300.
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