When your injuries are severe enough to be permanent, the stakes are higher and your case becomes much more complex.
The majority of workplace injuries in St. Louis are not permanent. An employee will sustain a minor or moderate injury, get the medical treatment they need, take some time off, then be back to full capacity after a few weeks or months. Unfortunately, some workers are not so fortunate. Instead, they sustain injuries that are long-term or even permanent. In this case, they require compensation for a very long time. In these situations, the stakes of a workers’ compensation case are raised significantly, and speaking with a St. Louis workers compensation lawyer is highly recommended. Here are the basics of long-term benefits.
Immediately after you sustain your injury, you will first receive emergency medical treatment if needed. Next, you will see a doctor assigned to you by your employer. They will assess you, assign you a treatment plan, and then you will begin to recover. At some point down the line, you will reach a point called maximum medical improvement (MMI). At this time, your doctor will decide that your treatment has progressed to a point where your health has improved as much as it can. Once you reach this point, you can then start to test how impaired you are. The next step is an evaluator having you attempt to carry out regular job functions. From this, they will assess if you are partially or totally disabled.
If the evaluator finds that you are entirely unable to complete regular job functions, you could be awarded permanent total disability. The way this is often calculated is by taking your typical weekly wage and multiplying it by ⅔. As of 2017, the maximum sum your benefits could reach was $911.27. If eligible, you can receive this benefit as long as you are unable to work. That could last years or even a lifetime.
If the evaluator finds that you are only partially disabled, you will receive partial compensation. In this case, the calculation is still ⅔ of your weekly wage, but, as of 2016, the maximum was a lower number: $477.33. The length of time you can collect benefits depends on if your injury is scheduled or unscheduled.
Scheduled Loss Benefits – These are for injuries that have official payment schedules according to Missouri state law. If your injury is on this list, you will receive payment for the number of weeks designated.
Unscheduled Benefits – If your injury does not have an official schedule, you will be given an impairment rating percentage. That percentage will then be multiplied by 400 weeks. That number will be the number of weeks you can collect benefits.
Workers’ compensation claims for mild injuries are often very straightforward. You see a doctor, learn that your ailment is not severe, make a claim, and receive a small amount of compensation. On the other hand, when your injuries are severe enough to be permanent, the stakes become higher and your case becomes much more complex. Given how much money is on the line, it is a good idea to talk to a St. Louis workers compensation attorney and ensure your rights are protected. Once you do, you will be on your way to getting to compensation you need and deserve.