How Do Workers Compensation Cases Proceed?
Missouri Workmans Compensation Claims - Missouri Workers Comp
If you are injured on the job or suffered an injury that is work related, prompt reporting to the employer is necessary and required to insure your right to benefits under Missouri Workers' Compensation law. A written notice to your supervisor or employer as to the injury, including how it happened must be included. Failure to notify the employer within 30 days may jeopardize your ability to receive Missouri Workers' Compensation benefits.
Missouri Workers' Compensation law provides the following types of benefits for a person that is injured while performing work related duties. Benefits may include medical treatment for the work related injury paid for by the employer. The employer has the right to select the medical providers. If you seek treatment on your own that may not have been approved by your employer, you may be required to pay for it yourself. The second benefit is Temporary Total Disability (TTD), which is compensation for the time the doctor says you are unable to work due to your injury. TTD benefits end when the doctor says that you are able to return to work. The third benefit is Permanent Disability. When your doctor determines you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement, which is when you have reached your maximum recovery, your disability may be permanent. That disability will either be "total", meaning you are unable to return to any work or "partial", meaning you are able to return to work with restrictions or limitations. If your disability is found to be permanent and total, your benefits may continue for the rest of your life.
If your current work related injury combines with a prior disability resulting in an increased combined disability, you may also be entitled to Second Injury Fund benefits. Second Injury Fund benefits may also include physical rehabilitation, second job wage loss, and medical benefits when the employer does not have workers' compensation insurance.
A Claim for Compensation will need to be filed with the Missouri Division of Workers' Compensation by either the employee or their attorney. The employer is only required to file the First Report of Injury with the Division of Workers' Compensation.
After you have filed your Claim for Compensation, pre-hearing and status conferences will be held periodically before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).
Before you settle your case, medical treatment should be finished and you should be released by the doctor to return to work. Typically, before your case settles, the doctor should rate your injury. The rating is the doctor's opinion on the permanent effect of the injury, given as a percentage. Depending on the body part affected by the injury, there are a number of weeks that are set out for that body part. Your compensation rate is based on your rating and average weekly wage. When your employer or workers' compensation carrier has offered a settlement proposal, this does not mean your case is settled. The Administrative Law Judge has the final decision of appropriateness of the rating and average weekly wage. You or your attorney must appear before the Division of Workers' Compensation for final approval of settlement.
If you have been injured on the job or suffered a work related injury and would like to discuss your case with our office, please contact our office online or by calling us on our toll free number at 1-888-777-AUTO. There is no cost for an initial consultation. In other words, it doesn't cost you anything to see if we can help. You can also submit our easy-to-use Do I Have a Case? form for your convenience.