If you’ve been injured on the job, you have options:
· You might have health insurance that will cover medical bills but not lost wages.
· A personal injury attorney can bring suit for medical expenses, lost wages, and other related expenses.
· You can file for medical expenses and lost wages through workers’ compensation insurance.
Understanding the difference between workers’ compensation and personal injury law is essential to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
What is Personal Injury Law?
Personal injury law deals specifically with claims for injuries or damages caused by the negligence or intentional actions of another person or entity. These claims arise from situations such as car accidents, slip and falls, medical malpractice, and product liability.
In Missouri, the injured party must prove that the defendant was negligent or engaged in intentional wrongdoing, and therefore caused the injury or damages in question. If your injury was from an accident, you may not get relief from personal injury law.
Personal injury lawsuits are often negotiated and settled before going to court. If your claim goes to court, it may be many months until the trial. Even if you prevail, the defendant can delay payment by various means such as appeals or bankruptcy.
There are time limits which apply to how long an injured individual has to file a lawsuit. Consulting with an experienced attorney as soon as possible following an injury is very important.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation provides benefits to workers who are injured on the job. Missouri employers with five or more employees are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. You do not have to prove your employer was at fault in order to receive medical and wage replacement benefits, which are paid by the employer’s insurance.
It is vitally important for injured workers to report awork-related injury to their employer as soon as possible. The employer is required to ensure that the employee receives medical care and to file a report with their insurance company.
If a pre-existing disabling condition combines with awork-related injury to worsen an injured worker’s disability, he or she may be able to file a claim with the Missouri Second Injury Fund.
As with personal injuries, there are time limitations involved in filing Workers’ Compensation claims and claims against the Second Injury Fund. Consulting an experienced attorney as soon as possible following an injury on the job is very important.
If You Need Help with a Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you have been injured on the job, talk with an experienced attorney who can help you understand your rights and options under Missouri's workers' compensation laws.
The Law Firm of Webster & Carlton can provide the legal representation you need to get the benefits to which you are entitled. Contact our Missouri workers’ compensation attorneys today for a no-obligation consultation to discuss your situation and how we can help you.