The Four Steps to Take After a Workplace Injury
Missouri workers’ compensation attorneys advise you on the steps to take if you are injured on the job.
When on-the-job accidents and injuries occur, it can leave you facing significant medical costs and lost wages, while impacting your health for years to come. At The Law Firm of Webster & Carlton, we have been representing people who have been injured on the job for more than 45 years. Based on our experience, the following are steps we recommend to protect your rights to workers’ compensation benefits.
Requirements for Workers’ Compensation in Missouri
Workers’ compensation is a federally mandated program that is administered on a state level. It acts as a form of insurance to cover lost wages, medical expenses, and the costs of ongoing disabilities in the event a work related accident occurs. Locally, these benefits can be obtained through the Missouri Department of Labor’s Division of Workers Compensation (DWC), but there are specific rules and guidelines you must follow in order to be eligible. The following are the steps required when filing a claim:
- Report on-the-job accidents and injuries immediately: As soon as an accident or injury occurs, notify your boss or supervisor so that an accident report can be filed.
- Get medical care: Your employer will refer you to an appropriate medical provider. Seek medical attention right away, regardless of the type of injury or the severity of your symptoms.
- Adhere to your doctor’s instructions: Follow your medical providers recommendations regarding diagnostic testing, treatment, follow-up visits, and any work or activity restrictions. Do not return to work until you are cleared to do so.
- Respond promptly to all correspondence from the DWC: If you do not receive notification of benefits within 30 days or suspect you are not getting the benefits you are entitled to, contact the DWC directly.
Additional Steps When Filing a Claim
Be aware that if your workers’ compensation benefits are disputed or denied, you do have the right to request an appeal. Dispute management may involve mediation or a conference before DWC administrative judges. To protect your rights in this situation, your best bet is to consult with an experienced Missouri workers’ compensation attorney. Along with the requirements for filing a workers’ compensation claim, there are additional steps you can take to protect yourself. These include:
- Get names and contact information for any witnesses who may have seen how your accident or injuries occurred;
- Keep copies of all correspondence, medical statements, and receipts for out of pocket expenses;
- Refrain from talking about your claim or your injuries with others;
- Refrain from posting on social media until your case is resolved.
Our Missouri Workers’ Compensation Attorneys are Here to Help
Getting the maximum amount you are entitled to in a workers’ compensation claim is crucial to protecting your health and financial security. At The Law Firm of Webster & Carlton, we are here to help. Reach out and contact our Missouri workers compensation attorneys to request a free, no obligation consultation today.