Being injured on the job can be a scary experience. And for some workers, a workplace injury can mean more than just missing a few days of work and needing medical care; it could also create worry about lost wages, the expenses of medical care, and how an employer might react.
However, under the law, workers who are injured on the job in Missouri are almost always entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, and have the right to seek these benefits without being retaliated against. Here are some steps to take following a workplace injury to protect your rights:
You have a duty to notify your employer of your injury as soon as possible. As explained by the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, failure to report your injury within 30 days of its occurrence could jeopardize your chance to claim benefits.
You have the right to medical care for your injuries. This medical care must be paid for by your employer/the workers’ compensation insurer and includes all necessary and reasonable medical expenses. You should not have to pay anything out of pocket for this care, including any deductibles. Keep in mind that your employer is only liable for costs for this healthcare when you receive healthcare from one of their selected physicians; while you have the right to seek healthcare from a non-employer-approved doctor, you will have to pay for these expenses on your own.
It is important that you understand the workers’ compensation benefits available to you in order to ensure you maximize your claim amount. In addition to compensation for the full extent of medical treatment that you need, if you are unable to return to work as a result of your injury, you may also be entitled to disability benefits. Disability benefits, or wage replacement benefits, pay you a percentage of your lost wages when you cannot work due to an injury. If your injuries are permanent, you may receive permanent disability benefits.
Workers’ compensation benefits are allowed to provide you with peace of mind, and the compensation that you deserve, when you are harmed while performing a work-related task. However, insurers are not always eager to pay what they should, and you may be denied medical benefits, or released to return to work earlier than you believe you are ready. In some cases, your employer may even deny your claim outright, or may intimidate you into thinking that if you file a workers’ compensation claim, you will be retaliated against.
At The Law Firm of Webster & Carlton, our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys are here to advocate for you. If your employer has a legal obligation to carry workers’ compensation benefits, and you are injured on the job, you are entitled to those benefits. We can help you to resolve your case if you believe that you have not received the benefit amount that you deserve, and appeal a decision if necessary.
We have more than 45 years’ worth of combined legal experience, and know how to help you. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.