Springfield Workers’ Compensation Disability Lawyers
In Missouri, the outcome of a worker's compensation claim is significantly influenced by the type of disability the individual has sustained. Disability is generally divided into two categories, which include Temporary and Permanent. Within each category, the disability may be further identified as Partial or Total, with benefits based on these classifications.
Whether it’s Permanent Partial Disability (PPD), Permanent Total Disability (PTD), Temporary Partial Disability (TPD), or Temporary Total Disability (TTD), each classification comes with its own set of complexities. At Webster & Carlton, we understand the various types of disability and their implications on your worker’s compensation claim. Our team provides comprehensive legal support to help you navigate your specific situation, working to help you secure the full extent of the benefits to which you are entitled and advocating for your rights throughout the claims process.
Overview of Disability Classifications
Employees who suffer an injury on the job but can still work at a reduced capacity or who need to take time off to recover from an injury or surgery may be eligible for temporary disability benefits.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
If you can still work after your injury, although not to the level you previously could, you may qualify for temporary partial disability benefits. Temporary partial disability payments in Missouri are paid weekly at a rate of 66.7 percent of the difference between what you earned before your accident and what you can reasonably make after the accident.
Here is an example of TPD: Office worker Ann suffers a back injury from lifting a box, requiring several weeks of physical therapy. During this time, she can still work but only perform light desk duties with shorter hours.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
Employees who cannot perform their duties while recovering from a work-related injury may be eligible for temporary total disability benefits. Unlike temporary partial disability, temporary total disability payments are paid weekly at 66 2/3 percent of your weekly average gross wage.
Here is an example of TTD: Construction worker Bill falls from a scaffolding and fractures his spine. He is unable to work at all for several months while undergoing medical care and rehab.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
A workplace injury that results in a permanent disability, but not one so severe that it prevents you from working, is known in workers' compensation law as a Permanent Partial Disability (PPD).
Permanent partial disability claims cover a wide array of such injuries, including:
- Back pain
- Nerve damage
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Loss of a body part (e.g., a finger)
Having a PPD means you can still work, but likely in a reduced capacity. When you return to work, you may be able to continue with a lighter workload or move into a different type of job. Because a permanent but not complete disability often brings with it a loss of earning potential, PPD benefits include weekly payments (sometimes a lump sum) that equal 66 2/3 percent of your weekly salary at the time of your injury.
It can be difficult and time-consuming to determine the extent of your injury or disability for legal purposes. Different doctors may disagree about your prognosis, but at the same time, insurance companies are interested in keeping your claim to a minimum. If you believe you are owed PPD benefits that are being withheld, our workers’ comp lawyers can help.
Why Do I Need a Missouri Workers’ Compensation Attorney?A workers’ compensation claim can take several months, even years, to resolve, especially if you continue to suffer from the effects of your work-related injury. Your employer and its insurance company will be represented by highly skilled attorneys who know how to exploit an injured employee. You need to level the playing field by hiring a Missouri workers’ compensation lawyer who will fight on your behalf.
What Happens If My Employer Denies Me Workers’ Compensation Benefits?In many cases, your employer or their insurance company will promptly pay any workers’ compensation benefits. But if they deny benefits–or stop paying them before you receive what you believe you are entitled to under the law–then you have the right to file a claim with the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation. An administrative law judge appointed by the Division will review your claim and either conduct mediation between you and your employer, or alternatively hold a formal hearing to determine your right to compensation.
What Kinds of Injuries Are Covered?
Under Missouri law, workers’ compensation only covers injuries that arise “out of and in the course of employment.” This includes accidents that occur during your work shift. It also includes “occupational diseases” contracted at work, provided workplace exposure was the “prevailing” cause.
Workers’ compensation is not necessarily limited to injuries suffered at your normal workplace. If your job requires you to travel–i.e., make deliveries or conduct on-site work with clients–you may be compensated for injuries sustained in the course of such travel. However, Missouri workers’ compensation law specifically excludes injuries sustained while commuting from home to work and back, even if you use a company-owned car.
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