Workers Compensation

Workers CompensationWe understand your need to know more about Missouri Workers’ Compensation. Please read the following summary and contact us if you need a Springfield Missouri Workers Compensation lawyer.

Injuries on the job, whether due to construction accidents, slip and fall, auto accidents, repetitive use, or other personal injury, are treated differently under Missouri law.  Work injuries are handled under Chapter 287 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri—also known as Workers’ Compensation.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

Missouri law provides that an employee injured on the job or in course and scope of their work is entitled to certain benefits regardless of who was at fault.  Even if an employee is at fault for their own injury, Missouri law still provides for compensation. The Revised Statutes of Missouri, §287.010, govern the employer employee relationship for work injuries.  Typical work injuries include car accidents while on the job, slips and falls at work, torn muscles or ligaments, broken bones, or industrial or construction accidents.

Who is covered by Workers’ Compensation?

Most employers in Missouri who have at least five employees are covered by the Missouri Workers’ Compensation laws. In the construction industry, all employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance.  In Southwest Missouri, employers throughout Greene, Christian, Taney, Stone, Lawrence, Webster, Dade, Newton, Jasper, Douglas, Dallas and Polk County are required to have this same Workers’ Compensation insurance for on the job injuries and work accidents.

What benefits does Workers’ Compensation provide?

Missouri Workers’ Compensation provides for several benefits if you are injured on the job.  Medical treatment is required to be provided.  Employers must provide temporary disability benefits for time off from work due to injury up to the time you are at maximum medical improvement.  Employers must also pay for any permanent partial disability or permanent total disability for the long term effects of any work injury.  Many people refer to the system as “Work Comp” and the lawyers who help as “Work Comp Lawyers” or “Work Comp Attorneys”.

How do I get medical treatment?

Your employer is in charge of your medical care under Missouri Workers’ Compensation law. The employer, usually with its insurance company, has the right to select the treating doctor.  If you need medical treatment, you should tell your employer in writing as soon as possible.  Your employer may not have to pay for medical treatment if you select your own doctor or get treatment on your own.  You should always demand medical treatment in writing so you can prove you requested it.

What payment am I entitled to while I am off work?

If the employer’s doctor certifies that you are unable to work, you are entitled to temporary disability benefits.  These payments do not start until you have been off work for at least three days.  You are entitled to the first three days pay after you have been off for more than two weeks.  These temporary disability benefits are generally sixty-six percent (66%) of your gross average weekly wages, subject to statutory caps.  There is a formula to figure out your gross average weekly wages that generally starts with what you made the previous thirteen weeks prior to your injury.

Do I get a final settlement?

If you have any lasting problems from your work injury or on the job injury, you may be entitled to a lump sum payment for “permanent partial disability” or “permanent total disability.”  The employer’s doctor or the treating physician may give a permanent partial disability rating or a permanent disability rating that is then used in a formula to determine, along with your wage rate, how much you are owed.  As attorneys working for injured employees, we will often send our clients to an independent medical examination with a doctor of our choosing, to ensure that you get a fair and more objective rating for your permanent partial disability rating.  At Preston Law, we use these doctor’s ratings to negotiate the best possible settlement for you, or if needed, as evidence at a hearing in front of the Administrative Law Judge at the Division of Workers’ Compensation here in Springfield, Missouri or elsewhere.

Do I receive compensation for scarring and disfigurement?

You are entitled to receive compensation for scarring or other disfigurement if the scarring is visible to your head, neck, arms or hands.  The Administrative Law Judge at the Division of Workers’ Compensation here in Springfield or elsewhere in Southwest Missouri will decide how much compensation you receive for scarring from your work injury.

What is Permanent and Total Disability under Workers’ Compensation?

Employers are required to pay permanent and total disability benefits if you are permanently and totally disabled from all types of employment.  The legal standard is whether you are able to compete in the open labor market.  In addition to these benefits, you may also qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, if you otherwise qualify.  Many times having an attorney help you maximize your recovery under Missouri Workers’ Compensation laws and Social Security is needed.

What are the time limits to file a claim of compensation under Workers’ Compensation?

You should always notify your employer in writing as soon as possible if you are injured while at work or on the job. But, notifying your employer or its insurance company is not the same as filing a claim of compensation with the Division of Workers’ Compensation.  Generally, you must file an actual claim of compensation with the Division within two (2) years of the date of the accident; the last payment of workers’ compensation benefits or the last medical treatment provided by the employer.  For more information regarding your statute of limitations in cases involving workers’ compensation, see the Revised Statutes of Missouri, §287.010, or contact a lawyer immediately.   There are other exceptions allowing additional time if your employer failed to report your injury to the Division of Workers’ Compensation.  If you hire an attorney, your workers comp attorney will likely file your claim of compensation for you.

Why should I hire an attorney and what do you charge?

At Preston Law, we only get paid if you get paid.  Our Springfield, MO Workers Compensation attorneys work on a contingent fee basis that explicitly states that you owe us nothing for attorney’s fees if we don’t collect for you.  Hiring a lawyer is a personal decision, but at Preston Law we have a team of four lawyers and a large office staff of experienced legal professionals, all armed with expert knowledge of Missouri Workers’ Compensation laws.  Our goal is always to recover the maximum amount of Workers’ Compensation for your injuries through trial or the settlement process. We regularly handle cases in the surrounding areas including: Ozark, Nixa, Branson, Joplin, Monett, Neosho, Bolivar, Camdenton, Nevada, Lamar, and Mount Vernon. We are Springfield Workers’ Compensation lawyers.

We only get paid if you get paid and we charge nothing to meet with you to discuss your case.  If you have been injured in an auto accident, please contact Preston Law for a no obligation appointment with one of our experienced Springfield, MO work comp lawyers.  Our office phone number is (417) 616-5000 or toll free at (866) 953-6736.  You can also contact us online with the form provided on the sidebar of this page.