These myths ultimately work against you, either by preventing you from filing a claim, to begin with, or giving a wrong idea of how the entire process works.
Like any set of laws, workers’ compensation laws aren’t exactly easy reading. What’s more, even if you have a good understanding of the law on paper when you apply them to real-life situations they can have different meanings entirely.
Because of this, an array of myths surrounding these benefits can arise. These myths ultimately work against you, either by preventing you from filing a claim, to begin with, or giving a wrong idea of how the entire process works.
Here are the most common myths about workers comp in Missouri.
Pre-Existing Injuries Aren’t Covered
A lot of people believe that if you have a pre-existing injury or condition, then you cannot claim workers’ comp benefits. That’s not always the case. While the pre-existing condition/injury has nothing to do with your workplace, if another injury sustained at work or the environment itself makes it worse, then you are eligible for workers comp.
You Can Choose Your Own Doctor
In Missouri, your employer has a legal right to choose the doctor who’ll be administering your treatment under workers’ compensation. If they agree, you may be able to see your own doctor, but you do need their approval beforehand.
The Insurance Company Isn’t Involved, Apart from Paying the Benefits
In most cases, the employer will give the insurance company the right to choose your doctor. From your employer’s perspective, it’s one less thing they have to worry about. But your insurance company will most likely choose a doctor they’ve worked with before, meaning they have a report with them. This can lead to serious trust issues between the injured worker and their doctor.
You’ll Receive Total Lost Wages
Missouri only covers around ⅔ of your lost wages, and only in certain conditions. You have to qualify for Total Permanent Disabilities, meaning your doctor will officially declare you have to take some time off work.
You Can’t File a Claim If You Were at Fault
Workers comp is a no-fault set of rules, meaning it doesn’t matter who was at fault for the accident. The only way your fault would ever be brought into question is if you intentionally hurt yourself to receive these benefits – in which case you’ve committed fraud.
My Employer Can Fire Me If I Take Too Much Time off Work
Workers comp explicitly prevents your employer from firing or demoting you in these cases. However, if your injuries don’t allow you to resume regular work activities, and your employer cannot find you a more suitable position in their company, then it is possible to lose your job after a workplace injury.
Don’t let these myths affect your claim and treatment. Get in touch with a Missouri work accident attorney for legal advice on how to handle this claim and get adequate medical treatment for your injury. Give us a call 24/7 at (816) 399-3706 for a FREE consultation.