There are circumstances when a work-related injury could leave an employee unfairly unemployed.
In cases like this, it is up to the employee to seek another opinion as to the extent of the injury in hopes that they can receive wage compensation. If you are having trouble getting a job in the months following a work-related injury, a Kansas City workers’ compensation attorney might be able to help.
Work-Related Injury and Disability
The consequences of a work-related injury may not necessarily manifest itself right away. In some cases, it could take months before the true extent of disability is realized. In the meantime, the injured employee is being turned away from job offerings due to medical restrictions.
When Maximum Medical Improvement Is Declared
Doctors treating work-related injuries sometimes declare maximum medical improvement before the employee is ready to return to the workforce. For example, a Kansas City lime plant worker suffered an injury to his wrist in a work-related incident. The treating physician was reluctant to say it was a permanent disability. This wrist injury posed a hindrance to obtaining employment elsewhere.
The labor board concurred that the wrist injury was a permanent partial disability that reduced the chances of the plaintiff finding sustainable employment. They ordered that he receive over 26 weeks worth of compensation. It is always smart to speak with a Kansas City workers’ compensation attorney in these types of cases. One of the original objectives of workers’ compensation was to ensure that if an employee was unable to return to work at 100% following the injury, then the employee would be compensated.
Entitled to Partial Disability
In most cases involving permanent or even temporary disability, the employer finds it in their best interest to keep the employee in a limited capacity rather than allow the insurance premiums to rise from a workers’ compensation claim. Even then, you could be entitled to a partial benefit if the new position is a cut in your salary. Your Kansas City workers’ compensation attorney can help you fight for all of the benefits you deserve.
Questioning the Employer
An employee should always question the acts and decisions of the employer following a work-related illness or accident. More often than not, the employer may be putting their own interest above yours. In particular, question the physician’s decision to declare maximum medical improvement, especially if you are still in pain or are having a difficult time finding a new company that will hire you.
Workers’ compensation claims are not always easy to settle. Be sure that you follow all of the procedures in place, especially in reporting the incident and in seeking medical help from one of the employer’s designated doctors. Then contact The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (816) 399-3706 to understand your legal rights.