Workplace accidents happen every day. Some are more severe than others, but even a seemingly minor accident can result in an injury that requires time off work.
If you’ve been injured on the job, you may be wondering if you’re eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. The good news is, you don’t need a dramatic incident to claim these benefits – even a relatively minor accident can qualify. So how do you file a work injury claim, and what should you expect?
Filing a Work Injury Claim
As we said, you don’t need a dramatic incident to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. But what exactly is considered a “work-related injury?” Generally speaking, any injury or illness that occurs while you are working or due to your work is covered. This includes both physical and mental injuries. Whether you’re a construction worker injured on the job site or an office worker who developed carpal tunnel syndrome from typing, you may be eligible for benefits.
However, some requirements must be met. For example, your injury must have occurred in the scope of your employment.
Additionally, you’ll need to have evidence to support your claim, including witness statements, medical records, and more.
Is There an Exception to the Rule?
Yes, there are a few exceptions to the rule: if your injury was caused by your own gross negligence, you might not be eligible for workers’ compensation.
For example, if you were injured because you weren’t following safety protocols or were engaging in risky behavior, your claim could be denied.
Also, if your injury occurred while you were not on the clock you may not be eligible for benefits.
What Should You Expect?
Once you’ve filed your claim, the next step is for your employer to report the accident to their workers’ compensation insurance carrier. The insurance company will then open an investigation into your claim.
During this investigation, they may request additional information from you or your employer. Once they have all the information they need, they will make a decision on whether or not to approve your claim. If your claim is approved, you can expect to receive a few different types of benefits. These include:
Lost Wages: If your injury prevents you from working, you may be eligible for benefits to help make up for your lost income.
Medical Expenses: Workers’ compensation will cover the cost of any necessary medical treatment, including doctor’s visits, hospital stays, and more.
Vocational Rehabilitation: If your injury leaves you unable to return to your previous job, you may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation benefits. This could include job training, educational programs, and more.
Death Benefits: If a work-related injury results in death, surviving family members may be eligible for death benefits.
If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. And an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you through the appeals process.
Missouri Workers Compensation Attorney
After a work-related accident, victims are often worried about filing a claim because they think their employer will be upset or they won’t be eligible for benefits. But it’s important to remember that workers’ compensation is there to protect you – not punish you. So, if you’ve been injured on the job, don’t hesitate to file a claim.
And experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at The Law Offices of James. M. Hoffman can help! We have over 30 years of experience handling Missouri workers’ compensation claims and can fight to get you the benefits you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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