Filing a workers compensation claim can be a complicated process with unexpected pitfalls that can potentially prevent you from getting the benefits you need.
What is Workers Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides wage replacement and medical benefits to employees that are injured on the job.
US employers and their employees rely on our dependable workers’ compensation system to resolve disputes about vocational injuries and disease and to provide for related worker needs. Workers’ compensation benefits are commonly awarded for a work-related injury, illness, and death, helping to meet the needs of injured workers and their families even when faced with overwhelming situations.
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You do not have to be involved in a terrible accident to claim workers’ compensation benefits. Your injury could be a severe back strain from lifting a heavy object, a cumulative injury from repetitive tasks, or an illness related to chemical exposure.
The workers’ compensation process involves the Division of Workers’ Compensation, an insurance company, your employer, medical providers, and potentially a liable third-party. It’s no wonder that injured workers find the process difficult to understand and hard to follow.
Benefits for an Injured Worker
If you have been injured, it is possible that you are entitled to workers’ compensation. The laws passed by the state of Missouri require that your employer, or your employer’s insurance company, compensate you or your family for injuries or death that may occur while you are working.
You may be entitled to:
- Medical Care Benefits: This benefit includes all costs for authorized medical testing and treatment, prescriptions, and medical devices. There are no deductibles or co-pays.
- Salary Compensation: You may be eligible for temporary wage compensation in the form of a weekly check until the doctor says you are able to return to any form of work and not merely the job you were doing at the time of the accident. You may also be eligible for benefits if you return to work on light duty at less than full pay.
- Temporary Total Disability: If the treating doctor certifies that you are unable to work, you should be entitled to temporary total disability benefits under the Missouri Workers Compensation Law when you are off work.
- Permanent Partial Disability: If you are unable to return to work after your injury, you may be entitled to a settlement or payment for your permanent partial disability if you have a permanent disability as a result of a covered accident or injury.
- Permanent Total Disability: If you are permanently and totally disabled from all types of employment, you may qualify for permanent total disability benefits under the Missouri Workers Compensation Law.
- Missouri Second Injury Fund: The Second Injury Fund is designed to compensate an injured employee when a current work-related injury combines with a prior disability to create an increased combined disability.
- Death Benefits: If the work injury or disease results in death, the workers’ dependents may be entitled to a weekly check. The right to workers’ compensation death benefits are usually created by state laws and details of the program vary among the states.
- Third-Party Claims: If you are injured on the job, you have an absolute right to workers’ compensation benefits. Workers Comp will not compensate you fully for your losses. However, you may also be able to get full compensation by pursuing a third-party claim – a personal injury claim against someone other than your employer.
- Social Security Benefits: Seriously injured workers should also consider applying for social security disability insurance or supplemental security income benefits and possibly disability retirement.
Types of Work Injuries
Millions of American’s are injured while on the job each year. There is a wide range of work-related injuries that an employee may suffer. Many of the injuries are due to overexertion, being caught in machinery, slip-and-fall accidents, burns, and repetitive motion injuries.
Some of the most common types of injuries include:
- Back Injuries
- Head and Neck Injuries
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Degenerative Bone or Joint Diseases
- Construction Accidents
- Industrial Disease
- Aggravation of Pre-Existing Condition
- Scaffolding Accidents
- Cuts, Lacerations, Fractures
- Musculoskeletal Disorders
- Shoulder Injuries
- Falling Injuries
- Equipment Accidents
- Falling Items
- Burns & Electrocutions
- Vehicle Accidents
- Psychological Injuries
- Heart Conditions
- Toxic Exposure
- Repetitive Stress Injuries/Trauma
- Vision Loss & Hearing Loss
- Wrongful Death and Fatal Accidents
- Social Security Disability Claims
- Broken Bones
- Injuries to Other Body Parts
At the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann, we explain the workers’ compensation process to clients and can get involved at any state: initial application, resubmitting claims to insurance companies, or appealing a case to an administrative law judge or a higher court.
Kansas City Workers Compensation Lawyer
Our legal team has a strong history of helping injured workers get the medical attention and financial compensation that they need. Contact our Kansas City, Missouri workers compensation law firm to ensure that your rights are protected.
Please call (816) 399-3706 or complete our Online Case Evaluation Form.