FOUR REASONS TO HIRE A WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ATTORNEY
1 – Obtain Maximum Benefits
Do not assume that your employer will do the right thing. Usually your employer has little say in your treatment or compensation, but an insurance company. Your employer’s insurance company will hire adjusters and nurses to manage your case. It is these people’s job to get you back to work as quickly and cheaply as possible, whether you are fully healed or not. As your work comp lawyer, it is our job to get you back to a fully functional life as quickly as possible with the maximum benefits necessary. It is likely that you will receive more money, even after you pay your lawyer’s expenses, if you hire a Missouri Workers Compensation attorney as soon as possible when you have a serious injury.
2 – Protect from Employment Termination
Your employer cannot legally fire you or otherwise negatively affect your employment for making a workers compensation claim. However, if a workers compensation lawyer does not represent you your employer may try.
Since changes to the Missouri workers compensation laws in 2005, your employer can stop paying your temporary total disability if you are fired or terminated for reasons unrelated to your work comp claim. For example, if you’re late to work, miss work for reasons unrelated to your injury or fail to follow your employer’s directions. Your employer has the right to make you come to work and fulfill “light duty” work. You could be required to come to work and count rubber bands or paperclips. Unfortunately there are some instances that the employer tries to make you quit or is trying to create a reason to terminate you other than your work place injury. Another good reason to hire a Missouri workers compensation attorney early in the process is to limit the employer’s attempts at terminating you for these reasons.
3 – Evaluate Permanent Partial and Permanent Total Disability Needs
Once you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement, you may be entitled to money for the extent of your injury. Missouri uses a chart to help determine your compensation. The doctor the employer hired to treat you and maybe additional doctors will assess your injuries and what level of problem or disability they believe you experience. This is called a rating. Usually these company doctors are very conservative in their ratings. Work Comp for many doctors is a volume business and a consistently low rating ensures that the insurance companies continue to hire them. You need someone on your side before you get to the point of Maximum Medical Improvement.
4 – Make a Personal Injury Claim if applicable
Under Missouri Workers’ Compensation laws you are not entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. However ,if someone caused your work injury other than your employer or coworker, you may be able to seek recovery against the person that hurt you with a personal injury claim. For example, if you were involved in a car accident while on the job, a claim could be filed against the negligent driver. This is why having a lawyer involved as early as possible is in your best interests.
If you have been injured at work, and would like to receive some guidance concerning what your rights might be under Missouri’s Workers’ Comp arrangement, please contact Northland Injury Law at 816-400-4878 for a free consultation.