While most injured workers recover quickly, and beyond making the initial injury report to qualify for benefits have no real awareness of the Worker’s Compensation system, those more seriously injured may have difficulty with their employer or with the compensation system. Those workers may benefit from consulting with lawyers.
Workers typically need to hire a workers comp lawyer when they are refused benefits to which they are entitled, are told that they can return to work before they are actually medically able, or are denied extended or permanent disability despite significant disabling injury. If your employer sends you to a doctor who declares that you are able to return to work even though you don’t believe you are yet able, or tries to get you to return to work to a special job created to accommodate your injury, you should consider speaking to a comp lawyer right away.
The reason is this: while a typical injured employee does not know the law, a typical employer is very much aware of how the compensation system works, and how to terminate an employee’s benefits. An injured worker who returns to work in a specially created position may well find that, two weeks later, the position is eliminated and he is laid off – but is no longer eligible for workers comp. Similarly, many employers utilize doctors who are much more interested in maintaining a good continuing relationship with the employer than with accurately diagnosing the employee – too many declarations of continuing disability will likely cause the employer to send injured employees to a different doctor. A lawyer can help you protect your rights when one of these “hired gun” doctors tries to block you from getting necessary treatment, cut off your benefits or send you back to work too early.
It is beneficial to go to a lawyer who handles a lot of Worker’s Compensation cases. Typically, those lawyers will know the administrative judges or hearing officers who preside over comp hearings, and may also know the doctors and defense lawyers who are trying to block your claim. Using an attorney who knows the ins and outs of the system can help ensure that you collect the benefits that are due or, if you are so inclined, get a maximum pay-off to settle your compensation claim.
For a free consultation on your rights under the Missouri Workers’ Compensation system, contact Northland Injury Law at 816-400-4878. An experienced attorney will be ready to help you determine your rights and how we can make sure you get everything that you are owed.