An injury suffered as a result of a work accident is a serious legal matter. Northland Injury Law’s Missouri compensation lawyers have helped countless workers fight for their rights under the Missouri workers compensation laws. If you have suffered a work injury, there is a good chance your employer has workers’ compensation insurance coverage to cover your medical treatment, lost wages, and settlement for your permanent injury. When an injury occurs, you should contact a workmans comp attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights. Many injured workers think they will automatically be provided with adequate medical care and timely lost wage payments. However, many workers quickly find out that the insurance carriers do not play fair. The Kansas City workers compensation attorneys at Northland Injury Law have the experience necessary to help you navigate the workers’ compensation system and obtain a fair and just recovery, whether by settlement or by prosecuting your work injury claim through a hearing.
Is an attorney really necessary for my claim?
Independent studies have shown that unrepresented injured workers are placed at a disadvantage when compared to those who hire worker compensation lawyers. In a 2008 audit by the Missouri State Auditor, data shows the average permanent partial disability settlement to unrepresented workers declined an average of 14.3% since the last major change in the Missouri work comp laws in 2005. The same report also showed injured workers with legal representation negotiated greater increases after receiving initial medical records from the employer’s doctors. In late 2006, Missouri Lawyers Weekly reported that unrepresented injured workers “saw significant drops in their permanent and temporary disability settlements” after the change in the law, and “workers represented by attorneys saw a slight increase in those payments.” These numbers do not take into account the great difficulty injured workers experience when trying to obtain adequate medical treatments from their industrial accidents.
What about my Medical Care?
In Missouri, employers are generally required to provide healthcare to their injured workers. The employer is allowed to select the provider or doctors who treat the employee. Unfortunately, this arrangement provides the injured with difficulties since there are often delays and denials of treatment. We have assisted our clients in fighting for the treatment they deserve and we have the knowledge to challenge the employer’s doctors. Don’t wait until it is too late to ensure that your treatment is provided to you; contact a Missouri worker compensation lawyer.
What about my Lost Wages?
If you are unable to work because of your work injury, you are generally entitled to be compensated for your lost wages. These benefits, called TTD benefits, or temporary total disability benefits, can also be provided while you are recovering. If you are on light or modified duty and are receiving reduced pay, you may be entitled to PPD benefits, or permanent partial disability benefits. Your workers’ compensation attorney must understand the nature of your employment and wage structure to ensure that you are receiving the correct lost-wage payments.
Am I entitled to a settlement for my injury?
Most workers’ compensation settlements or hearing awards depend on whether you have a permanent injury. While every case is different, the doctor provided by the employer will often provide you with a medical rating that does not reflect the value of your work injury. At Northland Injury Law, we will see that you are able to obtain a worker’s compensation settlement or award that reflects the value of your claim. We are able to provide you with an independent rating from a physician who will objectively evaluate the degree of your disability.
If you have a permanent disability, but are not totally disabled, you may be entitled to a PPD award. The amount you receive will depend on the body part injured, the extent of the work injury, the amount you were earning at the time of the injury, and the date you were injured on the job.
If you are permanently and totally disabled, you may be entitled to weekly benefits for the duration of your lifetime. It is also possible that you can negotiate a lump-sum settlement for this type of settlement. The workers comp attorneys at Northland Injury Law have attained multiple permanent total disability awards for workers compensation cases in Missouri.
If you suffer a workers’ compensation injury and are unable to return to your specific job because of the severity of the injury, you may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation benefits. Depending on whether you are in Missouri or Kansas, your employer may offer, or can be ordered, to provide these benefits to allow you to restore your ability to work.
What Kind of Injuries are Covered?
The types of injuries covered by Missouri and Kansas’ workers’ compensation laws generally cover those injuries to the physical structure to the body. These injuries can affect almost all parts of your body. In some circumstances, some cases involve occupational diseases or repetitive use injuries. While we cannot list all types of injuries for which we have represented our workers’ compensation clients, the following list indicates our experience:
Sprains and Strains to muscles and ligaments
Aggravations of preexisting conditions
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Torn Rotator Cuffs
Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD)
Torn knee ligaments (ACL, MCL, PCL)
Extremity and Digit Amputation