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How Does Workmans’ Comp Work in Missouri?
If you were injured or developed an occupational disease while on the job, you qualify for compensation under the Missouri Workers’ Compensation law. The law provides financial relief for all Missouri workers injured on the job and unable to go back to work.
First steps you must make after getting injured on the job
Take the following steps immediately if you get injured on the job:
1. Report the Injury
Most workplaces require that you report an injury to your supervisor or employer as soon as an accident occurs. Call 911 first, of course, if the accident is very serious. After that, Missouri law states that you furnish your employer a written notice of your injury within 30 days of the accident. Meeting this deadline ensures legal consideration of possible workers’ comp benefits.
If your employer offers to pay for an emergency room visit or any other medical treatment with their own money, decline. Insist that you go through the legally established workers’ compensation process.
2. Seek medical help
Getting a doctor’s prompt assessment of your injury can help you in seeking compensation. A delayed exam can be used to downplay your claim later on.
How soon must you report an injury at work in Missouri?
You must report your injury to your employer within 30 days, otherwise, you may put your ability to receive workers’ comp benefits at risk.
Your written notice should include your name, the nature of your injury, and where and when your injury occurred. Your employer will then assist you in accomplishing the necessary paperwork to be submitted to the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Division.
The benefits you can derive from workers’ compensation
Workers’ compensation provides three main types of benefits:
1. Medical treatment
Your employer or their workers’ comp insurance provider must pay for all medical treatments needed for your injury or work-related disease.
This includes hospitalization, doctors’ fees, prescription medication, physical therapy, and medical devices to assist your movement.
2. Temporary wage replacement while you can’t report for work
You may be unable to return to work due to your injury for some period of time. This makes you eligible to receive temporary total disability benefits.
3. Payment for any remaining permanent damage or impairment
When a doctor decides your condition has reached its highest level of medical improvement, it will be assessed whether you have suffered any permanent damage from your injury or illness. If permanently disabled, you will continue to receive temporary total disability benefits for as long as your disability lasts.
How are workers’ comp settlements calculated in Missouri?
Missouri uses certain calculations to determine the benefits obtainable under the workers’ comp system.
The average weekly wage basis
The compensation rate is computed based on the employee’s average weekly wage. Their average weekly wage is calculated by looking at the past thirteen weeks before the injury date, assuming that the worker has been on the job for that particular time period.
The sum of all wages earned in the past thirteen weeks is then divided by thirteen weeks. If the employee reported for work for less than thirteen weeks, the sum of their wages is divided by the number of weeks worked. Compensation rates are two-thirds of the sum of the employee’s average weekly wage in Missouri.
The permanent partial disability basis
The equation basing on permanent partial disability is:
Compensation amount x level x percentage of disability
Level = part of the body that was disabled
Percentage of disability = determined by a medical professional
Basing on temporary total disability
Employees are awarded temporary disability benefits if they suffer a loss of income while they recover from their injuries. This compensation is given only if the worker has not reached maximum medical improvement or is unable to work for over three consecutive days.
Talk to an experienced workers comp attorney
Remember that a lawyer can represent you at every step in the process. A Missouri attorney experienced in workers’ compensation is a serious advantage especially if you were badly injured and not able to work.
Strongly consider talking to our lawyers at Shea Kohl Law, LC without delay if you need to appeal a denial of your claim.
Contact us immediately. We can discuss your case and help you obtain the benefits you deserve. Call Shea Kohl Law, LC today for a free consultation at (636) 946-9999.
Call Shea Kohl Law, LC at (636) 946-9999
or contact us online to schedule your initial consultation.
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Shea Kohl Law, LC serves clients in Missouri including St. Charles, Troy and Lincoln and throughout Warren and St. Louis counties. We also serve clients in Illinois.