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When you’ve been a loyal employee and you suffered an injury on the job, you probably assume your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance will honor your dedication to your work with a prompt payout on your promised benefits. But what if you find that—like all large insurance companies—workers’ compensation exists to make profits and often that equals lengthy, complex claims processes, delays, and denials?
If you’ve been seriously injured enough to be out of work and enduring painful medical procedures while you recover, you’ve probably found medical bills piling up while your paychecks have stopped. The best way to get back on your feet financially while you try to get back on your feet physically is to have a skilled Saint Charles workers’ compensation lawyer represent your rights and best interests through every part of the claim process. At Miller and Hine, we have a combined 5 decades of experience recovering compensation for injured workers in Missouri. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
Why Do I Need an Attorney for a Workers’ Comp Claim?
Instead of trying to navigate your Saint Charles workers’ compensation claim yourself through the ever-evolving claims process, you should focus on your physical recovery and let a Saint Charles workers’ compensation attorney from Miller & Hine focus on maximizing your financial recovery. The powerful insurance companies behind workers’ compensation policies sometimes find reasons to deny valid claims or delay them until you become discouraged and give up. Some injury victims force themselves to go back to work before they’re fully recovered just so they can pay the bills and support their families. All too often this results in further injury.
At the Saint Charles law office of Miller & Hine, our Missouri workers’ compensation attorneys have strong track records of successfully navigating the workers’ compensation process for our injured clients to promptly secure their compensation.
You shouldn’t have to struggle through this complicated claims process alone, just when you’re at your most vulnerable.
What Does Workers’ Compensation in Missouri Do For Me?
Most employers in Missouri with five or more employees must provide workers’ compensation insurance for employees under state guidelines. This type of policy protects employers from lawsuits from workers injured on the job and provides specific benefits in the event of a serious injury. A successful claim for workers’ compensation provides the following:
- About ⅔ of your normal weekly pay beginning from the third day of missed work
- Medical expenses related to the work injury
- Payment for partial or total disability due to a work injury
- Death benefits for the families of employees injured on the job
Compensation for wages in Missouri caps at 55% of the average weekly wage within the state, so you may receive significantly lower pay than you did while actively working.
In some cases, your workers’ compensation attorney may determine that someone other than your employer bears liability for your injury. Though you cannot file a lawsuit against an employer with workers’ compensation insurance unless their actions were egregiously reckless, this doesn’t prohibit injured employees from filing claims against liable third parties.
What is a Third Party Claim for a Work Injury in Missouri?
Depending on the unique circumstances of your injury, you could be eligible for a third-party liability claim. This occurs when someone other than your employer directly caused your work injury. Common liable parties in work injury claims include:
- General contractors
- Job-site property owners
- Product or equipment manufacturers
- Drivers who cause a car accident with an employee driving on the job
- Vendors at job sites
A third-party work injury claim may be of more benefit to you than a workers’ compensation claim if it’s appropriate in your case. Unlike workers’ compensation, a personal injury claim against a third party allows you to claim compensation for pain and suffering as well as for medical bills, future medical bills related to the injury, and lost wages. Other non-economic damages may also apply to your case, like PTSD, anxiety, depression, disfigurement, or loss of limb. These are only available in third-party Saint Charles personal injury claims.
Common Workplace Injuries in Missouri
Workers in Saint Charles and throughout Missouri sometimes experience serious injuries while on the job. Anyone can be hurt at work, even if they work in an office. For example, you could experience a slip-and-fall accident while working in a school or hospital. But the majority of serious work-related injuries occur in industries involving physical work, including construction, transportation, forestry, agriculture, and fishing. Common injuries found in workers’ compensation and third-party injury claims include:
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Burns and electrocutions
- Toxic chemical exposures
- Sprains, strains, slipped discs, and other soft tissue injuries
- Repetitive motion injuries
Jobs with heavy equipment, tasks performed on ladders, roofs, and scaffolding, and jobs that require traveling on the roadways are the most common sources of claims for work-related injuries in Saint Charles and elsewhere.
What to Do After a Work Injury
When you’re injured on the job you might be in too much pain to think clearly, but if you’re able to take specific steps it can help maximize your claim and streamline the process later. Use your phone or ask an uninjured co-worker to use your phone to do the following:
- Call 911 for emergency services or arrange transportation to an emergency room
- Take photos of any visible injuries
- Take photos of the cause of your injury, such as a defective product at work, a broken scaffolding, or loose cords that caused a fall
- Record a brief statement about how the accident happened while it’s fresh in your mind
- Record eyewitness statements
- Report the accident to your employer immediately and ask them to fill out an accident report
- At the hospital ask for a complete medical evaluation and a detailed injury report including your treatment recommendations and prognosis
- Keep copies of all medical-related expenses
Gather your relevant documents and call the Saint Charles workers’ compensation lawyers at Miller & Hine for a free consultation.
Why Choose Us for Your Saint Charles Work-Related Injury Attorneys?
At Miller & Hine, we have great compassion for employees who suffer injuries while trying to provide a living for themselves and their families. We understand how helpless you might feel when the bills keep coming in just as you’re unable to work due to injuries you suffered while on the job. Despite their glossy ads and extravagant promises, insurance companies exist to make profits, including those that provide workers’ compensation benefits. Unlike insurance companies, at Miller & Hine in Saint Charles, our goal is to prioritize your compensation so you can focus on your physical recovery without undue financial burdens.3
Reach out to our Saint Charles workers’ compensation attorneys today so we can begin strategizing the best way forward for your unique case.