You may be surprised to learn that workers’ compensation mistakes are quite common in St. Louis, Missouri. The system is designed to prevent lawsuits and ensure that injured workers get compensation and benefits they deserve. However, many people are unaware of the rights and responsibilities when it comes to seeking coverage for lost wages and injuries.
It is a Mistake to Proceed Without Knowing Your Rights as a Worker in St. Louis, Missouri
You do not want to proceed with a workers’ compensation claim without knowing your rights. As a covered employee in St. Louis, Missouri, you have a right to medical benefits to treat your work-related injuries, a right to rehabilitation, and a right to income benefits if you lost wages due to your injury. You also have a right to choose from a list of company approved physicians for your treatment. You can only switch doctors if you are cleared to do so, but it is possible to get a second opinion. In cases where you are required to seek emergency medical treatment, you have a right to coverage for that visit.
Beyond the immediate medical treatment, you have a right to coverage for any ongoing doctor’s appointments, necessary prescriptions, physical therapy and surgeries, any medical devices that may be needed, and in many cases, the mileage involved in going to appointments. You also have a right to receive wage benefits while you are unable to work. In case your employer can provide light duty work to accommodate your restrictions, you are required to take it to keep getting your benefits, but you may still have a right to the difference between your former average weekly wage and your current light duty wages, if less. You can start receiving wage benefits once you have been out of work for at least three days, and the first three days will also be covered if you miss 14 days.
If a worker suffers a catastrophic injury that results in long-term disability, that worker will have a right to disability payments. If a loved one was lost to a work-related injury, an individual will have the right to receive workers’ compensation death benefits if that individual was a dependent of the worker.
Most Common Mistakes Made on Workers’ Compensation Claims in St. Louis, Missouri
Another important aspect of avoiding mistakes in a workers’ compensation claim in St. Louis is to know what mistakes are most common and what can be done to prevent them. For example, you should never miss a scheduled appointment with any doctor you are seeing for work-related injuries. Missing an appointment or failing to cooperate with doctor’s instructions could affect your claim and potentially reduce the amount of compensation you are eligible to receive. Even if treatment is unnecessary for a period of time, keep in touch with the doctor and continue to make regular appointments to document and record the progress of your recovery. It will be advisable at this point, or before, for an injured party to contact a St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney and provide all relevant information concerning the claim. Even an experienced workers comp lawyer cannot help you if you withhold information or important details.
In addition to the above, if you are offered a light duty position, accept it. If you feel it is not appropriate for your injuries, then you can contest this by seeking a second opinion concerning your restrictions and/or contacting an attorney. If you have pre-existing conditions, then you need to be honest about this also. It will not usually prevent you from recovering compensation for a work related injury, even if the pre-existing condition was simply exacerbated by the work-related incident that resulted in further injury.
Another common mistake that injured workers make is acting on their frustrations. They may become upset with how the process is proceeding or with how they are treated at work. They may be upset by the light duty work conditions. In any event, acting on frustrations can only complicate the process. If you have any frustrations or concerns with how your workers’ compensation claim is handled, simply contacting a workers’ compensation attorney in St. Louis can make all the difference. It is better to work with a lawyer that will be honest with you and will be realistic with the likelihood of achieving your goals. Call Walton Telken Injury Attorneys to learn more. An experienced workers compensation lawyer can walk you through the steps of your claim from beginning to end.
The Attorneys at Walton Telken Injury Attorneys in St. Louis, Missouri, Are Here For You
Contacting the attorneys at Walton Telken Injury Attorneys in St. Louis, Missouri, will start you on the correct path to not only learning everything you need to know about your workers’ compensation claim, but also to adequately filing and receiving benefits. We will thoroughly evaluate your claim, review your medical records and other relevant documents, and ensure that you are being treated fairly. If there are any disputes involved in your claim, then we will work to resolve them to your benefit. If you have questions or are mistaken about the process, we will make sure that you are well informed about your rights and options. Call today to schedule a free consultation.