Have you recently been injured on the job, or developed an illness related to your work environment? If so, you most likely are reeling in questions, wondering what type of recourse you might have, or where to get help.
Finding a St. Louis workers’ comp attorney should be the first step. Along with making that phone call, the following information will be helpful in getting started to receive what is rightfully yours.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is commonly referred to as workers’ comp or worker’s comp insurance. It’s a state-mandated insurance program consisting of payments made to a person employed who is injured or becomes ill as a result of the job. There is also a federal program, covering federal employees. But, each state is responsible for its own workers’ comp program.
There is specific information on the State of Missouri’s official page, for those who want information on injuries in the workplace. For example, many employees can receive workers’ comp payments, regardless of who is at fault. But, if a person receives workers’ comp, this will eliminate any opportunity for the employee to bring forth a lawsuit for any further compensation against the employer.
It’s a good idea to consult with a workers’ comp attorney, especially if you are not getting anywhere with your claim. Walton Telken of St. Louis has a team of skilled and experienced workers’ comp attorneys who can determine the legitimacy of your case, and advise you on what to do next.
What Expenses Will Be Covered Under Workers’ Comp in St. Louis?
Even though workers’ comp payments tend to be modest, the following is often covered:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses caused by the injury
- Costs to retrain the employee
- Compensating a permanent injury
- Benefits to an employee’s survivor, if killed on the job
When replacing lost income, it is based on a rate that is a portion of the employee’s average wage, without going over a set maximum. This is tax-free income. And, eligibility is quick, often just a few days after the injury occurs.
Contact Walton Telken of St. Louis, to make sure you get what you are entitled to when it comes to a workers comp case in St. Louis.
What Types of Injuries are Covered with Workers’ Comp?
If the injury or illness occurred on the job, or is connected to the job somehow, it will most likely be covered. Some examples of injuries or illness that could happen on the job include:
- Diagnosed with lung cancer, while being exposed to second-hand smoke
- Carpal tunnel diagnosis, after repetitive use of the joint on the job
- A broken bone after a fall
However, it must be proven that the injury occurred from a job-related incident. If you were performing a duty for your employer, chances are that it will be covered. It could be either in the workplace, in commute, or even at a work-related event, such as getting hurt while setting up for the company’s summer picnic.
Some cases of injuries while rough housing or “horseplay” have also been covered. But, that’s not a given. The courts haven’t always agreed on this, and you have about a 50/50 chance of it being improved. Of course, if you have an experienced workers comp lawyer working on your behalf, the odds improve.
Break times and lunches are another area that’s not a sure thing. If you are injured in the cafeteria, on the property, with a client, or running to pick something up for your employer, then it could be covered. But, if you are off the clock on your break, running personal errands, it will not be covered.
Are Some Workers NOT Covered by Workers’ Compensation in St. Louis?
There isn’t just one form of employment, so it complicates this area a little bit. Some workers are direct employees, while others might be independent contractors. And, some forms of employment will not be covered. These may include the following:
- Owner of the business
- Independent contractors
- Farmers and farmhands
- Casual workers
- Workers employed in a private home
People who volunteer are also not covered, even though they might be working with a company. Workers who are not covered by the State of Missouri workers comp program, because they are covered under the federal program, may include the following:
- Maritime employees
- Railroad employees
- Federal employees
If you have any concerns or doubts on whether you would be covered or not, contact the team of workers comp attorneys at Walton Telken of St. Louis. They have the knowledge and experience to provide you the answers and help you will need.
Can My Company Fire Me for Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim?
No, they can’t. That’s the short answer. The State of Missouri strictly prohibits an employer from firing or harassing an employee for exercising their rights to a workers comp claim. The long answer is, that doesn’t always prevent an employer from breaking the law. If you are harassed or fired, contact a lawyer skilled in workers compensation law to have your rights preserved.
For any further information or questions, contact Walton Telken in St. Louis.