The vast majority of workers in Kirkwood, Missouri, are covered by workers’ compensation benefits. It is required for any employer with at least five employees to carry such insurance coverage on their workers. Federal employees are covered by separate workers’ compensation laws, and agricultural workers, domestic workers, and independent contractors are exceptions to the rule.
Which Work Related Injuries and Occupational Illnesses are Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
There are many different ways that a person could become injured or ill in the line of work. They may have an accident that causes injury. They might be in a work related auto accident. They could fall from a height, slip and fall, or even have an object dropped on their head. The most common types of work related injuries include back injuries, neck injuries, shoulder injuries, elbow injuries, and knee injuries. It is not always necessary to seek medical treatment for a mild injury, and if no medical treatment or time off of work is required, then you won’t need to file a workers’ compensation claim. Then, there are the occupational illnesses, which include repetitive stress illnesses, exposure to certain chemicals, and various other forms of serious illness that are related to the occupation.
What Do You Do After a Work Related Injury in Kirkwood, Missouri?
It is essential to report your injury or illness as quickly as possible to your employer. You are legally allowed 30 days to do so, but the sooner you do, the smoother your claim will go. You should report the incident in writing, sign and date it, and keep a copy for yourself. This will usually be done with the help of your employer and an incident report. If your employer doesn’t help you with this, then you may need to file a workers’ compensation claim without their help. You can do this with the Missouri Department of Labor Division of Workers’ Compensation. You can also seek legal guidance to help you through the process. The Kirkwood, Missouri workers’ compensation attorneys at Walton Telken Injury Attorneys are here to provide a free consultation and help you get the benefits you need.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits Available to Kirkwood, Missouri, Employees
There are different types of benefits that you may be able to receive when you file a workers’ compensation claim in Kirkwood, Missouri. These include you medical benefits, wage benefits, and compensation to cover any permanent disabilities or serious disfigurement.
At first, when you seek medical treatment, you may have to be seen in an emergency room. Once your workers’ compensation claim is allowed, you will be able to see a company approved physician for all follow up care. You can request a second opinion by communicating with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. In many cases, you can even get compensation for your mileage to and from appointments. You can also get coverage for prescriptions, medical devices, surgeries, and anything else related to your medical care for the work related injury or illness.
You can even get medical benefits for any mental health treatment that you may need from the trauma of the injury, which is common in cases like work related auto accidents. Another thing to be aware of when it comes to auto accidents, defective products, and premises liability injuries is that you can pursue a Missouri personal injury claim at the same time as a workers’ compensation claim in many cases. In an auto accident, you might have a claim against the negligent driver. In a defective product accident, you might have a product liability claim against the manufacturer. In an injury that occurs while working on someone else’s premises, you might have a premises liability claim. If you have a personal injury claim along with a workers’ compensation claim, the two will not affect each other.
When it comes to wage benefits, you will only get these if you have to take time off work or if you have to work at a lower paying position due to medical restrictions. Also, these benefits will not fully replace your lost wages. Rather, you will receive 2/3 of your former Average Weekly Wage (AWW) or 2/3 of the difference between your former AWW and your light duty AWW. Having said that, there is a cap on what you can receive. For the year 2017, the cap on wage benefits is $447.33 per week.
You can continue to receive wage benefits until you are able to return to your former income or until you reach maximum medical improvement. If you end up with a permanent total disability, then you can receive benefits for as long as this is the case. If you are ever able to return to work at your former capacity, then your benefits will stop. If you have a permanent partial disability, then things can be more complex. Each body part can be rated differently, and this will alter how long you can receive wage benefits. For instance, if you lose your foot, you can receive wage benefits for 150 weeks. If you lose partial use of your foot (or another body part), then the length of your benefit eligibility will be based on the percentage of loss. In the foot example, if you lost 50% of the use of your foot, you could receive wage benefits for 75 weeks, instead of the 150 weeks that you could get if you lost full use. If you experienced some kind of permanent scarring or disfigurement, then you could receive benefits for up to forty weeks, depending on the severity if the injury, scarring, and disfigurement.
Call Walton Telken Injury Attorneys for a Free Consultation
Many workers’ compensation claims can be effectively resolved without the intervention of a Kirkwood, Missouri, workers’ compensation attorney. However, if you run into any problems, if your claim is denied, if your employer refuses to help, or if you aren’t getting the benefits that you are owed, you may need legal advice. Contact a dedicated workers’ compensation lawyer in Kirkwood, Missouri at Walton Telken Injury Attorneys to schedule a free consultation and find out how we might be able to help you get the benefits you are entitled to.