If you have been injured at work, the attorneys at Williams and Sechrest, P.C. can help you get the benefits you are entitled to under the Workers’ Compensation laws in Missouri. Our attorneys have over 40 years combined legal experience and have represented claimants and employers in Workers’ Compensation cases.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ Compensation laws are contained in Chapter 287 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri. Generally, if you are injured at work, you have a statutory right to compensation for your injuries and damages, and you do not have to sue your employer or prove the employer was negligent.
Any employer with five or more employees, and all employers in the construction industry, must provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees.
What should I do if I am injured at work?
The first thing you should do if you are injured at work is report your injury to your supervisor immediately, even if you do not think your injury is significant.
Do I get paid for my time off work?
If your treating doctor certifies that you are unable to work for any period of time during the course of your treatment, you should be entitled to Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits for those days you are unable to work after the first three regularly scheduled work days your are off. The rate of compensation for TTD benefits is two-thirds of your gross average weekly wage (there are maximum rates, which change from year to year). Your gross weekly wage is calculated over the 13 weeks prior to the accident.
How do I get medical treatment and who pays for treatment?
Under Missouri law, the employer has the right to select the treating doctor in workers’ compensation cases. This means that if you think you need medical treatment as the result of a work related injury, you should tell your employer you want to see a doctor. If your employer does not refer you to a particular doctor, you should ask your employer which doctor your employer wants you to see. If your employer refuses to send you to a doctor, you should contact an attorney.
Your employer may not have to pay for your bills if you choose to go to your own doctor rather than to your employer’s authorized treating doctor. Otherwise, your employer should pay all work related medical bills. You may also be entitled to be paid mileage for driving to medical treatment if you are required to be treated outside the local area from the place of injury or the place of your residence.
Will I get a settlement for my workers’ compensation claim?
If you are able to return to work after your injury but have suffered some permanent disability as a result of a work related accident, injury or occupational disease, you may be entitled to a settlement for Permanent Partial Disability (PPD). The amount of your settlement will depend on several factors. There are formulas in the workers’ compensation statutes to determine the amount of these awards. The extend of your disability probably will not be able to be determined until after you have completed yoru medical treatment and are at Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI).
If you are not able to return to work after your injury becasue you are permanently and totally disabled from your work related injury, accident or occupational disease, you may qualify for Permanent Total Disability (PTD). The PTD compensation rate is the same as the TTD compensation rate. In order to qualify for PTD benefits, you must be unable to work in any line of work in the labor market because of your work related injury or occupational disease. In these cases, you may also be eligible for Social Security disability benefits.
For more informaiton on Workers’ Compensation in Missouri, click here. http://www.labor.mo.gov/DWC/