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Tort Reform

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A Word About Auto Insurance

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Workers Compensation 

Hurt on the job, unable to work, required to attend painful therapy, or just “dumped” by your workers’ compensation approved doctor and forced to return to work while still hurt? You will find the Workers' Compensation system is rigged against you. Whether it is our firm or another, hire a lawyer immediately.

If you get hurt while working, the law entitles you to compensation for your treatment, bills, lost wages, injuries and related costs.  Call us at (636) 916-3300. We are ready to assist you in Missouri and Illinois with experienced legal services in this difficult time.  We have successfully prosecuted hundreds of workers’ compensation cases in over 25 years of practice.  We have the knowledge, experience and commitment to service that you need in your lawyer.

WARNING: Big Business and its lobbyists have paid their way to achieving huge legislative victories in recent years (primarily 2005), which have severely limited or eliminated workers’ compensation coverage for injured workers.  This means you.  Some of these changes are designed to strip you of protections you would have had against overreacting by employers and their counsel when dealing with unrepresented or pro seclaimants.  Now, if you proceed without a lawyer and make a bad deal for yourself with your employer or its attorneys, the Administrative Law Judge can often do nothing about it.  Prior to 2005, the Judge could reject an unfair settlement...now he often is compelled to approve it.

Unfortunately, our Legislature did not stop there.  Instead, it took care of its campaign contributors, shoveling in numerous other pitfalls and limitations to the Workers’ Compensation Act.  Now...more than ever, every injured worker needs counsel from the outset--from the day of injury forward!

construction-workers-silhouette-hard-hat-hammer-building-crane-scaffold-men-working-wok-labor-laborer-photoIf you have been hurt while working, it is very important to speak with a lawyer at once.  While many injuries are indeed covered by workers’ compensation insurance that your employer should have, the insurance carriers involved often contest your claim, refuse to continue to pay your medical bills after a certain point that they alone determine, and chisel you with low-ball numbers - - tactics designed to take advantage of your status as an injured unrepresented claimant who needs compensation.

No matter how nice they may seem, professional adjusters and attorneys (and the big insurance companies and employers they represent) ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS.  THEIR SOLE GOAL IS TO MINIMIZE THEIR PAYOUT TO YOU.  That is what their superiors - - insurance executives - - and their stockholders demand.  Who loses if they succeed?  You do.   They are trained professionals - - you are not. Worse, you are hurt and in need of money to support yourself and your loved ones.

EVEN THE PLAYING FIELD.  CALL US AT ONCE at (636) 916-3300. If you don’t, you will be exposed to a number of pitfalls, including reporting requirements and time-sensitive deadlines.  Workers’ compensation law is confusing and, frankly, overwhelmingly complicated for most people.  For this reason, almost all Administrative Law Judges deciding workers’ compensation cases advise claimants to obtain counsel on every case.

If your injuries are severe and you cannot meet with us, call our office and we will meet you at your home or wherever you are receiving medical care.  When you are hurt, your job is at stake, your future is at stake, and your rights in workers’ compensation law may be all you have going for you for the interim period until you recover.  Thus, they are very important and must be protected.  Your lawyer must fight for your rights.

INTRODUCTION TO WORKERS' COMPENSATION IN MISSOURI

This is a brief summary of the general provisions of the Missouri Workers' Compensation Law including the changes made to the law that became effective Aguust 28, 2005.  For additional information, contact us at (636) 916-3300.  It should not be relied on to answer your legal questions.  The workers' compensation statutes will apply to determine the facts regarding your injury.

WHAT IS A WORK-RELATED INJURY?

A work-related injury often is a traumatic experience - - but sometimes it is not.  If you are injured on the job or become ill as a result of your employment, the Missouri Workers' Compensation program can provide some relief from the worry and financial strain of being injured and possibly off work due to an injury.   Missouri law requires most employers to carry insurance, which pays for medical treatment and lost time benefits for employees who are injured on the job.  The law requires prompt paymet of benefits at no cost to you if you sustain a work-related injury covered under the law.

WHO IS COVERED?

If you are employed in the construction industry, your employer must have workers' compensation insurance, if the employer has one or more employees.  Employers in other types of business must carry insurance if they have five or more employees.  Railroad, postal and maritime workers are covered by federal laws. 

The Missouri Workers' Compensation Law does not apply to employment of farm labor, domestic servants in a private home, occasional labor performed for a private household, qualified real estate agents and direct sellers, certain unpaid volunteers, certain inmates, and certain individuals working for amateur youth programs.

WHAT IS COVERED?

All injuries and occupational diseases must meet the standard of work being "the prevailing factor" in causing the injury or disease and the injury must arise out of and in the course of employment.  Idiopathic injuries that result from an unknown cause are not covered.  Certain injuries that occur when the employee is going to and from work are excluded.

WHAT DO I DO IF I AM INJURED?

Report the injury immediately to your employer or supervisor and provide information about the injury - - what, where, when, and how it happened.  Your employer or supervisor should arrange medical treatment and file the necessary reports with the Division.  Prompt reportiung is the key.  Insure your right to benefits by a written notice of every injury, no matter how slight.

Failure to report your injury to your employer may jeopardize your ability to receive workers' compensation benefits.  To assure your right to benefits for which you may be eligible, notify your employer of the injury in writing within 30 days.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

Missouri law provides three kinds of workers' compensation benefits:

 - Medical care to treat the injury -  All costs for authorized medical testing and treatment, prescriptions and medical devices are covered.  There is no deductible and all costs are paid by your employer or its workers' compensation insurance company.  If you do receive a bill, contact us immediately.

The employer or the insurer, on behalf of the employer, has the right to choose the healthcare provider.  The employer and insurer are not requried to pay for treatment the employee seeks or selects without their authorization.  However, the employer and insurer may authorize you to see your own doctor.  You should check with us with respect to any medical treatment you seek.

When an employee is required to submit to treatment at a place outside of the local or metropolitan area from the employee's principal place of employment, the employee is entitled to payment for necessary and reasonable expenses.  In no event is the employer or insurer required to pay transportation costs of more than 250 miles each way from the place of treatment.

In addition, the employer/insurer may offer physical rehabilitation services to assist you in returning to work.  This is an extension of medical treatment - - for example, physical thereapy to strengthen muscles.

- Payments for lost wages - Most injuries only keep you from working temporarily and you may be eligible for temporary total disability payments until the doctor says you are able to return to any form of employment and not merely the job you were doing at the time of accident.  If you return to work on light duty at less than full pay, you may be eligible for temporary partial disability payments.

- Compensation for permanent disability -  Once a doctor has determined that you have reached maximum medical improvement (you are as well as you can be), and that you have a permanent disability, you may be entiteld to receive a permanent disability payment.  If the disability is less than total disability, you receive a lump sum settlement based upon the extent of the disability.  The law contains guidelines to determine the amount of payment.  If the disaility is permanent total disability, you may receive case payments for life or a lump sum settlement.

HOW MUCH ARE THE BENEFIT PAYMENTS?

The benefits provided for temporary total disability are calculated at sixty-six and two-thirds percent (66 2/3 percent) of the injured worker's average weekly wage, not to exceed a maximum amount set by law.  This is determined based on your gross wages (your pay before taxes).

Compensation is not paid for the first three days you are unable to work.  If you are unable to work for more than 14 days, the "three-day waiting period" is paid.

If you suffer from a permanent partial disability, you may receive a lump sum payment based upon the amount of disability.

If you are permanently and totally disabled, you may receive periodic payments or a lump sum settlement.  The amount of the payment is based upon the amount of your earnings at the time of the injury.

Disability payments and medical bills are paid by your employer's workers' compensation insurance.  If a medical bill is not paid or you do not receive a disability check in a timely manner, contact us immediately.

Workers' compensation payments are tax-free.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL US AT (636) 916-3300.

Call our office and set an appointment to see us at your earliest opportunity.·The more serious and disabling your injury, the more necessary it is that you be properly represented.