Workers’ Compensation

If you have been injured at work you are probably entitled to claim workers’ compensation benefits, even in the absence of your employer’s fault or negligence. Any injury that occurs in the course of your employment job is likely covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. The problem is that most injured workers don’t know their rights. You or your loved ones may be entitled to “damages,” including payment of medical bills, reimbursement of loss wages, and compensation for pain and suffering as a result of an accident.

We can help. No matter what type of injury you have suffered, you should contact an attorney who can work to ensure that your rights are protected., so there is no risk. In addition, our fees are paid from any benefits we help you obtain so you will not have to pay anything out of pocket You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
Please contact the Lednick Law Firm at 636-638-2150 for a free consultation.

FAQ’S

Workers’ compensation insurance is an employer funded insurance program which provides funds that allow payments to be made to an employee who is injured or disabled because of an on the job injury. Workers who receive payments under workers’ comp are prohibited from suing their employer for the injuries covered.
Most types of employees are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. However, under Missouri law most of the following types of employment are excluded under most circumstances:

  • farmers and farmhands
  • domestic servants employed in a private home
  • family chauffeurs
  • real estate agents
  • direct sellers
  • jail or prison inmates
  • volunteers of a tax-exempt organization
  • owners and operators of vehicles for hire
  • independent contractors (in some cases)
  • business with five (5) or less employees

Federal government employees are not covered under the state workers’ comp laws because they are covered by federal workers’ compensation insurance program.

There are three things you should do if you are injured while working:

1. Immediately report the injury to your supervisor;
2. Request to see a doctor; and
3. Contact an attorney to file a claim on your behalf.

By reporting the incident immediately and seeking medical treatment guarantees that the workers’ compensation benefits aren’t delayed while you are off work with no income. A frequent error people make is waiting to report the injury until it develops into something agonizing and they cannot work.

In most cases a work-related injury is one that occurs while you were doing something on behalf of your employer. Normally, this comprises injuries that occur in the workplace. However, worker’s comp coverage may extend to other locations as long as the employee was doing something related to his or her job.

For example, if an employee is running an errand at the request of the employer, worker’s comp benefits may be payable if an injury occurs to the employee while running the errand. However, if the employee has deviated from an employee requested errand for personal reasons, then it is possible that benefits will not be available.

The types of injuries covered by the workers’ comp law are those which are in some way connected to an employment obligation or requirement (a work-related injury). Examples include carpal tunnel syndrome caused by repetitive use of the hands or a sprained ankle from stepping off a ladder.
Accidents that occur while the injured employee was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the injury may not be covered. Coverage may also be denied if, at the time of the injury, the employee was disregarding company policy, or was not actually on the job.
Generally, you’re entitled to four basic benefits:

  • Medical treatment: to provide whatever health care may reasonably be required in order to cure and relieve the effects of its employee’s injury;
  • Disability payments: to provide partial compensation for lost wages if you are temporarily unable to work while recovering;
  • Permanent disability: to provide compensation based on the inability of an employee to return to any type of employment; and
  • Vocational rehabilitation: to provide training for a new job if you are not able to return to your normal job and the company has no other job that you can do.

Yes. Workers’ compensation insurance covers problems and illnesses that develop over a long period of time of doing the same harmful activity.

Under the law the employer has the right of selecting the treating physician and providing medical and other treatment of its choice to an injured employee. If you desire, you may exercise the right to see a doctor of your choosing, at your expense.

Many work-related injuries occurring on the job go overlooked by injured employees. These could include hearing loss, lung problems, hand injuries, hernias, back pain, or eye injuries. Almost any injuries caused by working conditions or accidents could possibly be covered by workers’ comp.

Generally, if you are temporarily disabled and receiving workers’ compensation, an employer may not discriminate against you by firing or laying you off. The exception to this is where it can be ascertained through medical evidence that you will not be able to return to your job or and it is necessary that your employer fill your position in order to run the business.
Yes. You have the right to sue your employer for any irresponsible or deliberate action of your employer that may have caused your injury. However, if you choose this course of action, you waive your right to the benefits afforded by workers’ comp. Directly suing your employer has its advantages in that if you win you could be awarded damages, including punitive damages, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. On the other hand, if you lose you end up with nothing. Also, you may be able to sue parties other than your employer for a workplace injury. For example, if you were injured by a piece of faulty equipment at your work site, you could file for workers’ compensation and file a separate lawsuit against the manufacturer of the equipment.
Missouri’s Second Injury Fund may be able to help an injured worker when a current work-related injury combines with a prior disability to create an increased combined disability—depending upon the date of his or her most recent compensable injury. SB1, effective January 01, 2014, made changes in the way benefits may be awarded from the Second Injury Fund. Those benefits now depend upon the date of the most recent compensable injury.