Comp System Makes You Fight for Medical & Disability Benefits

Your attorney needs to level with you. That is what we do at the St. Louis Workers Compensation Center run by Attorney Tom Hyatt. The Missouri workmen’s compensation system is not really designed to be all that fair to workers injured on the job. It is set up to give employers of people hurt on the job and their insurance company the upper hand and control over the whole process. The workers’ compensation judge assigned to your case once your lawyer files your claim with the state has to follow the statutory law as it is written. You are forced to fight constantly to get your proper benefits (medical + off-work wage loss & permanent disability payments) and need a lawyer for it.

The Missouri Workers Compensation Law as passed by the Missouri legislature sets the whole system up and goes out of its way to make it hard for the employee injured at work to get proper benefits because so much is left up to the employer. It makes you the injured employee jump through a bunch of hoops set by your employer, their insurance company, and the doctors they have the right to select for you and make you see if you expect to have your treatment for the injury paid for by them. We are stuck with that system as it exists which was established by a law passed and frequently amended by the state legislature. It is what it is and sets the rules for getting all benefits.

Company-selected doctors, including especially the experts they hire to examine, evaluate and treat and treat you, will always be working primarily in the company’s interest and never in the interest of you the injured worker hurt on the job and in need of medical treatment. The least bit of disloyalty to the workers compensation insurance company’s interests in paying out as little money as possible for medical treatment, temporary total benefits as substitute for lost wages, and permanent disability money benefits, and your employer’s insurance company will fire them and switch you to a different set of doctors willing to work in their interests to save them money at your expense. The Missouri Workers Compensation Law allows them to pick and switch any doctors they choose to treat you. You can’t use your regular health insurance to pay for a doctor you choose to treat you because no health insurance will ever pay for treatment of any work injury.

A good, experienced hard-fighting workers compensation attorney can gather up all the medical treatment records and send you, the worker hurt on the job, out for an evaluation by medical experts who will work in your interests and enable you the injured worker to prove your case to a workmen’s compensation judge. Your attorney will work to overcome your employer’s picky little excuses they always latch onto to deny you benefits if you let them. If you get hurt on the job in the course of your work for an employer, you need to go consult and then hire a good attorney to fight hard to enforce your rights to workers compensation benefits that the company has denied you. It could easily mean the difference between winning and losing any part of your claim.

Your workers compensation lawyer can also constantly be on guard and on the lookout to make sure the insurance company follows through on its promises to pay you weekly benefits for lost wages at the correct rate based on your earnings before your injury. Often they will short change you on the rate. Your attorney can get all your wage data together either from your pay records or the insurance company that gets it from your employer and make sure they are paying you at the correct rate you deserve and not underpaying you at too low a compensation rate, which would also usually be the rate to be used to calculate your permanent disability benefits at the end of the case.

Your workman’s compensation attorney such as Tom Hyatt at the St. Louis Workers Compensation Center can fight hard on every possible issue to make sure that your employer and their workman’s compensation insurance company does not get away with ignoring, undertreating many of the injuries you suffered from your work accident, or underpaying you money benefits for being off work unable to work on doctor’s orders or compensating you for permanent disability loss to your body.

It happens in most cases that the company doctors they send you to for treatment either find nothing wrong with you, play down the seriousness of your injuries from the work accident, or limit the injuries they find the accident caused to only a few of them while ignoring any denying other injuries you suffered from the same accident or the spreading of those injuries after the accident to other parts of the body. You need a good lawyer fighting for you to prevent the insurance company from getting away with that and cheating you out of either medical treatment benefits, temporary off-work benefits when you can’t work on doctor’s orders, and permanent disability benefit payments.

Company doctors the insurance company or your employer picks for you to be exclusively treated by also claim in almost every case that your injuries from the work accident are way less serious or permanent than they really are. If you let the company doctors get away with it by not hiring an attorney to fight back, they will get their way and you will end up getting screwed. DON’T LET THAT HAPPEN. HIRE A GOOD, HARD-FIGHTING WORKERS COMPENSATION LAWYER FROM ST. LOUIS WORKERS COMPENSATION LEGAL CENTER TODAY.

If you get hurt on the job in the course of your work for an employer, you need to consult and then hire a good attorney to fight for your rights to enforce your rights to workers compensation benefits that the company has denied, undertreated or underpaid. It happens in many cases that your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance have to be dragged kicking and screaming into paying you the injured worker any workers’ compensation benefits including medical bills and temporary and permanent disability benefits. A good, dedicated workmen’s compensation attorney can fight to drag them kicking and screaming into doing the right thing, treating you right and paying you right, and doing the right thing, which they will never do on their own if you don’t hire a good lawyer to make them do it.

St. Louis Workers Compensation Center can defend your rights to workers compensation benefits and demand medical treatment and money benefits. We can help you fight to enforce your legal rights to benefits. Please call Tom Hyatt for advice and assistance on any work-related injury suffered on the job in either St. Charles County, St. Louis County, St. Louis City, Jefferson County, Franklin County, Lincoln County, Warren County, Montgomery County, Ste. Genevieve County, St. Francois County, or any other counties in eastern Missouri within 150 miles of the greater St. Louis metropolitan area. Tom will fight tirelessly to win you your denied benefits.

Our consultations are completely free of charge. We can fight to keep the company from cancelling or underpaying or refusing to pay your benefits. Tom Hyatt will talk to you about your case right away. He will fight as hard he can to enforce all of your rights to Missouri workers compensation benefits. Our attorney’s fee would be a modest percentage of the Missouri workers’ comp disability benefits we get for you. Please call now for a free consultation. (See Contact Us).

How Medical Experts State Their Opinions Can Win or Lose Case

In the case of Malam v. State Department of Corrections decided on June 28, 2016, the Missouri Supreme Court decided that so long as a medical expert’s plain meaning in giving his opinion is clear from what he says, the expert’s failure to use correct language to express his opinion will not necessarily invalidate his opinion and force courts to reject it for not lack of certainty and not using the required legal standard to prove compensability (work-relatedness). Malam was a state corrections officer who while doing a takedown on an unruly inmate and then walked him back to his housing unit had a hypertensive heart episode, became unconscious, and suffered heart failure.

The employee’s doctor expert concluded that Malam’s takedown of the inmate was the “prevailing” (main) factor in causing his hypertensive crisis (from high blood pressure). The state’s doctor expert concluded that the prevailing factor causing Malam’s hypertensive crisis was his preexisting health problems with his heart and lungs. The workers compensation administrative law judge who heard the case decided that the takedown did not meet the prevailing factor test in Missouri Workers Compensation Law to entitle Malam to compensation, denying his whole claim.

Corrections worker Malam appealed the judge’s denial of his claim to the Labor and Industrial Relation Commission, which agreed with the judge that the injured employee’s heart failure was not primarily caused by the takedown of the inmate as its prevailing, primary main cause. They agreed with the judge that he was not entitled to have the $138,000.00 in medical costs covered and compensable by the Missouri Department of Corrections as primarily work-related. The Industrial Commission held that the injured employee’s medical expert’s opinion on causation of the heart failure was insufficient to meet the legal standard to prove causation of the heart failure by the officer’s takedown of the inmate because the expert failed to make it clear that the accident was the prevailing factor/main cause resulting in the heart failure. Officer Malam had been suffering hypertensive cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease) for years before the accident.

Then the injured corrections officer appealed that decision to the Missouri Court of Appeals and eventually it went up to the Missouri Supreme Court, which considered it such an important issue to resolve for purposes of workmen’s compensation under the Missouri Workers Compensation Law that it went before all nine Supreme Court judges to decide. With one judge dissenting all the other eight judges decided that the takedown accident was the main, prevailing factor causing the heart attack even though the worker’s expert in his opinion said that his takedown of the inmate was the “prevailing factor precipitating [Mr. Malam’s] hypertensive crisis.” The problem with the workers’ expert’s use of that language was that under Missouri’s workers compensation law it is not enough for the worker to prove that the accident/incident was just a “precipitating” or “triggering” factor in causing the injury. He must show and prove using medical expert testimony that the accident was the main, “prevailing” factor causing the injury or he loses and is denied all compensation.

A large majority of the Missouri Supreme Court judges decided that the takedown could have been both the factor precipitating or triggering the injury AND its main, prevailing casual factor and the failure of the workers’ expert to make that clear in his opinion should not make the injured worker lose the case where it was clear, as in Malam’s case, that his expert really was saying it was the prevailing factor above all others. Otherwise he would have gotten no benefits at all!

This important case just goes to show that medical experts for both injured employees and for the employer and their insurance company that fight to oppose the worker’s claim had better watch the language they used to state their opinions on causation of the injury by the accident the employee suffered or they could easily lose him the whole case. While I do not want to come down too hard on Malam’s attorney, a good lawyer would have made it clear to his medical expert he hired to give his opinion on whether the corrections takedown of the unruly inmate was the prevailing factor causing his heart failure, entitling him to medical bill coverage, temporary (lost pay) and permanent disability compensation benefits. That is certainly what I always make clear to our doctor as the legal standard he must apply in deciding whether any work accident caused a work injury that the employer and their insurer must cover and compensate in order to avoid having the doctor give a unclear opinion that could lose us the whole case for the injured worker he is giving his opinion for.

This just goes to show that Missouri employers and their insurance will go out of their way to deny benefits whenever they can if they think Missouri Workers Compensation Law gives them a good loophole they can use to get out of having to pay any benefits. Since the legislature in 2005 passed amendments to the law making it much harder for the workers injured on the job to get Missouri workers compensation benefits, you will very often have no choice but to hire a good Missouri workers compensation lawyer to file a claim and fight them to get you all the medical and disability benefits your company denied because their chosen doctors gave them an excuse to deny it.

A good, experienced hard-fighting workers compensation attorney can gather up all the medical treatment records and send you the worker hurt on the job out for an evaluation by medical experts who will work in you the employee’s interests and enable you the injured worker to prove your case to a workmen’s compensation judge. That attorney will work to overcome your employer’s picky little excuses they always latch onto to deny you benefits if you let them. If you get hurt on the job in the course of your work for an employer, you need to go consult and then hire a good attorney to fight for your rights to enforce your rights to workers compensation benefits that the company has denied you. It could easily mean the difference between winning and losing your claim.

If you get hurt on the job in the course of your work for an employer, you need to go consult and then hire a good attorney to fight for your rights to enforce your rights to workers compensation benefits that the company has denied you. Often as in Malam’s case employers and their workers’ compensation insurance have to be dragged kicking and screaming into paying you the injured worker any workers’ compensation benefits including medical bills and disability benefits.

St. Louis Workers Compensation Center can defend your rights to workers compensation benefits and demand medical treatment and money benefits. We can help you fight to enforce your legal rights to benefits. Please call Tom Hyatt for advice and assistance on any work-related injury suffered on the job in either St. Charles County, Jefferson County, Franklin County, St. Louis County, St. Louis City, Lincoln County, Warren County, Montgomery County, Ste. Genevieve County, St. Francois County, or any other counties in eastern Missouri within 150 miles of the greater St. Louis metropolitan area. Tom will fight tirelessly to win you your denied benefits.

Our consultations are completely free of charge. We can fight to keep the company from cancelling or underpaying or refusing to pay your benefits. Tom Hyatt will talk to you about your case right away. He will fight as hard he can to enforce all of your rights to Missouri workers compensation benefits. Our attorney’s fee would be a modest percentage of the Missouri workers’ comp disability benefits we get for you. Please call now for a free consultation. (See Contact Us).

Injury From Fall in Work Parking Lot Covered Under Workers Comp

The case of Lincoln University v. Narens was decided by the Western District of the Missouri Court of Appeals on April 12, 2016. The injured worker hurt on the job worked for the university in a building on campus. After work she started walking to her car parked in a lot on campus employees were told to park in. She walked down a ramp, turned right onto a sidewalk leading to the parking lot, then stepped to the right to let some students pass. As she stepped to the right her foot landed on a steep edge of the sidewalk and her right ankle turned, causing her to fall to her left and break her left ankle.

When Narens hired an attorney to file a claim for Missouri workers compensation benefits the university as her employer denied it, claiming she was not actually working at the time she fell. Missouri workers’ compensation law says that for an injury to be considered compensable as work-related it cannot have been just as likely to have occurred due to a risk unrelated to the injured worker’s employment that the worker would have been equally exposed to outside of and unrelated to employment in normal nonemployment life. Employer’s defense lawyer claimed that the university worker who fell on the sidewalk should not be entitled to any workman’s compensation benefits because she would have been equally exposed to the risks of walking outside of work.

The administrative workers compensation judge who heard the case decided that the injured worker who fell on the sidewalk on campus on her way to the campus parking lot where her car was parked had fallen as a “result of an unsafe condition that [she] was exposed to due to her employment.” In other words, Ms. Narens would not have even been trying to cross that dangerous sidewalk if she had not been working at the university and needed to cross it to get to her car parked on a university lot where she was allowed to park.

It’s true that in the anti-worker, pro-employer 2005 amendments to Missouri workers compensation law specifically said the Missouri legislature deliberately intended to “abrogate” (end or undo) the so-called “extension of premises doctrine” where accidents occur on property not owned or control by the employer even it occurs on a route used by its workers to get to work. But in Narens’ case the university did in fact own and control the sidewalk where she was injured, whether or not she was actually working at the time or just on her way back to her car parked on a campus lot, and off work she would not have been exposed to the hazard of falling on it if she had not been at work then left work on her way to get her car parked on the campus lot.

This just goes to show that employers and their insurance paying Missouri workers compensation benefits will go out of their way to deny benefits if they think Missouri Workers Compensation Law gives them a good loophole they can use to get out of having to pay any benefits. Since the legislature passed many changes/amendments to the law to make it much harder for the workers injured on the job to get Missouri workers compensation benefits, she will very often have no choice but to hire a good Missouri workers compensation lawyer to file a claim and fight to get her all the benefits her company denied her because they thought the law gave them an excuse to deny it.

A good, experienced hard-fighting workers compensation attorney can gather up all the medical treatment records and send you the injured worker hurt on the job out for an evaluation by medical experts who will work in you the employee’s interests and enable you the injured worker to prove your case to a workmen’s compensation judge. That attorney will work to overcome your employer’s picky little excuses they always try to latch onto to deny you benefits. If you get hurt on the job in the course of your work for an employer, you need to go consult and then hire a good attorney to fight for your rights to enforce your rights to workers compensation benefits that the company has denied you.

If you get hurt on the job in the course of your work for an employer, you need to go consult and then hire a good attorney to fight for your rights to enforce your rights to workers compensation benefits that the company has denied you. Often as in Narens’ case employers and their workers’ compensation insurance have to be dragged kicking and screaming into paying you the injured even the most basic Missouri worker workers’ compensation benefits.

St. Louis Workers Compensation Center can defend your rights to workers compensation benefits and demand treatment and money benefits. We can help you fight to enforce your legal rights to benefits. Please call Tom Hyatt for advice and assistance on any work-related injury suffered on the job in either Jefferson County, St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Warren County, Ste. Genevieve County, St. Francois County, Lincoln County, Franklin County, Montgomery County, or any other counties in eastern Missouri within 150 miles of the greater St. Louis metropolitan area.

Our consultations are completely free of charge. We can fight to keep the company from cancelling or underpaying or refusing to pay your benefits. Tom Hyatt will talk to you about your case right away. He will fight as hard he can to enforce all of your rights to Missouri workers compensation benefits. Our attorney’s fee would be a modest percentage of the Missouri workers’ comp disability benefits we get for you. Please call now for a free consultation. (See Contact Us).

Also look us up on Facebook See our Facebook page) or LinkedIn.com under Tom Hyatt attorney or under stlouisworkerscompensationcenter.com.

Injury From Fitness Exam Workers Comp Though Off-Clock When Suffered

The case of Sanders v. Rollet Brothers was decided by the Missouri Labor and Industrial Commission on January 27, 2016. The administrative law judge who heard the case awarded temporary disability benefits to the injured worker. Danny Sanders had suffered a lower back injury in 2011 from lifting boxes while working for Buchheit loading shingles. After treatment for the back injury for few months the company doctor released him from treatment, with no further symptoms or limitations.

Then in March or April of 2013 Mr. Sanders started going to work for a trucking company, Rollet Brothers. In June 2013 he attended a WorkSTEPS program and passed it. Then on June 24, 2013 Sanders was sent to a rehab center a post-employment fit-for-duty test evaluation. The evaluation was a functional employment test to determine whether he possessed the ability to safely and effectively perform the required job. He reported no pain or discomfort at the completion of this testing and was returned to full duty with no restrictions.

On October 1, 2013 the same employee was ordered by his employer to go to a different rehab center for a post-employment/fit-for-duty evaluation. While lifting 80 pounds up four feet off the floor as part of the fitness-for-duty examination his employer ordered him to undergo, Mr. Sanders had to stop lifting due to pain, injuring his lower back, hip and leg. His employer Rollet Brothers was notified of this accident and injury. The injured worker hired a workmen’s compensation attorney from her area of Missouri who filed a workers compensation claim on these injuries demanding workers compensation benefits from his lifting in the course of fitness testing but while he was not working at his usual job and off the clock. His employer and their workers comp insurance claimed that the injuries he suffered were not mainly work-related because he was not actually working at the time and was off the clock getting medically tested for fitness to work at the company’s request.

The company-selected doctor they sent him to for injuries he suffered while being tested were more caused by preexisting back problems than due to the lifting accident he suffered in the course of his fit-for-duty evaluation. The company doctor also claimed that prior records from his 2011 work accident while working for a previous employer were the main cause (prevailing factor) in his suffering back injury. The doctor his workers compensation attorney sent him to who evaluated Sanders concluded that his lifting accident at the evaluation place was the prevailing (main) factor in causing his current injury and temporary disability from it and that he needed a lumbar spine MRI to see if had nerve root impingement. He also disagreed with the company doctor evaluator’s conclusions that prior injuries were the main cause of his back and hip pain. In his claim Sanders’ workmen’s compensation attorney demanded medical treatment, temporary total off-work and permanent disability benefits. He could have gone to a St. Louis workers compensation attorney but went to a local attorney in Perryville. Missouri workers compensation law is much the same all over the state.

The workmen’s compensation administrative law judge who heard the employee’s claim for medical treatment and temporary disability— which the employer had denied by claiming that Danny Sanders was not hurt on the job because at the time of the lifting accident was 1.) not actually working but just getting a medical evaluation, though at the request of his boss, and 2.) not on the clock working— found that his lifting accident during medical evaluation was still work-related to entitle him to medical treatment benefits and temporary off-work money benefits. He found that Sanders injury was suffered during work-related employment as Missouri Workers Compensation Law requires even though he was not working his usual job and was off the clock.

The administrative law judge hearing Mr. Sanders’ claim for temporary medical treatment benefits and temporary lost pay benefits agreed with him and the evaluation doctor his workers comp lawyer sent him to. The employer then appealed to the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission, which agreed with the administrative law judge and ordered the employer to pay both medical treatment benefits and temporary wage loss benefits. The Commission held that an employer’s liability and responsibility to pay workers compensation benefits to its employees “is not limited to duties or that work which the employee was originally engaged to perform or to the employee’s usual work…[but that] the contract of employment may be enlarged or broadened if the employer directs the performance of additional duties or acts outside the usually scope of employment.”

The Commission reasoned that since Mr. Sanders was directed by his employer Rollet Brothers to participate in the WorkSTEPS program as a condition of his continued employment,” which they scheduled and paid for and would have terminated his employment for had he not participated in and then injured himself during while lifting weights he was told to lift, was a work-related accident that arose out of the scope and course of his employment. They felt that “he was completing a task he was directed to do” even though while not on the job, which therefore should have been considered part of his employment. They also found “a causal connection between the work activity and the injury,” being “additional duties or acts out his usual scope of employment”
that his employer ordered him to do or else lose his job if he failed to go along. The Commission also agreed with and was convinced that the worker’s own doctor expert and disagreed with the company doctor expert to find that Sanders’ lifting of weights as part of the test was the primary (main) factor in causing his back injury, not anything preexisting his lifting accident.

As you can see from this case, one good reason a worker injured on the job in a work accident or while doing anything such as a medical exam or treatment his employer orders him to take part in in to keep his job really should consult and hire a workers compensation lawyer. Even when the company finally sends you out to a doctor for treatment, the doctors they choose for treatment will do everything they can to deny or minimize your work injuries. They could even admit your injuries on the job but blame them mainly on preexisting degenerative changes rather than on the work accident. As in Sanders’ case the boss and the company doctor he or his workers compensation insurance sends you to for treatment or evaluation will go out of their way to blame any of your work injuries on pre-existing degeneration (like arthritis) or previous injuries or conditions they can find or come up with. A good, experienced hard-fighting workers compensation attorney can gather up all the medical treatment records and send you the injured worker hurt on the job out for an evaluation by medical experts who will work in you the employee’s interests and enable you the injured worker to prove your case to a workmen’s compensation judge.

Have you suffered a work-related injury?

If you get hurt on the job in the course of your work for an employer, you need to go consult and then hire a good attorney to fight for your rights to enforce your rights to workers compensation benefits that the company has denied you. It happens all the time that while the original treating doctors the company sends you to finds that your injuries suffered on the job were work-related, the experts they send you to later on will deny it and claim your injuries never were mainly work-related.

As the Sanders case shows, often employers and their workers’ compensation insurance companies have to be dragged kicking and screaming into paying the workers’ compensation benefits a judge has already awarded to the their employees injured on the job in an accident or work-related repetitive motion occupational disease such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

St. Louis Workers Compensation Center can defend your rights to workers compensation benefits and demand treatment and money benefits. We can help you fight to enforce your legal rights to benefits. We can fight to keep the company from cancelling or underpaying or refusing to pay your benefits. Please call Tom Hyatt for advice and assistance on any work-related injury suffered on the job in either St. Louis County, St. Louis City,  St. Charles County, Warren County, Lincoln County, Franklin County, Jefferson County, Montgomery County, Ste. Genevieve County, St. Francois County, or any other counties in eastern Missouri within 150 miles of the greater St. Louis metropolitan area. Our consultations are completely free of charge. Tom Hyatt will talk to you about your case right away. He will fight as hard he can to enforce all of your rights to Missouri workers compensation benefits. Our attorney’s fee would be a modest percentage of the Missouri workers’ comp disability benefits we get for you. Please call now for a free consultation. (See Contact Us).

That includes a lot of towns and cities from the City of St. Louis; Ballwin, Bellefontaine Neighbors, Berkeley, Black Jack, Chesterfield, Crestwood, Creve Coeur, Dellwood, Ellisville, Eureka, Fenton, Ferguson, Florissant, Hazelwood, Kirkwood, Jennings, Manchester, Maryland Heights, Normandy, Overland, Pacific, Pine Lawn, Rock Hill, St. Ann, St. John, Sunset Hills, University City, Valley Park, Vinita Park, Webster Groves, Wildwood in St. Louis County; Augusta, Cottleville, Dardenne Prairie, Defiance, Foristell, Harvester, Lake St. Louis, O’Fallon, St. Charles, St. Peters, Weldon Springs, Wentzville and West Alton in St. Charles County; Beaufort, Gerald, Gray Summit, Labadie, Lonedell, Mt. Hope, New Haven, Pacific, Robertsville, St. Clair, Stanton, Sullivan, Union, Villa Ridge and Washington in Franklin County; Elsberry, Foley, Hawk Point, Millwood, Moscow Mills, Old Monroe, Olney, Silex, Troy, Truxton and Winfield in Lincoln County; Arnold, Barnhart, Byrnes Mill, Cedar Hill, Crystal City, De Soto, Dittmer, Festus, Grubville, Fletcher, Herculaneum, High Ridge, Hillsboro, House Springs, Imperial, Kimmswick, Olympian Village and Pevely in Jefferson County; Aspenhoff, Bernheimer, Corcord Hill, Hollstein, Hopewell, Innsbrook, Marthasville, Minden, Pendleton, Pinckney, Truesdale, Warrenton and Wright City in Warren County; as well as many other towns and cities in the counties listed above and all other counties in eastern and central Missouri.

Our consultations are completely free of charge. Tom Hyatt will talk to you about your case right away. He will fight as hard he can to enforce all of your rights to Missouri workers compensation benefits. Our attorney’s fee would be a modest percentage of the Missouri workers’ comp disability benefits we will get for you. Please call now for a free consultation. (See Contact Us).

Workmen’s Compensation Lump Sum Permanent Disability Awarded

The case of Jennifer Thomas v. Forsyth Care Center was decided by the Southern District Missouri Court of Appeals on March 22, 2016. Ms. Thomas was injured on the job at the nursing home she worked at, hired an attorney to file and fight a workmen’s compensation claim for her, and was first given a temporary award of worker’s compensation benefits. Her employer and their workers’ comp insurance company refused to pay her the benefits awarded her. Eventually her lawyer won for her permanent total disability benefits and medical treatment benefits.

After that Ms. Thomas filed a motion for “commutation” of her compensation benefits, asking for them to be awarded to her into a lump sum payment. Her employer and their insurance company ignored the original temporary order to pay the employee’s workers’ compensation benefits and then ignored the order to pay permanent disability benefit. They appealed the order by the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission to pay her all benefits in a lump sum to the Court of Appeals. On top of that the employer and its workmen’s comp insurance company forced its work-injured employee, Ms. Thomas, to go out and pay her own medical bills for all treatment for her work injury first, and only then submit the bills the them for reimbursement to her, refusing to pay such bills directly.

The Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed the decision and order of the Missouri Labor and Industrial Relations Commission which ordered the lady’s former employer and their workmen’s compensation insurance company to pay all those benefits in a lump sum, pointing out the great hardship to the injured worker their refusal to pay her benefits and forcing Ms. Thomas to first pay her own medical bills before they would reimburse her caused on her.

One good reason a worker injured on the job in a work accident really should consult and hire a lawyer is that even when the company finally sends you out to a doctor for treatment, the doctors they choose for treatment will do everything they can to deny or minimize the worker’s injuries. They will go out of their way to blame any of your work injuries on pre-existing degeneration (like arthritis) or previous injuries they can find or come up with. A good, experienced hard-fighting workers compensation attorney can gather up all the medical treatment records and send you the injured worker hurt on the job out for an evaluation by medical experts who will work in the employee’s interests and enable you the injured worker to prove your case to a workmen’s compensation judge.

If you get hurt on the job in the course of your work for an employer you need to go consult and then hire a good attorney to fight for your rights to enforce your rights to workers compensation benefits that the company has denied you.

As the Thomas case shows, often employers and their workers’ compensation insurance companies have to be dragged kicking and screaming into paying the workers’ compensation benefits a judge has already awarded to the their employees injured on the job in an accident or work-related repetitive motion occupational disease such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

St. Louis Workers Compensation Center can defend your rights to workers compensation benefits and demand treatment and money benefits. We can help you fight to enforce your legal rights to benefits. We can fight to keep the company from cancelling or underpaying or refusing to pay your benefits. Please call Tom Hyatt for advice and assistance on any work-related injury suffered on the job in either St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Franklin County, Jefferson County, St. Charles County, Warren County, Lincoln County, Montgomery County, Ste. Genevieve County, St. Francois County, or any other counties in eastern Missouri within 150 miles of the greater St. Louis metropolitan area. Our consultations are completely free of charge. Tom Hyatt will talk to you about your case right away. He will fight as hard he can to enforce all of your rights to Missouri workmen’s compensation benefits. Our attorney’s fee would be a modest percentage of the Missouri workers’ comp disability benefits we get for you. Please call now for a free consultation. (See Contact Us).

That includes a lot of towns and cities from the City of St. Louis; Ballwin, Bellefontaine Neighbors, Berkeley, Black Jack, Chesterfield, Crestwood, Creve Coeur, Dellwood, Ellisville, Eureka, Fenton, Ferguson, Florissant, Hazelwood, Kirkwood, Jennings, Manchester, Maryland Heights, Normandy, Overland, Pacific, Pine Lawn, Rock Hill, St. Ann, St. John, Sunset Hills, University City, Valley Park, Vinita Park, Webster Groves, Wildwood in St. Louis County; Augusta, Cottleville, Dardenne Prairie, Defiance, Foristell, Harvester, Lake St. Louis, O’Fallon, St. Charles, St. Peters, Weldon Springs, Wentzville and West Alton in St. Charles County; Beaufort, Gerald, Gray Summit, Labadie, Lonedell, Mt. Hope, New Haven, Pacific, Robertsville, St. Clair, Stanton, Sullivan, Union, Villa Ridge and Washington in Franklin County; Elsberry, Foley, Hawk Point, Millwood, Moscow Mills, Old Monroe, Olney, Silex, Troy, Truxton and Winfield in Lincoln County; Arnold, Barnhart, Byrnes Mill, Cedar Hill, Crystal City, De Soto, Dittmer, Festus, Grubville, Fletcher, Herculaneum, High Ridge, Hillsboro, House Springs, Imperial, Kimmswick, Olympian Village and Pevely in Jefferson County; Aspenhoff, Bernheimer, Corcord Hill, Hollstein, Hopewell, Innsbrook, Marthasville, Minden, Pendleton, Pinckney, Truesdale, Warrenton and Wright City in Warren County; as well as many other towns and cities in the counties listed above and all other counties in eastern and central Missouri.

Our consultations are completely free of charge. Tom Hyatt will talk to you about your case right away. He will fight as hard he can to enforce all of your rights to Missouri workmen’s compensation benefits. Our attorney’s fee would be a modest percentage of the Missouri workers’ comp disability benefits we get for you. Please call now for a free consultation. (See Contact Us).

 

Industrial Commission Believes Worker’s Expert over Company Expert

The case of Wright v. TG Missouri Corp. was decided by the Missouri Labor and Industrial Commission on January 21, 2016. The Commission decides appeals from workers’ compensation decisions handed down by administrative law judges who hear workmen’s comp trials of the employee against his employer and their workers’ compensation insurance company. Either or both sides can file an appeal.

This case involves an extremely common defense employers, with the help of the company doctors they send their injured workers to be treated by, raise to many if not most of their employees’ workers compensation claims whenever they can. Whenever their employees hurt on the job are shown on x-rays, MRI’s or CT-scans to some form of degenerative, arthritic condition or fraying in the same area that the claim for an accidental work injury was filed on, company doctors the employer or their insurance company sends you to will go out of their to blame any injury cause by a work accident on such pre-existing condition.

It is important to understand that the company-selected doctors your employer or their workmen’s compensation insurance send you to for treatment after you get injured working on the job will bend over backwards to help the company either deny you any benefits for your work injury or to reduce them as much as possible. Their doctor will do that by saying in his medical evaluation report on you either that the main causes of your injuries were pre-existing degeneration or injuries or that even if your work accident was the main cause of your injuries, the workman’s compensation judge should deduct and subtract a large part of your disability benefits for the pre-existing degeneration, such as arthritis or fraying of the injured tissue. In Wright’s case the company doctor, Dr. Chabot, claimed that his disc disease in his lower back was due either to Wright’s having been born with the problem (“genetic”) or suffered the disc disease from spinal degeneration which developed over time after he was born. Either way that would entitle Wright to no workers compensation benefits at all for his disc herniations and tears: no back surgery and no disability money payments.

Mr. Wright was injured while pushing a mold that weighed about 1,000 pounds which slammed into a machine, after which he felt sharp lower back and buttock pain. Wright was found to have disc herniations and bulges at different points of his lumbar spine along with proven tears of the disc. Employer’s Dr. Chabot after examining Wright concluded that he had suffered nothing more than a lower back strain and just flatly blamed Wright’s disc tears, herniations, bulges, and back pain shooting into his legs on disc degeneration that he had either been born with or had from long-term disc degeneration over the years which their doctor said had long been present before the accident. Dr. Chabot made this claim even though Wright was only 36 years old at the time of the accident and had never suffered a previous lower back injury or received any prior treatment for his back in his whole life.

The doctor expert Mr. Wright’s lawyer sent him to who examined him found to the contrary that Wright’s herniated torn disc problems were mainly caused by the accident he suffered when the mold he was pushing smashed into the machine in his employer’s shop. The injured worker’s expert was Dr. Poetz. Dr. Poetz did find that Wright had a small bit of spinal degeneration before the accident. However, Poetz found that the disc tears and the overwhelming majority of the employee’s disability was caused by the accident. He also found that all the treatment Wright had received for his back was made necessary by the injury pushing the mold and had not been caused mainly by any pre-existing spinal defects from birth or degeneration. The administrative law judge who heard the case believed employer’s expert Dr. Chabot over employee’s expert Dr. Poetz on the issue of causation and found for the employee.

This case just goes to show that if a worker injured on the job chooses to accept the opinion of the company-selected expert your employer or their workmen’s compensation insurance company sends you to, you will almost always lose and be denied full benefits or maybe even all workers compensation benefits. If you hire an attorney your attorney could send you to a doctor expert for your own side who will likely support your side and oppose the company doctors’ opinions. Even when the company finally sends you out to a doctor for treatment, the doctors they choose for treatment will do everything they can to deny or minimize your injuries.

As in Wright’s case they will usually go out of their way to blame any work injuries on pre-existing degeneration (like arthritis) or previous injuries they can find. A good, experienced hard-fighting workers compensation attorney can gather up all the medical treatment records and send the injured worker out for an evaluation by medical experts who will work in the employee’s interests and enable the injured worker to prove his case to a workmen’s compensation judge. If you get hurt on the job in the course of your work for an employer you need to go consult and then hire a good attorney to fight for and enforce your rights to workers compensation benefits the company denies you. A good lawyer can keep on fighting for you until you win.

St. Louis Workers Compensation Center will be glad to represent you on your workman’s compensation claim and fight to get your benefits denied or underpaid by the company. We will go anywhere in the eastern and central Missouri area to fight your case. That includes a lot of cities and counties.

St. Louis Workers Compensation Center can defend your rights to workers compensation benefits and demand treatment and money benefits. They can help you fight to enforce your legal rights to benefits. They can fight to keep the company from cancelling or underpaying your benefits and to get you the full benefits you deserve. Please call Tom Hyatt for advice and assistance on any work-related injury suffered on the job in either St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Franklin County, St. Charles County, Warren County, Lincoln County, Jefferson County, or any other counties in eastern Missouri within 125 miles of the greater St. Louis metropolitan area.

That includes a lot of towns and cities from the City of St. Louis; Kirkwood, Florissant, Hazelwood, Maryland Heights, Jennings, University City, Bellefontaine Neighbors, Fenton, Valley Park, Sunset Hills, Ballwin, Manchester, Eureka, Chesterfield and Sunset Hills in St. Louis County; St. Charles, Wentzville, St. Peters, O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, Cottleville, Weldon Springs, Foristell, Harvester and Defiance in St. Charles County; Union, Washington, St. Clair, Pacific, Sullivan and Gray Summit in Franklin County; Troy, Moscow Mills, Winfield, Foley, Elsberry, Hawk Point, Old Monroe and Truxton in Lincoln County; and Arnold, Hillsboro, Festus, Pevely, Imperial, Herculaneum, DeSoto, Cedar Hill, High Ridge and House Springs in Jefferson County; as well as many other towns and cities in the counties listed above and all other counties in eastern and central Missouri.

Our consultations are completely free of charge. Tom Hyatt will talk to you about your case right away. He will fight as hard he can to enforce all of your rights to Missouri workers compensation benefits. Our attorney’s fee would be a modest percentage of the Missouri workers’ comp disability benefits we get for you. Please call now for a free consultation. (See Contact Us).

Industrial Commission Is Free To Decide on Its Own Whether Injured Worker Is Entitled To “Multiplicity Factor” Combining Disability Effects of Right and Left Knee Injuries

The case of Kolar v. First Student, Inc. was decided on September 2, 2015 by the Eastern District Missouri Court of Appeals. The case involved a 400 lbs. bus driver who fell in a grassy area and injured his right knee, breaking his tibia and fibula bones of his right leg. During his medical treatment for his right knee injury Kolar began to have pain in his left leg, which he attributed to putting more weight on that leg to take pressure off his injured right leg.

The company-selected doctor who treated Kolar was of the opinion that Kolar’s left knee problems were not caused by the right knee injury resulting in overuse of the left knee but instead by normal long-term, degenerative arthritis. The injured employee, Mr. Kolar, hired an attorney who filed his claim and sent him to an evaluating doctor who later testified at a workers compensation hearing that his left knee pain was due to his left knee-leg joint (patellofemoral) syndrome and mistracking from all the abnormal weight-bearing required and caused by Kolar’s over-reliance on and overuse of his left knee after his right knee was injured by his fall on the job.

The administrative law judge hearing the case awarded the injured worker Kolar permanent disability for both his right knee from the fall at work and his left knee from over-reliance on the that knee during treatment and recovery of his right knee. In addition the judge found and applied a multiplicity or load factor of some 12.5%, increasing the number of total disability weeks from the right knee and left knee injuries by that number of additional weeks of disability.

The injured worker felt he should have gotten total disability in combination of all his preexisting disabilities from the accident added to his disability from the work accident and appealed the judge’s decision to the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission. Employer/Insurer filed their own appeals of the judge’s decision, claiming that a strict (literal) reading of the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Law did not permit any judge or the Commission to tack on a load or multiplicity factor to the disability weeks from each affected leg since such a factor is never specifically authorized or mentioned anywhere in that law, but only in case law interpreting Missouri’s Workers’ Compensation Law. They also claimed a lack of medical evidence that the left leg injury following the right leg slip and fall knee injury was ever caused by Kolar’s overuse of the left leg after the injury to his right leg.

As so often happens, both the injured worker’s attorney and the Employer/Insurer’s attorney argued to the Missouri Court of Appeals that each side’s own doctors’ opinions should have been believed and the other side’s doctors’ opinions disbelieved. The Missouri Court of Appeals decided in favor of the injured worker on almost all issues. It agreed with the Labor & Industrial Relations Commission which agreed with the administrative law judge in finding that Mr. Kolar’s right knee injury suffered from his fall at work resulted in overuse of and thereby eventual injury to his left knee, which likewise qualified as a work-related injury in a kind of causal chain reaction.

The appeals court also approved the application of a multiplicity or load factor to increase the overall combined disability of the right knee injury with the resulting left knee injury, even though no such factor was ever mentioned anywhere to be found in the Missouri Workers Compensation Law. The court found it sufficient that such a factor to enhance the overall work disability of opposing knee, wrist, elbow or shoulder injuries on both sides resulting from the same work accident was sufficient to legally justify applying such a factor to enhance and increase total disability.

It ought to be pointed out that while the Missouri Labor & Industrial Relations Commission (the first appeal from a workers’ comp judge’s decision) can change any fact or legal ruling of the judge who heard the case, it will usually go along with the judge’s determinations of the facts and credibility of all witnesses, including medical expert witnesses. Similarly, the Missouri Court of Appeals, as well as the Missouri Supreme Court, will almost always go along with and approve whatever findings of fact and credibility determinations are made by the Commission. Appellate bodies such as the Commission and courts of appeals above it generally go out of their way not to second guess the fact findings and credibility determinations— believing one witness over another— of the Missouri workmens compensation administrative law judge who hears all the witnesses at the original trial of the case.

One good reason a worker injured on the job in a work accident really should consult and hire a lawyer is that even when the company finally sends you out to a doctor for treatment, the doctors they choose for treatment will do everything they can to deny or minimize the worker’s injuries. They will go out of their way to blame any work injuries on pre-existing degeneration (like arthritis) or previous injuries they can find.

A good, experienced hard-fighting workers compensation attorney can gather up all the medical treatment records and send the injured worker out for an evaluation by medical experts who will work in the employee’s interests and enable the injured worker to prove his case to a workers compensation judge. If you get hurt on the job in the course of your work for an employer you need to go consult and then hire a good attorney to fight for your rights to enforce your rights the company denies you. Then your attorney needs to keep fighting for you through many appeals, hopefully to win in the end.

St. Louis Workers Compensation Center can defend your rights to workers compensation benefits and demand treatment and money benefits. They can help you fight to enforce your legal rights to benefits. They can fight to keep the company from cancelling or underpaying your benefits and can often punish them for arbitrarily refusing to pay or cutting off your benefits for no good reason even though they should have known better.

Please call Tom Hyatt for advice and assistance on any work-related injury suffered on the job in either St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Warren County, Franklin County, Lincoln County, Jefferson County, or any other counties in eastern Missouri within 125 miles of the greater St. Louis metropolitan area. Our consultations are completely free of charge. Tom Hyatt will talk to you about your case right away. He will fight as hard he can to enforce all of your rights to Missouri workers compensation benefits. Our attorney’s fee would be a modest percentage of the Missouri workers’ comp disability benefits we get for you. Please call now for a free consultation. (See Contact Us).

Dismissal of Negligence Lawsuit of Worker Injured on Job against his Supervisors

Many injured workers hurt on the job complain that something their employer themself or employer’s supervisors or managers negligently caused the workers’ injury suffered on the job in the first place. For a long time the Missouri Workers Compensation Law protected employers and their managers and supervisors from getting sued either as a company or personally for negligently causing the accident that resulted in the injuries. Then came along the 2005 amendments to Missouri’s workers’ compensation law, meant to swing the pendulum to employers’ and insurance companies’ advantage.

Well, some smart lawyers used the changes in the law against employers and insurers. The 2005 amendments required strict literal interpretation of Missouri Workers Compensation Law. In the 2010 case of Robinson v. Hooker a worker was hurt on the job, when a co-worker lost his grip on a high pressure hose, which then hit a worker causing blindness in one of her eyes. The injured employee sued not just for Missouri workmens compensation benefits but sued the coworker who lost control of the hose. Since 1983 Missouri’s Workmens Compensation Law had always been interpreted to provide protection against negligence lawsuits not just for employers— the injured workers was limited to suing for workmans compensation benefits— but allowed workers injured on the job to sue coworkers for negligently causing a work accident. However, before they could do this they had to prove “something more” than regular negligence on the supervisors’ or managers’ acts that negligently caused the accident. Ordinary negligence was not enough.

In Robinson the lawyers for the lady who lost an eye argued that their negligence lawsuit against the coworker who negligently caused her injury that a strict literal reading of the Missouri Workers Compensation Law, required ever since the 2005 changes to the law, only would make protection against negligence lawsuits apply to protect employers from getting sued for negligence, but not managers, supervisors or other coworkers. Employers and insurance companies were furious about this decision. Within two years of the Robinson decision they and their lobbyists helped push a new amendment to the Missouri Workers Compensation Law, effectively overturning Robinson v. Hooker and restoring the immunity from negligence lawsuits of individual supervisors and managers they had enjoyed prior to Robinson. This essentially restored the “something more than ordinary negligence” requirement for any lawsuits against individual company officials, supervisors and managers for their negligent acts that resulted in injuries to the worker injured on the job.

The main case I will be discussing here is Peters v. Wady Industries & Terrio. Curt Peters, the employee who was injured on the job while working at Wady Industries, was actually employed by Wady’s subcontractor Tramar. A stack of dowel baskets (dowels are heavy steel-reinforced concrete paver stones) fell over onto Mr. Peters while he was unloading them and injured him badly. Peters blamed it on his supervisor. Since Peters was prevented by Missouri’s workers compensation from suing his employer Tramar for negligence in causing his injuries, his lawyer filed a negligence lawsuit against general contractor Wady Industrial where Tramar had sent him to work and against Terrio, his supervisor.

The negligence claim he filed against his supervisor Terrio had a motion to dismiss filed against it by the company’s lawyers. The circuit judge granted supervisor Terrio a dismissal of Peters’ claim against him based on the protection under Missouri Workers Compensation Law of supervisors from having to face such lawsuits, finding that there was nothing claimed by Peters that was “something more than ordinary negligence.” Peters appealed the dismissal to the Missouri Court of Appeals.

The Missouri Court of Appeals agreed with the circuit judge who dismissed the negligence lawsuit that the lower court judge was correct to dismiss the lawsuit because a 2012 amendment to Missouri Workers Compensation Law restored the immunity of managers and supervisors from lawsuits against them for simple negligence that caused a work injury. The negligence once again had to be “extra” negligence. One judge on the Eastern District Missouri Court of Appeals, Glenn Norton, dissented from the opinion of the majority of other appellate judges. He would have allowed the negligence lawsuit of the injured worker proceed under Missouri law. Unfortunately, a majority of the Court of Appeals judges disagreed and dismissed the lawsuit.

The main point to remember from this case is that whenever you as a worker suffer an accident and get injured on the job, the only road open to you will be the filing of a workers’ compensation claim. You essentially will be barred from fling a negligence lawsuit against the company or any official of the company, even if it is their negligence in creating a dangerous or unsafe work environment which you can prove caused you to suffer your work injury in the first place. Unless you can prove that company supervisors’ or managers’ more than just ordinary negligence caused your injuries suffered on the job, any such lawsuit you would file against them would soon be thrown out by a judge at the request of the companies defense attorneys soon after you filed it, just as Peters’ suit was dismissed by the St. Charles County circuit judge.

In other words, when you get injured at work on the job, workers compensation is the only form of benefit you will likely be able to fight for. So make sure to call a good lawyer to file and fight your workman’s compensation claim.

St. Louis Workers Compensation Center can demand your rights to workers compensation benefits for you. Then they can proceed to enforce them. Please call us for advice and assistance on any work-related injury suffered on the job St. Charles County, in St. Louis County, Lincoln County, Warren County, Jefferson County, Franklin County, or any counties in eastern Missouri within 100 miles of the greater St. Louis area. All our consultations are absolutely free. Tom Hyatt will talk to you about your case right away. Our attorney’s fee would be a modest percentage of the Missouri workmen’s comp disability benefits we got for you.

Worker Hired in Missouri Injured on Job in Texas Benefits from Statute of Limitations Extended by Receiving Medical Benefits from Employer Who Failed to File Missouri Report of Injury

The case of Daniel Small v. Red Simpson, Inc. was decided by the Western District Missouri Court of Appeals on November 17, 2015. Mr. Small was hired in the state of Missouri to work for his company but injured on the job in Texas working for his company as an electric lineman. In September 1995 Mr. Small received an electric shock to his body while working as a lineman.

This injury resulted in the amputation of his forearm and severe scarring of his abdomen where the electricity exited his body. He filed a Texas workers compensation claim, received medical treatment and temporary off-work compensation lost wage benefits, and settled his claim for permanent disability benefits by the end of October 2003. His employer Red Simpson continued making payments on his 1995 injury for another three years, ending in June 2009, but failed to file any Missouri Report of Injury after it had filed one in Texas.

A worker can file a Missouri workers compensation claim either if he is injured in an accident in the state of Missouri or if he is hired in the state of Missouri but then injured in a state outside of Missouri working for the employer who had originally hired him in Missouri. After Small continued receiving medical benefits for his injury in Texas up through June 2009 he filed a Missouri workmen’s compensation claim nine years after settling his Texas claim.

The employer and its workers comp insurer argued that he had filed his claim too late and that its filing of a report of injury in Texas in the late 1990’s started the Missouri statute of limitations running, meaning that when he filed his Missouri workmen’s compensation claim ten years later it was too late and should be thrown out even though the employer never bothered to file a report of injury in Missouri. The administrative law judge ruled it was filed long after statute of limitations had run and on appeal the Missouri Labor and Industrial Relations Commission agreed, upholding the judge’s ruling to dismiss his claim.

Then Mr. Small appealed that ruling to the Missouri Court of Appeals. He argued that his employer’s failure to file a report of injury with the Missouri Division of Workers Compensation meant that the employer’s filing the Texas report of injury did not trigger the Missouri statute of limitation to start running, so that the longer, 3-year statute of limitation applied from the last date a medical benefit was paid (June 2009). In 2005 when the Missouri legislature passed major amendments to the Missouri Workers Compensation Law to make it harder to qualify for benefits it added in a provision that required the law be read strictly (literally the way it had been written).

The Court of Appeals reversed the Industrial Commission’s decision that the employer’s filing of a report of the injury with the state of Texas triggered the Missouri statute of limitations to start running, meaning that when Small filed his Missouri claim 10 years later the filing deadline had long since passed by. The appeals court ruled that his employer’s reporting the accident and injury to Texas did NOT start the statute of limitations filing deadline running.

Thus when Small filed his claim in Missouri in October 2009 only four months after received his last medical payment benefit in June 2009 the time limit to file his Missouri claim had NOT yet passed and run out. So the Missouri Court of Appeals allowed an extension of Small’s time deadline for filing his parallel claim in Missouri and allowed him to pursue his Missouri workmen’s compensation claim to force his old employer Red Simpson and their workman’s compensation insurance company to pay him Missouri workmen’s compensation benefits.

The ironic thing about the court’s ruling is that the Missouri legislature’s change in its workers compensation law to make it harder for workers injured on the job to get workmen’s comp benefits by making judges interpret the law literally ended up allowing the injured worker to file his Missouri claim many years after he was injured in Texas and filed and settled that claim simply because the employee kept on receiving workman’s compensation medical benefits from his employer, who never bothered to report the injury in Missouri.

One good reason a worker injured on the job in a work accident really should consult and hire a lawyer is that even when the company finally sends you out to a doctor for treatment, the doctors they choose for treatment will do everything they can to deny or minimize the worker’s injuries. They will go out of their way to blame any work injuries on pre-existing degeneration (like arthritis) or previous injuries they can find.

A good, experienced hard-fighting workers compensation attorney can gather up all the medical treatment records and send the injured worker out for an evaluation by medical experts who will work in the employee’s interests and enable the injured worker to prove his case to a workmen’s compensation judge. If you get hurt on the job in the course of your work for an employer you need to go consult and then hire a good attorney to fight for your rights to enforce your rights the company denies you.

St. Louis Workers Compensation Center can defend your rights to workers compensation benefits and demand treatment and money benefits. They can help you fight to enforce your legal rights to benefits. They can fight to keep the company from cancelling or underpaying your benefits. Please call Tom Hyatt for advice and assistance on any work-related injury suffered on the job in either St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Franklin County, St. Charles County, Warren County, Lincoln County, Jefferson County, or any other counties in eastern Missouri within 125 miles of the greater St. Louis metropolitan area.

Our consultations are completely free of charge. Tom Hyatt will talk to you about your case right away. He will fight as hard he can to enforce all of your rights to Missouri workers compensation benefits. Our attorney’s fee would be a modest percentage of the Missouri workers’ comp disability benefits we get for you. Please call now for a free consultation. (See Contact Us).

Worker Injured during Lunch Break When Chair Collapsed Underneath Him Can Still be Considered Hurt on Job and be Entitled to Workers Compensation Benefits

The case of Wright v. Missouri Treasurer (Second Injury Fund) was decided by the Eastern District Missouri Court of Appeals on November 10, 2015.

The worker in this case, David Wright, was working for Roto Rooter and was sitting in a chair in the company lunchroom eating lunch when the chair he was sitting on collapsed underneath him, whereupon he fell down onto the floor and injured his lower back and right leg. In order to qualify for workman’s compensation benefits und Missouri Workers Compensation Law ever since the pro-employer 2005 amendments to that law, an employee has to prove he was injured within the scope and course of his employment. To do so he must show that 1.) his accident was the main (“prevailing”) factor in causing his injury and 2.) his injury did not occur due to a risk or hazard unrelated to his employment that he would have been equally exposed to off the job in his non-employment life. The injured worker, not his employer, has the legal burden to prove all this.

The company argued that Wright could just as easily have fallen in a chair while eating lunch in his non-work life, such as at home or in a restaurant. The court of appeals ruled that the law must focus not so much on the specific job the injured worker was doing at the time of the accident that injured him, but on the source of the risk that injured him and whether the risk of a hazard that caused the accident that injured him was a risk which he as an employee was equally exposed to in his non-work life. The court said that just because Mr. Wright was eating lunch at an unpaid lunch break in the company cafeteria does not mean that his fall when the chair he was sitting on during lunch collapsed underneath him to injure him was not a risk which he was exposed to at the workplace. “His injury occurred because he was at work, not simply while he was work,” the appeals court said.

If the injured employee can show that the injury-causing act that led to the accident that hurt him on the job would not have occurred if he had not been at work, then he should be able to collect workers compensation benefits, including medical treatment, temporary wage loss substitute pay benefits and permanent disability money benefits. The Missouri legislature in its major 2005 revisions to the Law tried its best to limit the circumstances under which an employee can become entitled to workmens compensation benefits. Since the injured worker has to prove both that he was hurt primarily due to the job and due to a risk at the job that he would not have been subjected to off the job, being able to prove this is absolutely essential to the injured worker getting any workers compensation benefits at all. That is why you need a good attorney to fight to prove what you need to prove to get your workmens comp benefits.

Trying to fight your employer and their workers comp insurance to get them to give you medical treatment for your injuries, temporary off-work wage loss benefits, and permanent disability benefit money would be next to impossible without getting a hard-fighting attorney to fight for you against the company, its insurance claim adjuster and the lawyers it will hire to fight you tooth and nail to deny you benefits. This is true of many other types of workers compensation claims as well. You have to fight them in the legal system or you get no treatment benefits and no money benefits.

Employers and their workmen’s comp insurance will deny you all benefits and make you fight for any kind of treatment, lost wages and permanent disability from your accident unless you go out and hire a lawyer to fight for you. You might win or you might lose in the end, but without a hard-fighting attorney you will get no decent benefits for sure. Without a good lawyer fighting at his side to get him the benefits his employer and their workmens compensation insurance denied him, David Wright would have gotten no benefits at all for his on the job injury: no medical treatment, no off-work wage loss benefits, and no permanent disability benefits.

Another reason a worker injured on the job in a work accident really should consult and hire a lawyer is that even when the company finally sends you out to a doctor for treatment, the doctors they choose for treatment will do everything they can to deny or minimize the worker’s injuries. They will go out of their way to blame any work injuries on pre-existing degeneration (like arthritis) or previous injuries they can find. A good, experienced hard-fighting workers compensation attorney can gather up all the medical treatment records and send the injured worker out for an evaluation by medical experts who will work in the employee’s interests and enable the injured worker to prove his case to a workmen’s compensation judge.

St. Louis Workers Compensation Center can defend your rights to workers compensation benefits and demand treatment and money benefits. They can help you fight to enforce your legal rights to benefits. They can fight to keep the company from cancelling or underpaying your benefits. Please call Tom Hyatt for advice and assistance on any work-related injury suffered on the job in either St. Charles County, Warren County, Lincoln County, Jefferson County, St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Franklin County, or any other counties in eastern Missouri within 125 miles of the greater St. Louis metropolitan area.Our consultations are completely free of charge. Tom Hyatt will talk to you about your case right away. He will fight as hard he can to enforce all of your rights to Missouri workers compensation benefits. Our attorney’s fee would be a modest percentage of the Missouri workers’ comp disability benefits we get for you. Please call now for a free consultation. (See Contact Us).