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Workers Compensation Law FAQs

Missouri Workers Compensation Law Facts

If you have been injured on the job or at your workplace, it is common to have questions about how workers compensation law affects you. At St. Louis Workers' Compensation Center, we have put together some of the most frequently asked questions to help you find the answers you need about workers compensation law. If you find that answers you are looking for are not mentioned here or you have specific questions about your own workers comp case, contact attorney Tom Hyatt in St. Louis City or County, St. Charles, Warren, Lincoln, Franklin, Jefferson, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve County, or any other county in eastern Missouri with your questions about workers compensation law.

The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Workers Compensation Law

Will Workers Compensation Cover My Medical Bills Only?

While workers' compensation benefits can and do pay hospital and medical expenses that are necessary to diagnose and treat your injuries covered under workers compensation law, there are additional types of benefits to which you may also be entitled under workers compensation law. For example, workers compensation benefits can also include temporary disability benefits paid weekly while you are off work and unable to work on doctor's orders, compensation for rehabilitation or retraining, and permanent disability benefits for either a partial or total loss of your ability to work.

Do I Have To Be Working On The Job When I Am Injured To Receive Workers Compensation?

Under workers compensation law, you do not have to be at your usual workplace or working when you are injured on the job, but you do have to be involved in an activity clearly related to your employment. For instance, you can be driving or riding from one worksite to another or you could fall on the company parking lot on the way to your car. If there is only a loose connection between the accident that caused your injury and your employment even if you are on the clock, your employer's workers compensation insurance is likely to deny you any workers compensation benefits at all. They will deny you any medical treatment and any money for lost wages and for permanent disability.

As long as your injuries are mostly job-related, then you can claim workers compensation benefits under Missouri workers compensation law. However, your employer or their workers compensation insurance will try to deny you benefits whenever they can, and you will need to hire a good lawyer to fight for these benefits and make them pay them.

Can I get treatment by my family doctor or other doctor I chose without the approval of my employer or their insurance? Must I go to an Employer-Chosen Doctor?

You always have the right to go to a doctor of your choice to be treated for a work injury. However, under Missouri workers compensation law, if you choose your own treating doctors without your employer's or their insurance's authorization or approval, you will end up paying for your own treatment out of your own pocket! Your regular health insurance company, whether or not you get it through your employer, will never pay and do not ever have to pay for any medical treatment you get for any work-injury.

Workers Compensation Law in Missouri

The problem with company-selected doctors is that they are in effect paid to find little or nothing wrong with you and get you out the door as soon as they can. They are motivated by the prospect of getting future patient referrals from your employer or their insurance company who chose them to treat you, so they will do everything they can to keep them happy. They will do their best to minimize the nature, seriousness, cause, and extent of your work injuries and later deny or low-ball your permanent disability from your work injuries. This pro-insurance company bias will have a huge impact on whether you get treatment, for how long, and to what parts of your body, what kind of tests and treatment they will give you, and how much temporary off-work and permanent disability money you will get.

Unfortunately, under workers compensation law, you are stuck with them unless you can afford to pay for doctors you choose. This applies even to emergency treatment after the accident, unless the injured worker can show that there was not enough time to allow the employer to select the treating doctor. However, whenever your company-chosen doctors deny or under treat your injuries or deny or low-ball your permanent disability from them, your own attorney can send you to his own experts. These expert will hopefully disagree with the findings and conclusions of the company-selected doctors. Your attorney fights against the insurance attorney over whose doctors - theirs or yours - should be believed. Then a judge can decide which doctor is right. That is how you can fight back to even the odds.

Should I wait to hire my own workers compensation attorney, or hire one now?

Hiring a workers compensation attorney as soon as possible after your accident and injuries allows you to tell your employer and their workers compensation insurance that they'd better treat you or risk putting you in a position to choose your own treating doctors at their expense for refusing to. You will sooner or later end up fighting with your employer or their insurance company and doctors over what medical treatment you should get, how long you should be kept off work collecting weekly lost pay benefits while recovering, and what percentage of permanent disability benefits to which body parts at what weekly rate (meaning how much money) the insurance company owes you. You need a good attorney to fight for all these benefits. Call Tom Hyatt today for information on your rights under workers compensation law and how to enforce them.

Are my legal rights to workers comp benefits the same as in other states or in other parts of Missouri?

Your basic rights under Missouri workers compensation law are the same across the whole state because the source of the law is a Missouri state statute passed by the legislature. In some other states workers compensation law allows you to choose your own treating doctor, but in Missouri your employer gets to choose before they will be responsible to pay for your treatment.

However, the different judges in the various regional state offices may interpret and apply Missouri workers compensation law differently and different appeals courts in different parts of the Missouri will also interpret the same law differently.

A judge out of the St. Louis office hearing a case on a St. Louis County workers compensation injury may interpret Missouri workers compensation law differently than a judge out of the St. Charles office who hears claims on St. Charles, Lincoln, Warren and Franklin County injuries or a judge hearing your Jefferson, Ste. Genevieve, or St. Francois County injury case who comes out of the Cape Girardeau office. You need to hire a good workers compensation attorney who knows what each particular judge in each regional state workers compensation office prefers to hear.

Have Other Workers Compensation Law Questions? Contact St. Louis Attorney Tom Hyatt

Workers Compensation Law | St. Louis Workers' Comp Attorney

When it comes to workers compensation law, it is common for individuals to have many questions. If you have any questions not answered above or you would like a review of your case, contact St. Louis attorney Tom Hyatt at St. Louis Workers' Compensation Center today. As an experienced workers compensation lawyer serving the greater St. Louis area, Tom Hyatt can help you understand workers compensation law as it applies to your case and answer any questions you have. We will fight tirelessly to ensure you receive the benefits you deserve and to ensure your rights under workers compensation law are protected, fought for, and enforced. Contact us today for a FREE consultation and review of your workers comp case.

Injured and not able to come to us? No problem, we will come to you within 100 miles of St. Louis.

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Mission Statement

Our Mission is to provide the highest quality legal services for our clients injured on the job. We forcefully use the power of Missouri law to help them fight to equalize all the unfair advantages the law gives employers and insurers. The law enables them to easily deny or minimize your medical treatment, lost pay and permanent disability money it only potentially gives you by placing on you the burden of proving your right to all denied benefits.

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