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Illnesses and Injuries Covered by Workmen's Compensation Law

Workmen's Compensation Laws in Missouri

Missouri Workers Compensation Law covers a wide range of work-related illnesses and injuries. These can range from serious back, neck, shoulder, elbow, hand, knee, ankle or foot injuries that result from work accidents to repetitive motion diseases resulting over time from constantly repeated everyday tasks required by your job.

If you have suffered from any of these types of work related injuries or occupational diseases, and are attempting to get workmen's compensation benefits, it is important to work with an experienced workers compensation lawyer who understands your rights. In and around the St. Louis area and anywhere in eastern Missouri, call attorney Tom Hyatt at St. Louis Workers' Compensation Center. The longer you delay, the harder it can become to get the Missouri workmen's compensation benefits to which you may be entitled. Tom Hyatt can and will fight hard for you. Contact us for a FREE no obligation consultation and review of your workers comp case.

What Are the Most Common Injuries Seen Under Workmen's Compensation Law?

Workmen's compensation law can cover any type of injury that you received while on the job, performing work-related tasks, or in a place your job sends you to for work. This could include a slip and fall while on or near the work site, between or on the way to or from work sites, or parking for them. There are several types of work-related injuries and illnesses that tend to occur most commonly on the job or going to or from your worksite. These include:

  • Lower Back, Mid-Back, Neck, and Upper Back Injuries
  • Injuries to Essential Internal Organs
  • Upper Leg, Lower Leg, Knee, and Foot Injuries
  • Hand, Forearm, Elbow, Upper Arm and Shoulder Injuries
  • Repetitive Motion Injuries such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

How Do Different Injuries or Disabilities Affect Workmen's Compensation Benefits?

When it comes to workers compensation law, different types of work injuries and diseases can qualify you for different amounts of workmen's compensation and certain types of injuries entitle you to more possible workmen's compensation benefit weeks than others. However, how much disability money you get will also depend on the permanent seriousness of your injuries and your average weekly earnings before your work accident or disease occurred.

Whole body injuries such as back, neck, head, or internal organ injuries carry the highest number of maximum possible workmen's compensation disability benefit weeks for permanent partial workmen's compensation disability. This is higher than your injuries to specific parts of the body to which the law assigns a lower number of maximum weeks. Those maximum weeks for the whole body plus the maximum weeks for separately injured body part are then multiplied times the percentage of permanent disability you either settle for with the insurance company or that a judge awards you at a trial against them. Your total number of disability weeks is then multiplied by your weekly compensation rate (calculated from your earnings before the injury) to determine the total amount of compensation money you get for your permanent disability.

Missouri workmen's compensation law makes the total number of maximum permanent disability weeks available for a shoulder injury higher than for an elbow injury, which in turn is worth more maximum weeks than a forearm injury, and a forearm injury more than a hand. Finger injuries in turn have a much lower maximum number of possible permanent disability weeks than whole hand injuries.

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The same thing applies to the leg, where thigh injuries carry a higher number of maximum possible workmen's compensation permanent disability weeks than knees, knees more than ankles, ankles more than lower down in the foot itself, and toes injuries least of all. Whole body injuries such as to the back and neck have the highest number of maximum possible permanent disability weeks to multiply your percentage of permanent disability by.

The total number of workmen's compensation disability weeks of each particular body part plus of the whole body is multiplied by your workmen's compensation rate to determine how much money you get for workmen's compensation permanent disability benefits. This is usually the same weekly compensation rate you got paid at while you were off work on doctor's orders recovering from your injuries earlier in you case. Always keep in mind that you will have to fight the workmen's compensation insurance company for every dollar of permanent disability money you get.

Repetitive motion injuries that develop over time through repeated exposure almost always affect the hands, upper and lower arms, elbows, and occasionally shoulders, but never the legs and feet. A doctor must always be found not just to diagnosed your carpal tunnel syndrome, but link it to your repetitive motions at work as the main cause of it. It is usually not possible to prove that a back or neck injury occurred due to repeated exposure to lifting over an extended period of time at work. In order to get compensated for such an injury the injured worker will have to prove that he suffered a particular accident that injured his back or neck on a particular day.

What to Do If you Suffer from A Covered Worker's Compensation Injury or Illness

The most important thing to remember if you are injured in an accident is to immediately notify your company, first verbally, then in writing, of all work-related injuries you have suffered while on the job. By notifying your employer as soon as possible after an accident occurs, you are taking the first step to protect your right to claim workmen's compensation benefits and meet the legal requirements. First tell them verbally how, when and where the accident occurred to what body parts, then follow it up with written notice to them and keep a copy of it for proof.

If your employer does not provide an injury form, you can create your own. This should include all the information of how you were injured, where on the job your injury occurred, and when you were injured. It is crucial that you give this to them in writing to protect your rights to worker's compensation benefits in case your employer forgets or denies you told them about your work-related injury.

Notifying Your Employer of Repetitive Motion Injuries Under Worker's Compensation Law

The notice you provide to your employer that you have suffered and need treatment for a work-related repetitive motion disease such as carpal tunnel syndrome is due at a different time. Unlike the accident situation where you know how, when, and where you were injured on the job, workmen's compensation law starts the notice clock running at a different time for repetitive motion occupational diseases.

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First you will usually start to feel numbness and tingling in your fingers and wrist, then start dropping things because you can no longer hold on to them, and eventually be woke up at night by pain in your wrists. However, while you have all the typical symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome you do not really know that it is work related until a doctor diagnoses you with it and then connects it to your repetitive motion work. Just having carpal tunnel is not enough to entitle you to workmen's compensation benefits.

Unfortunately, while doctors will have no problem telling you that you have carpal tunnel syndrome, many of them will be extremely reluctantly to causally link it to your work. The reason is that as soon as they link it causally to the frequent repetitive motions at your job they are afraid that your regular health insurance would no longer pay them for their treatment of you since all health insurance plans exclude payment for work injuries.

Plus, they will usually be unwilling to get involved in a legal dispute between you and your employer's workmen's compensation insurance company. Your legal duty to notify your employer in writing that you have been diagnosed with work-related carpal tunnel syndrome from your repetitive motion work starts as soon as your doctor diagnoses the condition and expresses the opinion that its cause is work-related. That is when you have to notify them, first verbally and then follow it up in writing, keeping a copy of the notice. Since your regular doctor or any specialist you go to will be very reluctant to say your repetitive motion work was the main cause of your carpal tunnel syndrome, you will almost always need a workmen's compensation attorney to lead the way and fight for your denied benefits.

Contact St. Louis Attorney Tom Hyatt to Learn More About Workmen's Compensation Injuries

If you suffer from an injury caused by a work accident or a repetitive motion disease that is mostly work related, it is important to understand your rights under workmen's compensation law. Insurance companies have workers comp lawyers working day and night against you and your welfare to deny you benefits because doing so saves them tons of money. You need experienced legal representation on your side which will help you understand the laws, get you a medical evaluation by doctors friendly to your case, and fight to get you the treatment you need, using workmen's compensation law to help get you the compensation you deserve but were denied.

In the greater St. Louis area and all of eastern Missouri contact Tom Hyatt at St. Louis Workers' Compensation Center now for a free consultation of your case and to learn more about the workers comp benefits that you are entitled to but have been completely or partially denied, gone unpaid, or were never fully paid.

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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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