Suffering an injury or illness in the workplace is an experience that can turn your entire life upside down. Not only does it affect your ability to do your job, but it can also have a major impact on your financial stability. You may miss a few weeks of work or might be unable to return to your job at all. In every case, you’ll likely want to know your rights after filing for Columbia, MO workers’ compensation. One of our dedicated attorneys could help.
In Columbia, Missouri, workers’ compensation is a state-regulated insurance program that provides benefits to employees who are injured or become ill as a result of their job. Missouri is a “no-fault” system, which means that it doesn’t matter how the injury or illness occurred.
As long as it happened while you were on the job or performing work-related duties, you should be eligible to receive medical care, a portion of lost wages, and in some cases, disability benefits. In Columbia, MO, workers’ compensation covers all employees at workplaces with five or more employees (and all employees at construction workplaces).
If you’re injured on the job and have filed a workers’ compensation claim, there are certain rights that are associated with your claim. These rights include:
You have the right to receive medical treatment for your injury or illness. Your employer or its workers’ compensation insurer must pay for this treatment.
In Columbia, MO, you are entitled to reimbursement for the mileage you incur while receiving medical treatment for a work-related injury or illness. However, this is only if you’re required to be treated at a location that is outside of the metropolitan area in which your job is located.
If you suffer scarring or disfigurement because of your job-related injury, you may be entitled to reimbursement from your employer. This is limited to injuries to the head, neck, arms, or hands. This is over and above any other workers’ compensation benefits to which you may be entitled, but there are limitations.
If you’re unable to work due to your injury or illness, you’re entitled to a portion of your wages. The amount you receive will depend on several factors, including your average weekly wage and the severity of your injury.
If you’re unable to return to work due to your injury or illness, you may be eligible for temporary total disability benefits. These benefits can provide you with up to two-thirds of your average weekly wage.
If you’ve suffered a permanent partial disability, you may be eligible for benefits. This is defined as suffering an injury at work that impacts your ability to do some jobs or tasks but can still work in some capacity. These benefits are based on the severity of your disability and the body part that’s affected.
If your injury or illness results in a permanent disability, you may be eligible for permanent disability benefits. This means that you’re completely incapable of working at any job again. These benefits may be paid in a lump sum, or they may be negotiated as weekly payments for the remainder of your life. The amount will often depend on the severity of your disability.
In addition, Columbia workers are also entitled to additional benefits for occupational diseases as a result of toxic exposure at work.
If you’re unable to return to your previous job due to your injury or illness, you may also be eligible for vocational rehabilitation. This can include job training and education so that you can find a new job that you’re able to do with your disability.
When an employee is injured in a Columbia workplace and files for workers’ compensation, it sets in motion a chain of events that can be complex and confusing. Oftentimes, employers and their workers’ compensation insurers will do everything they can to limit the amount of money they have to pay out in benefits. This means that they may try to deny your claim, minimize your injuries, or offer you a low settlement.
A lawyer in Columbia can protect your rights in several ways throughout the workers’ compensation process. First, they can help you file your claim. They can also help you gather the evidence you need to support your claim. They can help make sure that you’re getting the medical treatment you need and that your benefits are being paid in a timely manner. They can also negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to get you the best possible settlement. And if necessary, they can take your case to court and represent you to get you the compensation you deserve.
If you have any questions about your rights after filing for workers’ compensation in Columbia, Missouri, it’s important to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. At the Law Office of Chris Miller, we can help you understand your rights and ensure that you’re receiving the benefits you’re entitled to. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.