What If Your Work Injury Was so Severe That You Can’t Return to Work in the Same Capacity?
If you are employed in Missouri, then your employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance is supposed to guarantee that if a worker gets injured, the company or employer has the assets to pay for the injuries - especially in those instances where the injury is severe enough to leave them disabled or to otherwise make it impossible for them to exist in the same capacity as they did before they were injured.
Workers’ compensation was designed to help workers pay for their injuries and (ideally) return to their place of work. There are times, however, when the injuries are severe enough that a person cannot return to work in the same capacity either mentally or physically. In those instances, there are benefits in place for long-term care and for vocational rehabilitation.
What are you entitled to if you are injured while working?
If you can prove that your injuries were sustained while you were working under the scope of your employment duties, then you are entitled to specific types of benefits. The first is that you are eligible to have your medical bills covered. If medical treatment is needed, then workers’ compensation will be required to pay for any services that are necessary to get you back to work and to alleviate your symptoms from the injury.
If you are injured to the point that you no longer can work, then you are entitled to a permanent disability settlement. If the injury was enough to impair your capacity to return to work or life in the same manner that you had before you got injured, then you will be offered compensation that is equal to the amount that you have lost due to your permanent disability status. That does not mean, however, that if you are able to work in a different capacity, that you don’t have to work again.
If you can’t return to the same career path that you had before you were injured, then you might be entitled to receive vocational rehabilitation for your injuries. Workers’ compensation is meant to train you for a different career path to try to find you gainful employment that is comparable to what you were earning before you were injured. You will be offered a settlement for your injuries, and then you will be entitled to education in another field.
If you are having a hard time getting the workers’ compensation benefits that you are entitled to, it is a good idea to get the help of a St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney to help guide you through the complexity of proving your injuries and getting your benefits. If you can no longer work in the same capacity, then there are resources to help you find a new career path to follow.
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