Work-Related Injuries and Workers' Compensation
Summary: If you have been injured as a result of performing job-related duties, you should be aware of your rights under workers' compensation. The following outlines what workers' compensation is, benefits you may be entitled to, limitations, and how to successfully file and claim.
What is Workers' Compensation?
Workers' Compensastion is a special insurance coverage that employers are usually expected to carry to protect employees. The workers' comp system helps ensure that employees are taken care of if they are injured on the job, while also protecting employers to a great extent against lawsuits that could result from these injuries. You can file for a claim for workers' compensation benefits if you happen to become injured or ill in connection with the performance of your job-related duties. The benefits may prove invaluable to you during your recovery process.
Workers' Compensation Benefits
Medical costs, temporary and permanent disability benefits, and death benefits could be covered by workers' compensation, depending on your state and case. You could have your medical expenses taken care of with workers' compensation benefits. When an injury prevents an employee from working for a brief period of time, temporary disability benefits may be awarded. However, in a situation where an injury makes it completely impossible for an employee to return to work again, higher permanent disability benefits may be awarded to the affected employee. Death benefits may be given to the beneficiaries of a worker if he or she dies as a result of the injury suffered at the workplace.
It should be noted that the laws of some states often limit the amount an injured worker receives in compensation for the illness or injury suffered. Usually, the amount of benefits to be paid is ranked based on the type of injury sustained. Injury or disability rating is utilized in some other states for determining compensation to be paid. In Missouri, MMI ratings are used to ascertain the benefits.
Ensuring Successful Claim Filing
As soon as you observe a work-related injury or condition in your body, you should make sure that your employer is informed of it at once. While it may be possible to determine the date of occurrence of some physical injuries, such is not feasible in the case of some work-related conditions that develop progressively such as carpal tunnel syndrome. These conditions should be reported immediately after they are diagnosed. Failure to do this within the period stipulated for doing so, usually 30 days from occurrence or detection of an injury or condition, could lead to denial of your workers compensation benefits.
Getting back to work
In determining the feasibility of your return to work, the opinions of your doctor, employer, workers compensation lawyer and claims administrator will be relevant. The extent of injury and your recovery rate are among factors that could be considered. You may be able to return to work with restrictions if you have not recovered fully. Permanent disability benefits can be sought if you are totally unable to make a return to work due to your injury.
Get in touch with an attorney at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann for information on your rights as an injured worker. Schedule a free consultation by calling (314) 361-4300.
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