In today's day and age, workplace safety is considered a top priority. Every worker has the right to a safe workplace environment, and employers who fail to hold their workplace OSHA's (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) strict standards may be subject to significant penalties and fines.
Despite these concentrated efforts to create safe workplace environments, however, work-related accidents still happen on an incredibly frequent basis. In these situations, most injured employees should have access to workers' compensation, a type of insurance that covers the medical bills, lost wages, and other financial challenges that result from an accident at work. Unfortunately, many injured workers find that access to workers' compensation is not granted automatically. In these situations, having a dedicated personal injury attorney on your side can be enormously beneficial.
Here are seven things everyone should know about workman's compensation.
#1. Workers' Compensation Coverage Is Not Automatic.
The vast majority of employers are required to purchase workers' compensation for their employees, but there are a few exceptions. Additionally, there are certain activities outside of your normal job description that may not qualify for workers' compensation coverage. Before you begin any new job, you should talk with your employer to make sure you fully understand what coverage you may (or may not) be able to receive in the event of an accident.
#2. Every Injury Should Be Reported.
If their injuries are minor or do not require immediate medical attention, employees sometimes choose not to report their accidents. However, we strongly encourage you to file an accident report for every injury - even if you do not intend to seek medical attention right away. If you end up needing medical help in the future, having detailed records of all of the preceding incidents may help your case.
#3. The Doctors And Hospital Staff Need To Know That You Were Injured At Work.
Often, the way the doctors fill out their paperwork can have a significant impact on the insurance coverage that will (or will not) be granted. In order for you to be eligible for workers' compensation, your doctor will have to check the box(es) that indicates you are being treated for a work-related injury. Be careful not to let this important detail slip through the cracks!
#4. Workers' Compensation May Be Granted Even If The Accident Was Your Fault.
Missouri is a no-fault workers' compensation state. This means that employers have a legal responsibility to create a safe environment for their employees - period. Even if you could technically be held liable for the accident, you may still be able to receive compensation for your injuries.
#5. Workers' Compensation May Not Be Granted If You Were Under The Influence.
The fact that you should never drink while on the clock should be common knowledge, but it still deserves mention. If you file a workers' compensation claim, some employers may require you to take a drug test. If the test reveals that you were under the influence of alcohol or other drugs at the time of your accident, you may be denied financial compensation.
#6. Your Case Must Be Filed Within The Statute Of Limitations.
The Statute of Limitations is a legal rule designating a specific time limit for plaintiffs to file their cases. The amount of time given varies by state and the type of personal injury case you are working with; in Missouri, the Statute of Limitations for workers' compensation claims is two years. If you wait longer than two years to file your claim, it may be considered invalid.
#7. A Preliminary Denial Does Not Mean You Won't Be Able To Get Compensation.
We believe that every injured worker deserves easy access to the financial compensation they need, but unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that way. Both employers and insurance companies will be out hundreds or thousands of dollars if your workers' compensation case gets approved, and as a result, they may deny your claim the first time. If your initial claim gets denied, we recommend that you seek representation from an experienced Missouri workers' compensation attorney. Your lawyer can help you navigate the appeals process so that you may be able to get the financial compensation that you deserve.
In Need Of A Workman's Comp Attorney? Contact McDuffey Law Firm!
If you are struggling with a workers' compensation claim, please don't hesitate to reach out for the representation you need. The team at McDuffey Law Firm focuses solely on personal injury cases in central Missouri, and we would be honored to help you fight for your rights.
Because we understand that financial considerations are a major concern for our clients facing challenging workers' comp situations, we operate entirely on a contingency fee basis - we won't charge you anything unless we win your case.
Don't settle for less than you deserve. Contact McDuffey Law Firm today!
McDuffey Law Firm, LLC
Ph. (573) 302-7211
Fax. (573) 302-7215
5754 Parkside Village Ct.,
P.O. Box 368
Osage Beach, Mo 65065
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