Missouri workers are injured on the job each year and many of those injuries are caused by hazards their employers could have easily corrected. From dangerous work conditions to unsafe machinery or lack of training, the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation is constantly investigating workplace safety to identify these hazards and promote a safer workplace for all.
Despite their efforts, injuries still occur and when a Missouri employee is injured at work, they are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, those that qualify for benefits can be denied simply because they do not understand how to properly file for workers’ compensation.
5 Common Pitfalls to Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation is provided by an employer to their employees in the event of a workplace injury. If you are injured, make sure that you do not fall victim to one of these common pitfalls that result in a denial of benefits or reduced benefits.
Not reporting the injury on time. Missouri has strict timelines for when injuries must be reported to an employer. If you are injured at work, you have 30 days from the date of the injury or the discovery of a work-related illness to report to your employer. Failure to report could result in a denial of benefits — even if you have a legitimate injury.
Failure to follow physician orders. To receive payments for medical costs, prescription medications and therapy, you must follow all instructions by your treating physician. Failure to follow these orders could result in a revocation of your benefits.
Failure to file a workers’ compensation appeal after a denial. If you have been denied benefits, do not accept that denial. Often workers’ compensation applications are denied even when the employee is eligible for benefits — and often because of a simple error. You have the right to appeal the decision and have it reviewed and an attorney can assist you with this process.
Accepting a settlement without consulting an attorney. Most work-related injuries and illnesses are resolved via compromise settlements. This allows the employee to accept an offer from the insurance company and often occurs without the consultation of an attorney. Before accepting any settlement, speak with a personal injury attorney right away to receive counsel on the proper settlement amount.
Failing to explore all legal options. While the Missouri workers’ compensation system is around to protect injured workers and prevent lawsuits, it does not protect third parties. If your injuries were the result of a third party’s negligence — such as a defective product — you are still entitled to file a lawsuit against that responsible party as well as collect workers’ compensation benefits.
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Seek Guidance from a Personal Injury Attorney – Contact The Law Offices of Kevin J. Roach, LLC.
If you have been injured at work, explore all of your options for compensation by speaking to a personal injury attorney that also offers workers’ compensation guidance. The Law Offices of Kevin J. Roach, LLC. are here to help. Contact us online or call 866-519-0085 to schedule a consultation regarding your workplace injury or illness.