Worker's Compensation claims in Missouri

Overview of Missouri Workers’ Compensation Forms

If you were hurt on the job, workers’ compensation insurance can help get you the medical treatment you need for your injuries. To get these benefits, you must complete and submit specific Missouri workers’ compensation forms. These forms, some of which are lengthy, can be confusing and potentially overwhelming. Unfortunately, every Missouri workers’ comp form is necessary for processing your claim. If you need help with any aspect of your claim, contact the Missouri workers’ compensation attorneys of the Cottrell Law Office. We have the extensive knowledge and experience you need on your side. Under the law, you are entitled to receive compensation for any injuries you suffered while performing any job-related activity. We will fight tirelessly to get you the benefits you are entitled to. Missouri Division of Workers Compensation Forms Workers’ comp claims are administered by the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Division of Workers’ Compensation (DLIR). The DLIR website contains all the state-specific workers’ comp forms for injured workers in Missouri. You have 30 days to report a workplace injury accident. However, you have two years to file a formal claim. In most cases, this coverage will pay for approved medical treatment and a portion of your lost wages. The amount of income reimbursement coverage you qualify for depends on how long your injuries will prevent you from working. You won’t be able to collect any compensation, however, unless you and your employer complete and submit the correct forms. What to Do After a Workplace Injury Taking the correct steps after suffering a workplace injury accident can help ensure your claim goes smoothly. Several key steps in the process involve either you or your employer submitting specific Missouri workers’ compensation forms. 1. Submit a Written Report to Your Employer Immediately after any workplace injury accident, report the accident to your employer in writing. If the employer does not require a specific form, you can use DLIR’s form for reporting a Missouri workplace injury to the employer. Although you have 30 days to report an accident to your employer, it’s best to submit your notification as quickly as possible. Follow instructions from your employer carefully to avoid doing anything that could potentially jeopardize your claim’s approval. NOTE: Do not confuse the employee’s report to their employer with the form known as the Missouri First Report of Injury (FROI). This is a form your employer must submit to DLIR and their workers’ comp insurer within 10 days of being notified of a job site injury (or within 24 hours of a workplace fatality). 2. Seek Medical Treatment Visit the doctor or medical treatment provider your employer instructs you to see. Complete any forms or documents requested. Follow all treatment plans and keep all medical appointments to avoid any disruption in your benefits. 3. Submit a Formal Accident Report You must complete and submit a formal accident claim report to DLIR and the insurance company. DLIR requires the use of their Claim for Compensation form. When completing the accident report for the insurance company, take care not to include any information that could jeopardize your claim. The insurance company can use any information you provide as the basis for denying your claim. 4. Submit a Records Release Authorization Form You will likely be asked to complete and submit the Authorization for Disclosure of Consumer Medical/Health Information form to your employer. Your employer will forward a copy of this form to the insurance company. MO Workers’ Comp Forms for Your Employer Many companies implement specific policies and procedures that employees must follow after a workplace accident. Unless you comply with these requirements, your employer might threaten to penalize or punish you in some way. However, all employers must comply with Missouri worker’s comp laws and rules. As your claim progresses, you may be asked to complete other Missouri workers’ compensation forms or forms specific to your employer or their insurance company. If you have questions that your employer can’t answer to your satisfaction, or if you feel something might be amiss with what you’re asked to do, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Missouri workers’ compensation claim attorney. Contact a Missouri Workers’ Comp Lawyer Now for Help You can pursue a workers’ compensation claim on your own if you prefer. However, in some cases, you might need a little extra help to get the compensation you deserve. At the Cottrell Law Office, our Missouri workers’ compensation attorneys have extensive experience with complex workers’ comp claims. We can also assist you if your employer engages in any illegal conduct. For example, if your employer encourages you not to file a claim or subjects you to any type of workers’ compensation retaliation, we can help. Contact us immediately for a free consultation and case review. We are ready to get to work on your behalf and fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation or to speak to one of our personal injury lawyers for help with Missouri workers’ compensation forms.

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Worker's Compensation claims in Missouri

The Basic Workers Compensation Timeline in Missouri

Most employees in the United States are entitled to workers compensation benefits through their employers. With this program, employers are also protected from lawsuits involving an employee’s injury. As your workers’ compensation lawyer will tell you, if you accept those benefits, you are required to waive your right to file a lawsuit. Essentially, workers’ compensation benefits are considered a substitute for filing a lawsuit against your employer. Although each workers’ compensation case will vary depending on the situation, there are some basic elements of a workers’ compensation timeline. Report your injury to your employer The first step in handling a workers’ compensation injury is to report that injury to your employer. You should do so immediately after the incident or, at the most, within a few days of the injury. Some employees try to “tough it out” and not report the injury officially, hoping that they will recover in a few days. This is not the right course of action. Even if you believe the injury is minor, you need to report it immediately so that you can document when the injury actually occurred. Not doing so could result in your claim being denied. If that happens, your workers’ compensation lawyer can help. Obtain a medical evaluation from your physician Once you report your injury to your employer, they will typically send you to a physician to determine the extent of your injuries. The physician will also have to offer an opinion about whether you are able to return to work.If your injury is too severe to allow you to return to work, or if you need to return with restrictions, then the physician can provide a report for your employer. Receive necessary medical treatment It is crucial that you comply with all of the physician’s instructions regarding treatment. Complete all treatment or rehabilitation programs.If for some reason, you do not agree with the treatment recommended by the physician, you can request a second opinion. But, ultimately, you must follow whatever treatment plan is required, in order to receive all of the benefits to which you are entitled. Reaching maximum medical improvement Once you have completed all of the necessary treatment for your injury, you will reach “maximum medical improvement,” as determined by your physician. What this means, basically, is that your physicians have done all they can to improve your medical condition following your injury. At that point, your treating physician can evaluate you and assign a disability rating based upon any partial or permanent disability resulting from the work-related injury. Participate in settlement negotiations Once you have reached maximum medical improvement, it is time to start negotiating with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier for a fair settlement of your claim. You should involve your workers’ compensation lawyer in these negotiations to make sure the settlement you receive is fair. Negotiations could last several works or several months, depending on the extent of your injury and the willingness of the insurance provider to pay a fair amount for your injury. The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Process The Worker’s Compensation insurance system is based on administrative law, which means an administrative agency, as opposed to a court of law, will oversee the entire system, including any claim contest or appeal.Administrative law judges are responsible for conducting hearings that are very similar to civil trials. If your claim is contested by the worker’s comp carrier, then your next step is to seek an appeal.  This is another step in the timeline in which you should seriously consider seeking the assistance of your workers’ compensation lawyer. Asking for reconsideration of the decision The steps in the Worker’s Compensation Appeals process may be somewhat different, depending on the state you work in, but here are the basic steps that everyone must take in order to appeal a decision denying worker’s comp benefits. The first step is to determine why your claim was contested or denied.If you are lucky, the matter may be resolved quickly. If you failed to submit a required document or some necessary evidence, you may be able to remedy the problem by simply supplying the required information.  Once you do that, the worker’s comp carrier can reconsider your claim. Requesting a formal appeal may be necessary If those steps do not resolve the problem, it may be necessary to file a formal appeal, pursuant to the guidelines established by your state worker’s comp agency. Typically, the written notice of denial that you received will describe the specific steps you need to take to begin the appeal process. Be sure you read the letter carefully and make note of all appeal deadlines.If you have questions regarding worker’s compensation claims or any other personal injury concerns in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a consultation, either online or by calling us as (888) 433-4861.

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Worker's Compensation claims in Missouri

Joplin Workers Compensation Attorney Discusses Warehouse Injuries

As a Joplin workers compensation attorney recognizes, there are many common injuries that workers at warehouses suffer and which can lead to workers compensation claims. The dangers faced by workers in fulfillment centers like Amazon and Walmart have been in the news recently and, if you fall into that category, you may want to be aware of some of the most common dangers in order to avoid them. Injuries from Falling Objects in Warehouses One of the most common characteristics of every warehouse setup is boxes and goods stacked high above the ground. In order to conserve space, this storage method is quite useful and typically can be done safely.  However, accidents are not uncommon and humans do make mistakes in how things are stacked. If objects are not stacked properly, that will increase the danger of being injured from a falling object. In many cases falling objects do not actually injure anyone, but at times a worker may be hit by a falling object. When the object strikes your head, the injury could be severe. Beware of Slips, Trips, and Falls in the Warehouse With all of the activity warehouse workers must do, the risk of slipping, tripping and falling while working in the warehouse is quite high. What exacerbates this situation is the fact that warehouses tend to have an abundance of objects on the ground or jutting out into the walkway that increases the risk of tripping or slipping. The best way to avoid this potential danger is to stay alert and look where you are going. Also, workers need to be sure to keep work areas clean and clear of obstacles. Avoiding Strain From Lifting Things Improperly A warehouse’s purpose is not just to store items, but to take things out of them when needed. Although warehouse workers use machinery to move the heaviest objects, they also do a lot of lifting themselves which results in a couple risks. Each lift has the potential to strain necks, shoulders, backs, or other parts of the body. Constant physical activity is tiring, which increases the chance of an accident. Equipment and Machinery Accidents are Common Warehouse workers commandeer equipment like forklifts to assist with heavy lifting. However, this type of warehouse machinery doesn’t come without risks. Any tool or machinery with moving parts presents a possibility for injury, especially to extremities like hands or feet. The equipment should be well-maintained and checked on a regular basis to make sure it’s in good working condition. Make sure that you’ve received the proper training before using the equipment. Injuries and Illnesses from Exposure to Hazardous Materials For those individuals who work at warehouses that store hazardous chemicals, the dangers of exposure can be serious. However, any warehouse employee could be at risk of exposure to asbestos, gas leaks, or other hazardous materials while at work. Following all safety protocols and remaining vigilant while at work are the best ways to avoid these hazards. What is the Deadline for Filing a Workers Compensation Claim in Missouri? You may be wondering when you should hire a workers compensation lawyer.  If there are any complex issues in your case, the wisest decision is to consult with a Joplin workers compensation attorney. For instance, if your employer denies your claim or you do not receive your benefits as you should, then an attorney should get involved. The vast majority of employees who are injured at work do not appeal the denial of their claim. Consulting a Joplin workers compensation attorney is a wise thing to do. But, how long do you have to file your claim? Be Sure to Report Your Injury Within the Time Required One mistake you can make when it comes to Worker’s Comp claims is confusing the need to report your injury with actually filing a worker’s comp claim.  If you fail to report your injury or delay in reporting your injury, you may be abandoning your claim.  Under Missouri workers compensation law, you are required to report your on-the-job injury within 30 days of its occurrence. Your notice should be in writing and should include the date, time and place of your injury.  The notice typically needs to be delivered to your supervisor or another appropriate officer of your employer. Your notice should also describe the nature and severity of the injury.  Keep in mind that failure to report your work-related injury within that 30-day period could result in losing your rights to workers’ compensation benefits. If you have questions regarding warehouse injuries or any other workers compensation matters in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us toll-free at (888) 616-6356.

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Worker's Compensation claims in Missouri

Medical Marijuana Use and Workers Compensation Claims in Missouri

Would it surprise you that nearly ten percent of American workers have gone to work high on marijuana? According to one survey, this is the case. There are many reasons for not going to work intoxicated, but a workplace injury is one that our Joplin workers compensation lawyer suggests is very important to consider. Most employers test employees following a work-related injury. If you test positive for marijuana, you will most likely ruin your chance for workers compensation benefits. This may still be true with the passing of Missouri’s medical marijuana law. Here are some things to consider. Missouri’s New Medical Marijuana Law Marijuana remains illegal in some states. However, according to one article, thirty-three states and D.C. have legalized marijuana to some degree. Ten states and D.C. have gone so far as to legalize marijuana for recreational use. While Missouri has not gone that far, the state has just recently legalized marijuana for medical use and expects to have 192 medical marijuana dispensaries open by 2020. How do Marijuana Laws Affect the Workplace? With all of these new laws, employers will likely find it challenging to establish appropriate guidelines that address workers coming to work under the influence of medical marijuana. Despite these new laws, the importance of maintaining a safe work environment still exists. This is particularly true in jobs that are inherently dangerous like construction, trucking, and aviation. The need for a drug-free workplace cannot be overstated. Most issues that arise when marijuana legalization laws are passed involve the right to possess firearms. However, the repercussions of legal marijuana use on employment are an important factor to be considered and one that will continue to become more of an issue. For example, what can employers do if an employee comes to work under the influence of medical marijuana? This issue requires a difficult balance between an employee’s right to use marijuana as a legal substance and the need to maintain a safe working environment for everyone. What if I Have to Submit to a Drug Test After a Work Injury? Most employers require employees to submit to a drug test after a workplace injury and in most states, including Missouri, this is perfectly legal. If you test positive for marijuana, it is possible that your workers’ compensation claim will be denied. Even if you test negative at the time of the workplace injury or accident, your credibility may still be questioned simply because your employer is aware of your medical marijuana use. If you sustain a workplace injury and your claim is denied, you should speak to our Joplin workers compensation lawyer to determine your rights. Should I Hire a Joplin Workers Compensation Lawyer? If there are any complex issues in your case, such as medical marijuana use, the wisest decision is to consult with a Joplin workers compensation lawyer.  For example, if your employer denies your claim or you do not receive your benefits, as you should, then an attorney should get involved.  Almost 80% of employees who are injured at work do not appeal the denial of their claim. Consulting a Joplin workers compensation lawyer provides you with the best chance of receiving a fair settlement for your injuries.Basically, if your employer denies your claim or you do not receive your benefits as you should, then an attorney should get involved. Most employees who are injured at work do not appeal the denial of their claim. Consulting a Joplin workers compensation lawyer provides you with the best chance of receiving a fair settlement for your injuries. Regardless of the Law, Being High at Work Can be Dangerous Regardless of the legality of marijuana use in Missouri and your rights to workers compensation benefits, being intoxicated while at work can be dangerous and make you more prone to injury. It can also make it more likely that you injure someone else in the workplace. Mind-altering substances like marijuana will affect your motor skills and reflexes. They can also affect your judgment. Ultimately, using marijuana at work (whether legal or not) can jeopardize your safety, the safety of those around you, and your entitlement to workers compensation benefits. If you still have questions about legal marijuana use and workers compensation benefits, let our Joplin workers compensation lawyer answer those questions for you. If you have questions regarding marijuana use in the workplace or any other workers compensation matters in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us toll-free at (888) 616-6356. 

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Worker's Compensation claims in Missouri

Should I File a Workers Comp Claim or a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

There are many different types of claims that may stem from a personal injury. For example, if a worker is injured on the job, then he or she may potentially have a workers comp claim. Many clients wonder, though, what is the difference between a personal injury and workers comp claim? Let our Joplin workers comp lawyer explain the difference and provide the basic information you need to choose the appropriate type of claim to file. Understand the Difference Between the Two Types of Claims Individuals who are injured while performing the duties of their job are typically entitled to workers compensation benefits. In order to recover those benefits for your injury, you do not have to file a lawsuit or go to trial. Nor do you need to prove fault on anyone’s part.  Instead, there is an administrative proceeding before an administrative law judge. On the other hand, a personal injury claim must typically be brought in court by filing a lawsuit hand ultimately having a jury trial where fault is determined. Unless you can settle your claims ahead of time, going to court will be necessary in order to recover for your injuries. A personal injury claim required proving that the defendant was negligent in causing your injuries. The Purpose of Workers Compensation Claims The purpose of a workers’ compensation claim is to ensure that employees who become injured on the job can be reimbursed for those injuries, without having to resort to the courts. The way the system works is that the injured employee receives compensation for the work-related injuries and agrees not to file a legal action against the employer. The employee is not required to prove negligence or liability in order to be compensated for his injuries; making it essentially a no-fault system. Be Sure to Report your Work-Related Injury Immediately One mistake you can make when it comes to worker’s comp claims is confusing the need to report your injury with actually filing a worker’s comp claim.  If you fail to report your injury or delay in reporting your injury, you may be abandoning your claim.  Under Missouri workers compensation law, you are required to report your on-the-job injury within 30 days of its occurrence. If you have questions about your time limits for filing a claim, ask our Joplin workers comp lawyer. How to Provide Proper Notice of Your Injury Your notice should be in writing and should include the date, time and place of your injury.  The notice typically needs to be delivered to your supervisor or another appropriate officer of your employer. Your notice should also describe the nature and severity of the injury.  Keep in mind that failure to report your work-related injury within that 30-day period could result in losing your rights to workers’ compensation benefits. If you have questions about providing notice, speak to our Joplin workers comp lawyer. There is a Deadline for Filing Your Workers Comp Claim Once again, reporting your injury to your employer is not the same as filing a workers’ compensation claim.  Generally speaking, a workers’ compensation claim must be filed within 2 years of the date of the injury.  There are a few exceptions where that deadline can be extended.  However, it is never wise to delay filing your claim because you risk waiving your right to benefits.  Regardless, if you were treated for a work-related injury within the last three years and you have not yet received a lump sum settlement, then you should seek the advice of a Joplin workers comp lawyer as soon as possible in order to protect your rights. Workers Comp Benefits are the Exclusive Remedy Available Before this system was put in place, an employee’s only remedy was to file a lawsuit, which required proof of damages. Now, nearly all employees are automatically entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Likewise, the employer is automatically protected from lawsuits based on the employee’s injury.  Basically, worker’s compensation benefits are meant to be a substitute for filing a lawsuit against the employer. In other words, if you accept workers’ compensation benefits, you waive your right to file a lawsuit. Discuss your situation with our Joplin workers comp lawyer to be sure you are making the right claim. Should You Settle Your Workers Comp Claim? In some cases, an employer will offer to settle a workers’ comp claim for an amount that does not actually cover your lost wages and your medical bills. If you are concerned that the settlement offer your employer made is not sufficient, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney. It is not always good to simply allow the workers’ comp judge to determine whether the settlement is fair because they typically approve the agreement as long as it isn’t unfair. If you have questions regarding workers compensation claims or any other personal injury matters in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us toll-free at (888) 616-6356.

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Worker's Compensation claims in Missouri

Joplin Workers Compensation Attorney Fees

You may be wondering whether it is necessary to hire an attorney to handle your worker’s compensation case. If there are any complex issues in your case, the wisest decision is to consult with a Joplin workers compensation attorney. For example, if your employer denies your claim or you do not receive your benefits as you should, then an attorney will need to get involved. Most employees who are injured at work do not appeal the denial of their claim when they probably should. Consulting a Joplin, Missouri workers compensation attorney is a wise thing to do. But, how much will you have to pay that attorney? How Much Will My Joplin Workers Compensation Attorney Cost Me? A common concern for most people who find themselves in a legal situation is whether they can afford to hire an attorney to help them. That is understandable. The first thing to understand is that the type of attorney and the type of legal matter will determine how attorneys will be paid. Typically, a Joplin workers compensation attorney will handle your case on a contingency fee basis. What that means is, your attorney will only be paid a percentage of what you recover and, if you do not recover anything in your lawsuit, then you do not owe your attorney anything. Therefore, unlike other types of legal matters, you would not pay your Joplin workers compensation attorney by the hour for the work he or she performs on your case. Missouri Law Regarding Workers Compensation Attorney’s Fees Under Missouri law, a Joplin workers compensation attorney can charge up to a 25% contingency fee on each case. The only other charges that you may incur are for reasonable costs and expenses which the attorney typically pays for you and then will be reimbursed once your case is over. Usual costs and expenses include copying expenses for obtaining medical records and expert fees such as treating physicians and vocational experts. The Purpose of Workers Compensation Claims The purpose of a Workers Compensation claim is to ensure that employees who become injured on the job can be reimbursed for those injuries, without having to resort to the courts. The way the system works is that the injured employee receives compensation for the work-related injuries and agrees not to file a legal action against the employer. The employee is not required to prove negligence or liability in order to be compensated for his injuries, making it essentially a no-fault system. Work-Related Injuries Must Be Reported Within the Time Required One mistake you can make when it comes to Worker’s Comp claims is confusing the need to report your injury with actually filing a worker’s comp claim.  If you fail to report your injury or delay in reporting your injury, you may be abandoning your claim.  Under Missouri workers compensation law, you are required to report your on-the-job injury within 30 days of its occurrence. Your notice should be in writing and should include the date, time and place of your injury.  The notice typically needs to be delivered to your supervisor or another appropriate officer of your employer. Your notice should also describe the nature and severity of the injury.  Keep in mind that failure to report your work-related injury within that 30-day period could result in losing your rights to workers’ compensation benefits. Be Sure to Timely File Your Worker’s Compensation Claim Once again, reporting your injury to your employer is not the same as filing a workers’ compensation claim.  Generally speaking, a workers’ compensation claim must be filed within 2 years of the date of the injury.  There are a few exceptions where that deadline can be extended.  However, it is never wise to delay filing your claim because you risk waiving your right to benefits.  Regardless, if you were treated for a work-related injury within the last three years and you have not yet received a lump sum settlement, then you should seek the advice of a Joplin workers compensation attorney as soon as possible in order to protect your rights. Understand that Workers’ Compensation is the Exclusive Remedy Available Before this system was put into place, an employee’s only remedy was to file a lawsuit, which required proof of damages. Now, nearly all employees are automatically entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Likewise, the employer is automatically protected from lawsuits based on the employee’s injury.  Basically, Worker’s Compensation benefits are meant to be a substitute for filing a lawsuit against the employer. In other words, if you accept workers’ compensation benefits, you waive your right to file a lawsuit. If you have questions regarding attorney’s fees or any other workers compensation matters in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us toll-free at (800) 364-8305.

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Worker's Compensation claims in Missouri

What if My Missouri Workers Comp Claim is Contested?

There are a variety of reasons why your employer’s workers comp carrier may contest your claim for benefits.  If you filed your claim after the deadline or failed to provide the required notice, your claim could be contested.  There may also be issues related to your injury, how and when it occurred, which may result in a dispute. Ultimately, a Missouri workers comp claim that is contested by a carrier will usually need to be appealed. Common reasons your claim may be contested Probably the most common reason workers’ comp claims are contested or denied is the failure to file the claim or report it to the employer before the deadline has passed.  Worker’s comp law requires injured employee’s to report the claim immediately, sometimes within a matter of days. Also, employers and insurance carriers frequently contest claims that they believe are not work-related, including injuries or illnesses that they argue are preexisting.  Depending on your state, there may be certain medical conditions that are not covered. Ultimately, you will be notified in writing as to the reason your claim has been contested. The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Process The Worker’s Compensation insurance system is based on administrative law, which means an administrative agency, as opposed to a court of law, will oversee the entire system, including any claim contest or appeal.  Administrative law judges are responsible for conducting hearings which are very similar to civil trials.  If your claim is contested by the worker’s comp carrier, then your next step is to seek an appeal. Asking for reconsideration of the decision The steps in the Worker’s Compensation Appeals process may be somewhat different, depending on the state you work in, but here are the basic steps that everyone must take in order to appeal a decision denying worker’s comp benefits.  The first step is to determine why your claim was contested or denied.  If you are lucky, the matter may be resolved quickly.  If you failed to submit a required document or some necessary evidence, you may be able to remedy the problem by simply supplying the required information.  Once you do that, the worker’s comp carrier can reconsider your claim. Requesting a formal appeal may be necessary If those steps do not resolve the problem, it may be necessary to file a formal appeal, pursuant to the guidelines established by your state worker’s comp agency. Typically, the written notice of denial that you received will describe the specific steps you need to take to begin the appeal process. Be sure you read the letter carefully and make note of all appeal deadlines. What does the administrative law judge need to consider? At the appeal hearing, it will be necessary to present medical evidence and other factual support for your workers’ compensation claim.  This includes any evidence required to establish that your claim is for a work-related injury or occupational disease. Usually, the review of a worker’s compensation decision is limited to questions of law, meaning that the facts will be assumed correct and only the legal issues will be examined for errors. This would include the character and credibility of the witnesses and any other rulings on the evidence. When should you hire a Joplin workers compensation lawyer? If there are any complex issues in your case, the wisest decision is to consult with a Joplin workers compensation lawyer.  For example, if your employer denies your claim or you do not receive your benefits, as you should, then an attorney should get involved.  Almost 80% of employees who are injured at work do not appeal the denial of their claim. Consulting a Missouri workers compensation lawyer provides you with the best chance of receiving a fair settlement for your injuries. Basically, if your employer denies your claim or you do not receive your benefits as you should, then an attorney should get involved. Most employees who are injured at work do not appeal the denial of their claim. Consulting a Missouri workers compensation lawyer provides you with the best chance of receiving a fair settlement for your injuries. Deciding whether to settle your workers’ comp claim In some cases, an employer will offer to settle a workers’ comp claim for an amount that does not actually cover your lost wages and your medical bills. If you are concerned that the settlement offer your employer made is not sufficient, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney. It is not always good to simply allow the workers comp judge to determine whether the settlement is fair because they typically approve the agreement as long as it isn’t unfair. If you have questions regarding a Missouri workers comp claim or any other personal injury matters in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us toll-free at (888) 433-4861.

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Worker's Compensation claims in Missouri

Can I Make a Workers Comp Claim for a Workplace Assault?

The purpose of a Workers’ Compensation claim is to ensure that employees who become injured on the job can be reimbursed for those injuries, without having to resort to the courts. The way the system works is that the injured employee receives compensation for the work-related injuries and agrees not to file a legal action against the employer. The employee is not required to prove negligence or liability in order to be compensated for his injuries; making it essentially a no-fault system. A novel question is whether you can make a workers comp claim if you were assaulted in the workplace. Let our Joplin Workers Comp lawyer explain how it works. What is workers compensation? In Missouri, most employers are required to carry workers comp insurance so that, if an employee suffers a work-related injury, they will be compensated for those injuries through those insurance benefits. Not all injuries are covered by workers comp. That means that any injury that occurs while an employee is working is not necessarily eligible for workers comp benefits. There are various factors to consider, so discuss your potential claim with our Joplin Workers Comp lawyer to see if you are eligible. Eligibility for workers comp benefits An employee must be working within the authority of their employer and performing activities that are work-related in order to be eligible for workers comp. Otherwise, you are not entitled to these benefits. For example, if you are making deliveries on behalf of your employer and you are injured in a car accident, you will likely be covered even though you are not on the premises at the time. However, if you are on your lunch break and you are in an accident on your way back to work, that injury will not be covered. Can you make a claim for being assaulted at work? There is no easy answer to this question. If you are assaulted at work and that assault is work-related, then you may be eligible for workers comp benefits. However, you must prove that the reason you were assaulted was related to the fact that you were working under the scope of your duties as an employee. That means you must be able to show that there was no personal motive for the assault. For example, if your ex-boyfriend comes to your job and assaults you, that will not be covered by workers comp. However, if the person who assaults you at work did not have a relationship with you, you may be covered. So, if a customer assaults you because they are unhappy with some aspect of the business you work for, you will likely be protected by workers comp insurance. Coverage of an assault claim is an exception to the  “no-fault” system Generally speaking, workers comp is considered a no-fault system which means if you and your injury are covered, you do not have to prove who was at fault for your injury. However, if you are assaulted, it is necessary to prove that you are not in any way responsible for being assault. In other words, if you did something to provoke the assault, you may not be eligible for workers comp benefits. If you have questions about how this works, contact our Joplin Workers Comp lawyer. Workers’ Compensation is the exclusive remedy available Before this system was put into place, an employee’s only remedy was to file a lawsuit, which required proof of damages. Now, nearly all employees are automatically entitled to workers comp benefits. Likewise, the employer is automatically protected from lawsuits based on the employee’s injury.  Basically, workers comp benefits are meant to be a substitute for filing a lawsuit against the employer. In other words, if you accept workers’ compensation benefits, you waive your right to file a lawsuit. Potential third-party claims Despite the fact that workers comp law prevents an employee from filing a lawsuit against the employer for work-related injuries, it does not prevent legal claims against a third-party, when that person’s negligence contributed to the employee’s injuries. For instance, if you are a delivery truck driver and you are injured in an auto accident caused by someone else, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. You can do this in addition to receiving your Workers’ Comp benefits. In these cases, you should also seek the advice of our Joplin Workers Comp lawyer. If you have questions regarding workers comp matters in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us toll-free at (888) 433-4861.

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Worker's Compensation claims in Missouri

Worker's Compensation Claims: What You Need to Know

Worker’s Compensation Claims: What You Need to Know from Wesley Cottrell  Generally speaking, a workers’ compensation claim must be filed within 2 years of the date of the injury.  There are a few exceptions where that deadline can be extended.  However, it is never wise to delay filing your claim because you risk waiving your right to benefits. Learn more about worker’s compensation claims in this presentation.  

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