If you are hurt on the job and you work for a Missouri employer, you will likely be looking at filing a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ comp benefits exist to compensate employees like you who suffer some injury or illness while they are at work quickly and without the need of lengthy court proceedings (in most cases, at least).
While the workers’ comp process is supposed to be easy for workers to navigate and receive benefits, there are some peculiarities about the process that are worth noting. If any of these circumstances are present in your case, it can be helpful to speak to a workers’ comp attorney about your rights and what to do.
What To Know about Missouri Workers’ Comp Claims
As you apply for benefits following a workplace injury, be alert to the possibility of the following and do not hesitate to get help from an experienced workplace injury lawyer.
Workers’ Comp Benefits Do Not Replace Your Full Wages
First, when your workplace injury keeps you from returning to work, you are entitled to recover benefits to address lost wages. However, some mistakenly believe that they will get paid their full rate of pay while on workers’ comp. This is not accurate, however. Instead, you will get paid a portion of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum amount.
Missouri will look at the previous 13 weeks of pay information for you and calculate the average of that pay. You would then be entitled to two-thirds of that average, up to a maximum benefit amount of 55 percent of the state’s average weekly wage rate. Thus, the amount of your worker’s comp benefits would not fully compensate you for unearned wages while you recover.
You May Have Additional Rights beyond Workers’ Compensation
The workers’ compensation program is designed to be a “no-fault” insurance system in which injured workers receive compensation no matter who was at fault for causing or contributing to the workplace incident. In return, employers are generally protected against lawsuits their employees might file against them for negligence.
But if your employer acts with malice or intentionally causes you injury, there can be additional liability for the employer and additional compensation to you.
Not All Workplace Injuries Qualify for Full Benefits
One way a workers’ compensation insurer can get try to get out of paying you benefits is claiming that your injuries were not connected to your job. Instead, they may claim, your injuries happened while you were on your own personal time or is a mere exacerbation of a non-work-related injury.
If successful, this argument can defeat your workers’ compensation claim and result in you receiving no benefits.
Call Wegmann Law Firm for Help with Your Claim
These and other situations illustrate the need for workers in Missouri to seek out experienced legal assistance if they encounter an issue with their claim. Wegmann Law Firm can help you receive the benefits and legal remedies you deserve following an on-the-job injury. Reach out to our Hillsboro office online or by calling (636) 797-2665 if you have questions or experience any trouble with your workers’ comp claim.