Worker’s Compensation Tips

Your employer should direct you to a doctor that is approved by their Worker’s Compensation insurance company. However, sometimes the employer is unsure of what doctors recommended by the Worker’s Comp. carrier and will just send you to a doctor. If the employer sends you to a doctor. that she is considered proper, and you may treat with that doctor. until the employer or the insurance company tells you otherwise

Generally, you will follow up with the doctor that you are directed to. Make sure to tell your employer what doctor you are directed to. This is required because they may discuss this matter with the insurance company and change their provider. They only want you to treat with providers that have been approved by the insurance company and your employer.

Unfortunately, under Missouri Worker’s Compensation laws employers can tell you where to get medical treatment if you want the employer and insurer to pay for it. If money is no object, you may treat with anyone you want however beware, your medical insurance will normally not pay for workers’ compensation injuries.

Keep a copy of your restrictions handy. When asked to work beyond the restrictions point that out to your supervisor or to personnel. As your attorney we are more than happy to discuss this matter directly with your supervisor.

You should always report the injury to human resources or some official with your employer. You must report all injuries within 30 days of the dated accident. Keep a record of everyone you talk to and document the problems and difficulties you’re having because of the injury.

This is a difficult question. If you are not represented, we do not recommend giving a recorded statement because your words can be twisted against you. Having said that, if you do not give a recorded statement, they may not treat you. When we represent individuals, we rarely give permission for the employer or insurance company to take a recorded statement. If we do, we want to be present and record the conversation also.

Generally, no. Workers’ Compensation is considered the exclusive remedy for work injuries. You may be able to sue a third party such as an individual that crashes into your work vehicle or the manufacturer of a defective product that injuries you.

If your Workers’ Compensation claim is denied all is not lost. Many of the individuals we represent have their claims denied initially. Claims can be denied for various reasons. Generally, we can overcome the insurance companies’ denial.

Attorneys do not require money up front to represent somebody in a Workers’ Compensation case. These cases are handled on a contingent basis because the attorney only gets paid when they obtain a settlement for you. The attorney’s fee is based on a percentage of the amount that you recover. In most cases the percentage is 25% of the gross settlement.

Quite often the reality is you do not heal 100% for work injury. Your future activities may be restricted. This enhances the amount your case settles for because settlements are based off having some disability on a permanent basis.

Worker’s Comp. does not have to guarantee that you will do the same job when you are released to go to work. Worker’s Comp. does not have to guarantee that the employer will accommodate your limitations however there are federal laws such as the American Disabilities Act that helped individuals that have been disabled. If your doctor releases you to go back to work but based on your limitations you are unable to do any of the work at your employer, they may let you go. That of course adds to the final settlement.

The attending physician or authorized physician is one that is allowed to treat you because they have been picked by your employer and/or your insurance company.

It is very rare for an insurance company or employer to authorize this type of treatment. If it is authorized, you may treat, and they will pay. If you want to pay out of your own pocket, you may treat with any medical provider.

No. You do not want to close out our concluded case if you’re not been treating.

If an authorized medical provider has ordered treatment, you should be able to get it. The insurance company does not have the right to overrule the doctor that they picked. If this happens, we will take the insurance company to a hearing and get your medical care authorized.

If you’re taken off work by an authorized doctor, then normally you will be paid temporary total disability which is a weekly check. They do not have to pay for the first three days you are off. Once you have been off 14 days they have to go back and pick up days one through three.

You must take light duty or modified duty if you want to receive a paycheck. If you do not take light duty or modified duty you may be terminated. Additionally, individuals that do not take light duty may lose out on further treatment. If for medical reasons you do not believe you can do the light duty or modified duty you should tell your employer and tell your attorney.

This is based on average weekly wage which is an average based on the last 13 weeks before the injury. You are paid two thirds of that amount, however there are caps on how much you can be paid. There are also special rules for part-time employees and a few other categories.

You are entitled to two thirds of your gross based on the average of the last 13 weeks before the injury.

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