Southern Missouri Workers' Compensation Claims Process Attorney

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of filing a workers’ compensation claim in Missouri? You don’t have to handle it alone. At Privette Law Office, we’re here to support you every step of the way. Our team has the knowledge and experience to guide you through the claims process, tackle any challenges that arise, and fight for the benefits you are due. 

Don’t let the stress of a workers’ compensation claim weigh you down. Contact Privette Law Office today for a free consultation to learn how we can help you get back on your feet.

Understanding Workers’ Compensation in Missouri

Workers’ compensation is a state-administered program in Missouri that offers financial support to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. It provides medical benefits, wage loss compensation, and rehabilitation services to help you recover and return to work after an occupational injury or illness.

In this context, a work-related injury or illness is any condition that you suffer or that worsens due to your job. This includes injuries you get while working, like slip-and-fall injuries, and illnesses that develop over time from your work conditions, such as hearing loss from loud environments. It also covers injuries from accidents that happen on company property or while doing a job-related task off-site. 

If you develop an injury or illness at work, you should immediately report it to your employer. If you don’t report it within 30 days, you might lose your chance to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

If your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, you do not have to pay for these benefits out of pocket. Missouri law requires most employers with five or more employees to carry workers’ comp insurance. An employee is someone who works for an employer and receives payment for their work. Independent contractors, volunteers, and people who run their own businesses typically do not count as employees under this system.

The Workers’ Compensation Claims Process

Every workers’ compensation claim is different, but the overall claims process usually follows the same steps. Here are the steps you can expect to take when you file a workers’ comp claim in Missouri:

  • Seeking Medical Treatment: Your first step should be to see a doctor immediately. They will examine and treat you as necessary. Make sure to tell them your injury happened at work. You can choose from a selection of doctors your employer has chosen. If you see your own doctor, you’ll have to pay for your medical care.
  • Reporting the Injury: If you didn’t tell your boss or supervisor about your injury before you sought medical attention, do so right away. If you wait too long, you could lose your benefits.
  • Completing a Claim Form: Your employer should give you a workers’ compensation claim form after you report your injury. You should fill out this form with details about your injury or illness and how it happened. If they don’t give you the form, you can find it here.
  • Submitting the Claim Form: Return the completed claim form to your employer. This officially starts your claim for workers’ comp benefits. Once your employer gets the claim form from you, they will report your injury to the Division of Worker’s Compensation right away and advise their insurer about your claim.
  • Waiting for the Insurance Company to Complete Its Investigation: The insurance company will examine your claim to decide whether your injury is covered. They might ask you, your employer, or your doctor for more information. After reviewing your claim, the insurance company will either approve or deny it.
  • Receiving Benefits: If the insurance company approves your claim, you will start receiving benefits that cover your medical care and a portion of your lost wages if your injury prevents you from working.
  • Disputing Denials: If the insurance company denies your claim or you disagree with the benefits they offer, you can challenge their decision. This usually involves filing an appeal with the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission with the help of a workers’ comp lawyer.

Common Reasons for Workers’ Compensation Claim Denials

When you file a workers’ compensation claim, you hope for a smooth process and quick approval. However, sometimes, claims get denied. Understanding the common reasons for these denials can help you avoid potential pitfalls. Below are some examples of why workers’ comp claims often face rejection:

Failure to Report Injuries or Illnesses on Time

If you don’t report your injury to your employer within the required timeframe, your claim could get denied. It’s essential to act quickly and inform your boss as soon as you get hurt or sick at work.

Disputes Over Whether an Injury Is Work-Related

Sometimes, claims get denied when insurers doubt that an injury or illness is work-related. For instance, the insurance company might not approve your claim if it believes you got hurt while you were engaging in non-work activities or working while intoxicated.

Lack of Medical Evidence

For a claim to be successful, you need solid medical evidence showing that your injury or illness is serious and related to your job. The insurance company could deny your claim if you don’t have enough medical documentation or if it doesn’t clearly link your condition to your work.

Failure to Follow Treatment Plans

The purpose of workers’ compensation is to help you recover and return to work. If you don’t follow the medical treatment plan your doctor prescribes, the insurance company could use this as a reason to deny your claim. 

How a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help

An experienced lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome of your Missouri workers’ compensation claim by:

  • Gathering and organizing medical records to support your claim
  • Coordinating with medical professionals to document your injuries
  • Advising you on the potential value of your claim
  • Filing all necessary paperwork and claim forms on time
  • Negotiating with the workers’ compensation insurance company
  • Representing you in all hearings and appeals
  • Challenging any denials of your workers’ compensation claim
  • Identifying potential third-party claims for additional compensation
  • Advising you on settlement offers and whether to accept them
  • Preparing you for testimony and interviews with the insurance company
  • Seeking additional benefits for permanent disability or disfigurement

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Claims Process Attorney in Willow Springs, Missouri

Struggling with a workers’ compensation claim in Missouri? Let Privette Law Office help. We provide dependable advice and representation to get you the compensation you are owed. Contact us today for your free consultation, and find out how we can help you through the workers’ comp claims process.