Work Comp Rights in Missouri: A Lawyer's Simple Guide
A Workers Compensation Lawyer from Missouri Explains
Under the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Law, the worker who has been injured on the job has the right to receive the following four (4) benefits:
- payment for reasonable and necessary ** medical treatment**;
- payment for ** lost wages ** as a result of the injury;
- payment in the form of a lump sum at the end of the case for ** permanent disability or permanency of the injury**; and in some cases,
- additional payment for ** permanent disfigurement**.
A Workers Compensation Lawyer from Missouri explains below.
1. Medical Payments Under Missouri Work Comp
The first benefit, which in many ways is the most important benefit, which is available under the Missouri Workers Compensation Law to an injured worker who has suffered a workers compensation injury in Missouri, is the right to have his or her medical bills paid for by the employer for reasonable and necessary medical treatment. What this means is that you get the Medical Bills paid because of a Work Injury.
As an injured worker, you are entitled to receive ** Medical Treatment Paid by your Employer** or the employer’s insurance company for your injuries. To the extent reasonably required, your employer must provide medical services, but does have the ability to determine who provides such medical treatment. This makes sense to a certain degree: if your employer is paying the bill, your employer thus also has the ability to determine the appropriate medical provider, so long as it is reasonable.
2. Payments for Lost Wages (Temporary Total Disability or TTD)
The second benefit available to a worker injured at work in Missouri is Payment for Lost Salary or Wages under MO Work Comp for the time that he or she is unable to work because of the injury (i.e., Lost Wages Because of a Work Injury).
For time off of work for an injury, you as an injured employee are able to receive what the law calls payment for your Temporary Total Disability (TTD) for such time that you are not able to work. The weekly amount payable is typically based on your average weekly wage for the 13 weeks leading up to the day you were hurt. This amount is typically 2/3 of the your average weekly wage over those 13 weeks leading up to the injury, up to the statutory weekly limit. These disability payments for lost wages are not taxable. The idea is that you get more or less what you would have gotten after taxes.
3. Payment for Permanent Disability Under MO Work Comp
The third benefit an injured worker has a right to receive under Missouri Work Comp is payment in the form of a lump sum at the end of a case for ** Permanent Disability** or for the Permanency of the Injury. The law calls this Permanent Partial Disability and ** Permanent Total Disability** Benefits.
There are a number of benefits to which you are entitled as an injured worker under to Missouri Workers’ Compensation law. The benefit that your lawyer is most usually employed to obtain is called permanent partial disability payments (PPD). PPD benefits are obtained after the doctor provided by the employer completes treatment of the injured worker.
Following most work-related injuries, the injured worker is rated as having a particular level of permanent disability from a particular injury. Many injured workers are not aware after completing medical treatment that they are entitled to an additional payment for an amount of disability related to an injury. A cut or minor back injury will still likely produce some amount of disability payment that the employee is entitled to receive. The amount of PPD payment that you as an injured worker are entitled to receive is best valued and determined by knowledgeable legal counsel who has practiced in Workers’ Compensation law for many years and has knowledge as to the value of such claims. Often, our Firm sends clients to doctors we know and trust for independent medical evaluations (IME) to determine the level of disability that is fair and appropriate for a work related injury. Our firm has been recognized for its ability to maximize the amount of payment that an employee receives for a work injury.
** Permanent Total Disability** benefits are available to employee who because of a work injury are determined to be unable to work any longer on the open labor market. Weekly benefits are available for the remainder of the life of an employee who is no longer able to work because of such an injury. ** Permanent Total Disability** benefits may be obtain from you last employer or from the Second Injury Fund if it is determined that your last work injury combined with previous injuries resulted in the condition of permanent disability.
4. Additional Payment for Permanent Disfigurement and Scarring
The fourth and final benefit under Missouri Workers Compensation, which is in addition to the other benefits available to an injured worker in Missouri, is the entitlement to an additional payment for ** Permanent Disfigurement**.
Thankfully, most injuries do not result in ** scarring. However, if you end up with any type of **scar, burn, stitches, skin discoloration or other disfigurement on your head, face, neck, arms and hands, you will be entitled to an additional lump sum payment for that disfigurement and scarring, up to the limit set by the Law.
This also includes surgical scars on your head, face, neck, arms and hands.