Workers or employees who suffer job-related injuries are entitled to workers’ compensation. This benefit is part of what the state law mandates that the employer pays for each employee every month. However, according to the website of the LaMarca & Landry, P.C., filing for workers’ compensation is no longer a simple, no-fault process in Missouri. It has become much more complicated partly because of changes in the laws governing it, making it almost always necessary to seek professional legal advice through a workers’ compensation lawyer.
Some issues that may also come up would involve unemployment benefits, Social Security Disability, Second Injury Fund, Medicaid and Medicare which would complicate matters further. In order to unravel what could become a tangled web of legal proceedings, one may actually have to not only consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer but actually hire representation before the state’s Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). Insurance companies and employers at least are required to have legal representation, so it is probably a good idea. No employee attached to DWC may officially dispense legal advice to any workers’ compensation claimant.
The law does not require an employer to be the party to file a claim, and may not in order to keep the insurance premiums low. If no claim is made within the prescribed period that specific injury may no longer be used as a basis for receiving any medical or monetary benefits under workers’ comp. Employees should make sure that a claim is made and not assume it has been even if benefits are already being received or an insurance adjuster has made contact.
If you are having problems with your workers’ compensation claim, find a lawyer to help you out. A workers’ compensation lawyer will typically not charge anything for the initial consultation, and many will agree to a contingent fee basis (not more than 25%) so there will be no out-of-pocket expenses. The cost of success is rather steep but a good lawyer will probably be able to get you much more than you would have gotten on your own.