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The Right Place for Injured Workers

What is covered under the work comp statute?

When you’re hurt at work, and the injury is found to be compensable (more on that in an upcoming post), you have certain rights.  The employer and insurer are  required to provide medical treatment to “cure and relieve the effects of the injury.”

The insurance company provides treatment.  You should have no medical bills, no co-pays, no prescription costs.  What this means for you is that the employer/insurer chooses what doctor you see.  You are not able to see who you choose unless you pay for that treatment yourself.

You are also entitled to temporary total disability, TTD, which is payment for your time off work.  When you are taken off work by a doctor chosen by the employer, you are paid ⅔ of your weekly salary.  This rate of pay is determined by the average weekly wage made during the 13 weeks before your injury.  This payment is separate from your regular paycheck and should come separately to you by mail in a paper check.  Remember that if your own doctor recommends that you stay off work, the employer/insurer is not obligated to pay this benefit.

For travel outside of the area in which you live or work, you are entitled to mileage reimbursement.  

For any scar or disfigurement to your hands, arms, neck, or face, you are entitled to monetary compensation.  

You are also entitled to permanent partial disability for the effects of your injury.  This is monetary compensation for the permanent problems you may have from your injury.  Keep in mind that workers’ compensation doesn’t have a provision for pain and suffering like in a personal injury case, but rather considers only the permanency of any problems from your injury.

In some situations, a person’s injury renders them permanently and totally disabled, with injuries severe enough to cause them to be unable to work at all.  This kind of situation is complicated and requires lengthy litigation.

All of the above benefits are outlined in the Missouri Statute; however, this doesn’t mean that they are freely and easily provided by the employer and insurer.  Having an attorney experienced in Workers’ Compensation Law is crucial in getting all of the benefits you deserve.  Navigating through this alone will likely result in one or more of these benefits being unpaid or underpaid.