1. How Does Missouri’s Workman’s Comp System Operate?
In general, if you get harmed at work while performing your duties, you must notify your employer in writing within 30 days, get medical attention, and the company must then turn the claim over to their insurance company so that you can receive compensation for lost wages.
The major benefits of Missouri work comp settlements are free medical care from approved doctors chosen by the employer, paid time off from work while receiving treatment and being unable to work, and, if you cannot return to work, either a lump sum payout or lifelong weekly payments. These are the main advantages, though there are many others.
A workers’ comp claim is not the same as simply reporting your work injury. You have two years from the date of the injury, death, or the last payment made under Chapter 287 on account of the workplace injury or death to file your “Claim for Compensation,” which is the actual lawsuit.
However, if the employer fails to file a report of the injury or death as required by Section 287.380, you have three years from the date of the injury, death, or last payment under Chapter 287 on account of the injury or death to file your compensation claim. (See 287.430). The law governing Missouri workers’ compensation is found in Chapter 287.
2. How Are Missouri Workers’ Compensation Settlements Determined?
Whether you can or cannot return to the open, competitive labor market will determine this. Your disability percentage might have even been zero if you had just seen the work comp doctor.
Value is determined in part by the degree of infirmity. The defense doctor’s disability percentage should not be accepted. We refer our patients to a private physician who can accurately assess their level of disability.
Suppose you sustain an injury but can return to work (permanent partial disability). In that case, you will receive a lump sum payment based on your weekly wage rate (2/3 of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum of 55% of the standard weekly wage) multiplied by the number of weeks of disability (percentage of disability x involved body part). Other benefits may also be yours, such as those for deformity, mileage, TTD, penalties, and amputation rise.
The computation for settlement value based on your life expectancy, wage rate (2/3 of your AWW capped at 105% of the SAWW), etc., might be quite difficult if you cannot work (permanent total disability). However, if the judge determines you to be PTD during the trial, the judge may provide lifetime payments, which would be made each week for the remainder of your life at your PTD salary rate.
You may be eligible for additional payments if you have PTD or pass away from a disease related to your line of work as a result of hazardous exposure.
This list is not all-inclusive. There are numerous case-specific advantages depending on the harm suffered. Talk to a Missouri workers’ compensation attorney to find out more.
3. How Can I Apply for Missouri Workers’ Compensation?
The Division of Workers Compensation must receive what is known as a “Claim for Compensation,” which must be submitted using the Division form. Verify that you have the most recent version of the form because it has been modified and updated over time. The current form for accidents, injuries, or occupational disorders occurring on or after 1/1/2014 is WC-21-A-AI (06-15) as of 5/11/2021. Although it is legal for you to file it on your own, most people do it with a Missouri workers’ compensation lawyer’s help.
The actual court case is the Claim for Compensation. The injury report is not. A report of harm does not suspend the statute of limitations, so use caution.
Your Wage Rate Affects Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The advantages of workers’ compensation are numerous. The majority are related to how much money you make on average each week. The Missouri statute RSMO 287.250 discusses the average weekly wage (AWW). Typically, it is calculated using the 13 weeks of pay you received before the injury date.
Simply add up the salaries from the previous 13 weeks and divide by 13. Therefore, the benefit rate for you is calculated to be 2/3 of the AWW. Depending on whether you are receiving weekly benefits or a final lump sum for permanency when you return to work, there are varying maximum limits on the rate.
You should be aware that the employer or their insurer frequently gives inaccurate information regarding your wages. They only do this to save money for themselves. They obviously misjudge the amount you are expected to receive after being injured on the job.
When injured workers first employ a workers’ compensation lawyer in Missouri, it’s crucial to provide the law firm with the facts so they can ascertain your accurate average weekly wages.
Bring your payroll records to your workers’ comp lawyer. If you work part-time, you can be eligible for the salary of a full-time coworker who performs the same duties as you. You might be entitled to a full-time adult coworker’s pay if you are a juvenile.
There are numerous ways to receive more money as compensation for disfigurement, a permanent compensation rate, and a weekly stipend to live on while you are recovering.
Allowing the employer to get away with this simple error could cost you thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in missed benefits. In every case, we address the appropriate average weekly wage. Another justification for why it’s crucial to contact the workers’ comp lawyers at McDuffey & Medcalf, LLC.