Workers’ compensation (also known as workers’ comp or work comp) is when an employee receives benefits from their employer after they become ill or are injured on the job.
Companies purchased workers’ compensation insurance to provide medical treatment to injured employees and aid employees financially during their recovery.
Many times, employees are unsure of what their company offers in regards to workers’ compensation, and if they are injured on the job or become ill, they may find themselves in a battle against their employer’s insurance company.
To put it simply, insurance companies will almost always look for the most cost-effective solution to your situation.
In other words, they want to make sure your workers’ compensation payout(s) are as small as possible.
Because of this, it is extremely important that employees know what they are entitled to if a work injury requires medical treatment and forces them to miss work.
In the US, the requirements for workers’ compensation vary based on things like your state, the industry in which the company operates, and even the size of the company.
According to the Missouri Department of Labor, employers in Missouri are required to cover workers’ compensation insurance if they have five or more employees.
All companies working within the construction industry are also required to have workers comp insurance as well.
Missouri requires employers to provide the following benefits to their employees:
Under Missouri law, you are entitled to compensation for medical treatment received because of an injury at work.
When injured, you should receive payment for the wages you lose while you are recovering from your injury or surgery.
Temporary Total Disability (also referred to as “TTD”) is the financial compensation you receive when your doctor says you are not physically or mentally able to work and should continue until he or she says you are able to work or your condition has reached “maximum medical improvement“.
If you have been cleared by your doctor to begin working again but the lasting effects of your injury force you to work less or change positions/jobs, you are likely entitled to Permanent Partial Disability (PPD).
In Missouri, Permanent Partial Disability benefits are calculated at 66 2/3% of the employee’s average weekly earnings as of the date of the injury, not to exceed a maximum amount set by the law. However, based on the nature of your injury, you may be entitled to a lump-sum payment if you suffer from permanent partial disability.
If you are no longer to work any job, you will most likely be entitled to Payment Total Disability (PTD). When receiving Permanent Total Disability, you are entitled to either a lump-sum financial payment or weekly payments for the remained of your life (also calculated at 66 2/3% of your average weekly earnings).
It is important to note that Permanent Total Disability is only available when you are left unable to work solely because of an injury that occurred at work. If your work injury and a preexisting condition or injury are responsible, you will likely only be eligible for Permanent Partial disability.
It is highly recommended you follow the steps outlined above immediately after a workplace injury.
Regardless of the nature or seriousness of the injury, we advise you to speak with a personal injury attorney that has experience in workers’ compensation cases.
Most personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation and they will be able to review your case and will be able to answer any questions or determine if you are receiving the proper compensation and benefits for your injury.
If you have questions, please contact Craig Ortwerth for a free consultation.
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