Columbia, MO Workers’ Compensation Lawyer, Zach Kluesner
Workers’ compensation insurance is one of the most fundamental worker protections in Missouri. It’s a no-fault program, which means it has nothing to do with who is responsible for a workplace injury. This removes the burden of proof from injured employees and, in theory, makes getting payment easier for workers.
Sadly, this safety net is often abused by employers and insurance companies, which is why many injured workers in Columbia hire a workers’ compensation attorney to help them file their claims.
If you’ve been injured on the job and your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, you deserve benefits. Columbia, MO workers’ compensation lawyer Zach Kluesner has worked on both sides of work comp claims. He knows exactly how workers get denied the benefits they’re entitled to, and he uses that knowledge to make sure his clients get treated fairly.
When you need help filing or appealing a workers’ comp claim in Missouri, Zach’s got your back. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation legal consultation.
What All Missouri Workers Should Know About Workers’ Compensation Claims
There are several common misconceptions about workers’ compensation insurance, and those misconceptions can cost you money. Here are key things you need to know about this essential insurance program.
- You’re covered from your first day on the job. If your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, you are entitled to benefits from the moment you start working for them.
- Workers’ compensation is a no-fault program. Though employers and insurance companies sometimes allege that an employee’s benefits should be denied if the worker is to blame, the program is not about who is at fault. You have the right to your benefits!
- With a few exceptions, employers in Missouri with five or more employees (or any employer in the construction industry with one or more employees) are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you’re unsure whether your employer carries it, you are within your rights to ask, and it’s their duty to tell you.
- There are many different types of workers’ compensation benefits, including temporary total disability benefits, temporary partial disability benefits, permanent total disability benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, and benefits for survivors of workers killed on the job. The benefits you’re entitled to depend on the nature of your injury.
- You have only 30 days to notify your employer of your injury if you intend to file a compensation claim, but you should do so as soon as possible, preferably in writing.
- Workers’ compensation also covers illnesses and long-term medical conditions, if they were developed on the job.
A Closer Look at Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Missouri
The benefits you receive typically include roughly two-thirds of your weekly wage. You won’t be paid for the first three business days of disability. If you can’t work for 14 days or more after your injury, you’ll then receive payment for that three-day waiting period.
Your employers’ work comp insurance provider will pay your weekly wages and medical bills. The payments you receive are not taxed.
Do You Need a Columbia Work Comp Lawyer After Suffering a Workplace Injury?
In many cases, workers’ compensation claims are paid to an injured employee on time and without any complications. However, workers often meet resistance when seeking the payment that the law guarantees them. If you’ve noticed any delays in payment or you’ve been denied benefits, you should absolutely contact a Columbia workers’ comp lawyer to get an advocate on your side.
You’re free to contact a lawyer throughout any part of the work comp benefit application process. Some injured workers contact an attorney immediately after an injury. Some wait until they encounter problems getting their benefits. Generally, the earlier you get an attorney on your side, the better it is for your case.
Attorneys can help you in the claims process by taking care of all necessary paperwork, keeping track of deadlines, corresponding with employers or insurers, and making sure you aren’t denied the benefits you deserve.
Ultimately, the decision of when to hire a work comp lawyer is yours alone, but it won’t hurt to simply contact one to review your options. You can reach out to us anytime for a free case review.
Steps to Take After Suffering a Workplace Injury
- Report your injury to your employer or supervisor as soon as possible. If possible, do this in writing.
- Seek immediate medical treatment. Your employer must authorize the doctor who treats you, so work with them to determine which physician you should see. If your injury is an emergency, go to the nearest emergency department.
- If there were any witnesses to the accident that caused your injury, get their contact information.
- DO NOT return to work if you are still injured and unable to perform your job responsibilities.
- If you want to find out whether your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, visit the Missouri Department of Labor & Industrial Relations website.
- To report your injury, you can fill out the form that your employer gives you, or you can find an online form provided by the state’s Department of Labor.
- Contact an attorney at any stage of the workers’ compensation claims process for legal assistance.
What if Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied?
You can appeal your Missouri workers’ compensation claim if it is denied. We strongly suggest you hire a workers’ compensation attorney in Columbia if your claim has been denied. Your lawyer can help you avoid any mistakes that might have led to the denial and hold your employer and insurance provider accountable for the benefits they owe you.
Common Workplace Injuries Requiring Workers’ Compensation Benefits
A worker’s injury must arise out of and in the course of employment to be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. This includes injuries suffered in one single incident, chronic injuries caused by repetitive movements, and occupational diseases. Examples include:
- Soft tissue injuries
- Brain injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Hearing loss
- Repetitive motion injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, and epicondylitis
- Radiation, chemical, or metal poisoning
- Skin irritations
- Respiratory disorders
There are just a few of the many types of injuries covered by workers’ compensation insurance. If you have a chronic or acute injury, illness, or disability due to your job, you should begin exploring your options for compensation immediately.
When You’re Injured at Work, Zach’s Got Your Back
Zach Kluesner has years of experience working both sides of workers’ compensation claims. He now focuses exclusively on helping injured people, but his time representing businesses and insurance companies make him uniquely qualified to understand how to win a claim and give workers the compensation they deserve.
If you’ve suffered a workplace injury in Mid-Missouri, contact Columbia workers’ compensation lawyer Zach Kluesner today for a free consultation.