Workers Compensation Attorney in St. Louis
Have you or someone you love been hurt at work? You probably have a thousand concerns. Who will pay your medical bills? How will you pay your bills if you are out of work? Can you return to work? Can you perform the same job you did before? If not, will you be fired? A workers’ comp situation can easily seem very overwhelming.
These are just a few of the questions that an injured employee may be wondering. You can start answering these questions by contacting The Neimeyer Law Firm for a free consultation. We’ll review your case at no cost to you. If our firm accepts your case, we will not charge you any fees or costs unless you receive benefits.
What’s My First Step?
No matter how big or small the injury was, notifying your employer and filling out that form is the best first step towards protecting yourself. If nothing comes of the accident - great! But if a small injury does not heal properly or begins to worsen in some way, having the documentational proof that it did happened and that you told your employer will be an enormous factor in your workers' compensation claim.
Who is Responsible?
Worker’s compensation cases have little to do with whose fault the accident was. If you were injured on the job you are entitled to payment of medical bills and lost wages.
What Are My Benefits?
The potential benefits that can be received from workers’ compensation is the payment of medical bills from the accident and lost wage payment if the injury puts you out of work. Workers’ comp does not have a monetary limit but a claims adjustor will micro manage your care and wage loss. Workers’ compensation may even pay for rehabilitation and training for a new job.
What Mistakes Can I Avoid?
1. Signing a medical release
It is usually never a good idea to sign a medical release unless you fully understand what you are signing. Doing so can harm your case. Be very careful as some insurance companies may try to trick you into signing a release.
2. Giving recorded statements
You are not required to give an insurance company a recorded statement. Remember, the other side's insurance company is going to try to save their company as much money as possible. They may try to trick you to give a statement that could be used against you later.
3. Not being up front about prior accidents or injuries
If your claim involves an injury, for instance, a shoulder injury, and you have injured your shoulder in the past - mention it! If your current injury is somehow related to the injury in question and you fail to mention your past injury, they may accuse you of fraud.
Will Workers' Comp Pay My Medical Bills?
If you can prove that you were injured while “on the clock” then medical bills will be paid. The first step towards proving this is by submitting a First Report of Injury form. Eyewitnesses and security cameras are other helpful forms of evidence.
Will Workers' Comp Pay My Wage Loss?
The workers’ comp insurance company will pay you 66 ⅔ of your average weekly wage if you were injured on the job and unable to work.
The amount the workers’ comp carrier has to pay you is dependent upon the wages you received in the 13 weeks before you were injured and it does not matter if you had taken a few weeks off or if you had not worked a full 40 hours for whatever reason.
How to Calculate Wage Loss Benefits
You will need to provide your paycheck to determine your weekly wage. As a general rule, take care that your hours and wages are properly documented throughout your working career. Detrimental issues can arise if you have improper time records or failed to declare all income (such as tips).
In order to calculate your lost wage benefits, the employee or their attorney must…
Add up the total amount of wages for the 13 weeks (or 91 days) preceding the injury.
Divide this number by 13, and the result is the average wage for one week.
Your paychecks should be the only evidence you need to prove your wages.
What if I Make My Income Through Tips?
Tips, commissions, and other untaxed income can be added to the equation if the employer is aware that it is part of the employee’s income. It is very important for waiters and other service industry workers to claim tips on tax returns in order to receive the deserved benefits.
Am I Compensated for Income Made at a Second Job?
If you were injured on the job and you have a second job, then your workers’ comp benefits could be calculated based upon both jobs. In order for this to take place the second job must have also had worker’s compensation insurance and the employee needed to have paid taxes on income made there as well.
When Will They Pay?
Medical benefits begin immediately after your workers' compensation claim is filed. You will be paid by the company you work for, your employer’s insurance company or the state, and your claim does not have to be accepted for the bills to be paid. If you are still in the process of filing a claim, tell your doctor and your insurer will be billed.
Unfortunately, workers' comp is notoriously slow in paying weekly wage loss and it is perfectly legal for them to respond slowly. You can still protect yourself by getting a loan.
What is My Case Worth?
While there is not one determining factor used to determine the value of case, there are a few criteria that an experienced lawyer uses to determine value.
Your level of education
Your personal injuries
The likelihood that you will recover from your injuries
The estimated cost of future medical care and treatment if your injuries continue
How much you earned at your job
Your overall work history
Can I Get a Quick Settlement?
Often a case that drags on can end up becoming very expensive as court and lawyer fees begin to pile up. A good lawyer will help you receive the best possible compensation without taking a long time to do so. This way you save time and money, and avoid a long and unnecessary legal marathon.
5 Tips for Injured Workers
In order to properly preserve your workers' compensation claim you should do the following:
Report your accident to your supervisor immediately. Demand that an accident report be filled out.
Get medical treatment - if possible, get specialized treatment (specialized doctors have years of experience for one area of the body)
Contact an experienced Florida workers' compensation law firm.
Gather contact information of potential witnesses, including names, addresses and telephone numbers.
Keep a copy of all the medical reports and bills you receive.