You may be surprised to know that in our experience, most of the time, your employer has no involvement in the settlement of your Missouri work comp claim. Injured workers rarely make their employer “mad” for hiring a work comp lawyer in Missouri. On the other hand, the insurance carrier usually doesn’t want the injured worker to hire a Missouri workers compensation attorney.
So many people have misconceptions about what Missouri Workers’ Compensation Law provides and does not provide. Insurance adjusters often find themselves dealing with an injured claimant who simply does not understand anything about ratings, permanency, or medical treatment. The injured person may believe that he or she is entitled to a large verdict for pain and suffering, and despite the insurance adjusters’ best efforts, they are unable to convince the injured worker that these things do not apply in a workers compensation setting.
More troubling, the injured worker simply does not realize that his case has reached a posture for settlement and doesn’t have a clue that he is entitled to a cash settlement. Often they ruin their case by waiting too long to do anything. Adjusters know that when an attorney gets involved, it will cost them more in the end.
Moreover, claimants often interact with the adjuster regarding day-to-day issues that an attorney’s office can more effectively bundle and translate into less direct contact with the injured worker while achieving better results for the injured worker. These might be issues such as ongoing travel costs to and from doctor appointments, and payment for ongoing medical bills.
Do I Need a Missouri Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
Is it always necessary to have an attorney on your case? If you are receiving all of your benefits, and the carrier is approving all of your medical treatment, the answer, for the moment, might be “no.” However, depending on the type of injuries that you sustained, you need to start thinking about what is going to happen when your doctor releases you from care. Did you have a broken bone, torn tendon or ligament? You probably do need a Missouri work comp lawyer. Did you have surgery? You absolutely should call a Missouri Work comp lawyer before you are released to work.
Are you going to have a permanent injury? Are you going to continue to need medical treatment into the future, even after you’ve been released to return to some type of work? Are you ever going to be able to go back to your old job? Are you going to be permanently disabled? We recommend that you at least contact an experienced Missouri Workers Compensation attorney— BEFORE the doctor releases you— to discuss your case, know what your rights are, and what type of issues you should be asking your doctor, even if your employer is paying for everything now.
When will that be? Typically, at some point, your physician will tell you that he may release you from care on your next visit. This is called being at Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) Sometimes, he will say that he is going to provide you with a disability rating at that time. Missouri workers compensation is designed by the insurance companies to grind you down. It’s a long process. You should contact a work comp law firm as soon as possible, before being released at MMI. When the time comes to look at a potential permanent resolution to your case, your work comp lawyer in Missouri will be ready to proceed without delay.