Will COVID-19 Affect My Springfield Missouri Workers Compensation Case?

This is Springfield Missouri Work Comp lawyer, Jason Krebs, and in today’s video, we thought we would answer some questions that have come in. Today is the 30th of March, 2020. Obviously with the COVID-19, there’s a lot of uncertainty and things are changing almost on an hour by hour basis, let alone day by day basis right now. But we have received several questions through the website to our firm and I thought I would answer a couple of them.

First one was, “Are the courts shut down and what does that mean for me?” Well, right now the Division of Workers’ Compensation is closed to in-person hearings. We are still working with the division for our clients that we represent. I don’t know that there is a procedure right now for people that are representing themselves, but we’ve settled several cases in the last couple of weeks.

They’ve announced that that shutdown is through the 17th of April. I think it’s probably going to go into May, maybe even farther. We’ve had mediations in those types of things, pre hearings already scheduled. They’ve basically taken them off their schedule. So I think that’s probably going to change several different times between now and then. So we’re still pursuing cases, we’re still filing claims, but if you’re unrepresented, you’re going to have to kind of work at the mercy of the defense, the insurance company lawyers as to what their timeframe looks like on that, unfortunately.

The next question, “Will the work comp carrier get out of paying me due to the COVID-19 virus?” The answer to that is no. If you have a pending work comp case going, you know that you should be still getting TTD just like you were. Now, once you released an MMI, they may not have any work for you, your employer, and then you could file for unemployment, but it should not. Then, ultimately, you’re still entitled to the permanent damages, your permanent injury award. It shouldn’t affect that at all. I wouldn’t be worried about that.

Next question, “Will I get my money faster because of COVID-19?” The answer to that is no. If anything, it’s probably going to take more time. If you are represented by a Springfield Missouri Work Comp attorney, we’re still processing these things and getting them as quick as the defense attorneys can get us a check. We can still get that done, but it is slowing things down and, unfortunately, people that are unrepresented, I’ve talked to several defense attorneys and they’re just not able to handle those right now because a lot of these defense firms don’t have the ability to work remotely.

We’ve been able to work remotely for some time now and due to some extent, my staff’s been working remotely for several weeks now, but that’s where the hold up is for a lot of these things is, they just can’t. It’s the mechanics of it, unfortunately. So I wouldn’t count on getting anything faster anytime soon.

I hope that answers some of the questions that we’ve been getting about COVID-19 and your Missouri Work Comp case. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us, 417-883-5886. We do handle cases statewide in Missouri and we look forward to hearing from you, working with you. Thanks for watching.