Thursday, April 17, 2014

When Will My Workers Compensation Benefits Start?

A work related injury or illness can leave a worker totally shattered especially if the injury is serious enough to require intensive treatment and affect his ability to work. 

An injured employee has to struggle with physical pain, medical expenses, wage loss, and emotional trauma. Thankfully, workers compensation is in place to take care of the interests of the injured employees.

Workers compensation provides for the medical treatment of the worker injured during the course and scope of work, and in case the employee is unable to return to work, he will be entitled to receive disability benefits under workers compensation. It is a fairly straightforward process where the injured employee notifies the employer about his injury or illness and fills out injury report. The employer or their insurance company will then take care of covering the medical treatment and benefits.

Many employees have little knowledge about the workers compensation claim process. One of the most frequently asked questions that workers compensation lawyers come across is "when will the workers compensation benefits start?" Do they start immediately after the injury is notified or is there a time gap?

Receiving Workers' Compensation Benefits

The answer is that medical benefits start immediately after the injury; however, other benefits will depend on the circumstances of the case such as the seriousness of the injuries and the employee’s ability to return to work.

All medical bills related to your workplace injury will generally be paid by the employer or his insurance company irrespective of whether or not your workers compensation claim has been allowed or accepted. Report the injury to the supervisor or employer and seek immediate medical treatment. The doctor designated by the employer will start providing treatment for the injury immediately.
When you go to the doctor for treatment, notify them that you have filed a workers compensation claim, and they will bill your employer or his insurance company directly. If somehow you receive any bills for the treatment sought for the work related injury, you should send them to the employer or insurance company for settlement.

Other workers compensation benefits such as temporary disability benefits and permanent disability benefits do not start until your workers compensation claim has been formally accepted. Before you start receiving the disability benefits under workers compensation, your employer will send a notice stating whether or not your claim has been accepted. In case your workers compensation claim is denied, you have every right to appeal the decision.

St. Louis Work Injury Lawyers

Even after your claim has been accepted, the doctor will have to verify that you are not in a condition to return to work. This will establish your eligibility for receiving workers compensation benefits. If you have been injured at your workplace, and have some questions regarding the claim process, you should consult with an experienced Missouri work injury lawyer at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. We can evaluate your case for free and help you get the full amount compensation you need to recover. Call us today at (314) 361-4300.

 photo credit: billjacobus1

Friday, April 4, 2014

Do I Need to Hire a Workers' Compensation Attorney?

Work related injury can leave an employee totally overwhelmed, especially if the injury is serious enough to cause partial or permanent disability. To add to the woes of the employees there are complex legal procedures and regulations governing workers compensation. Even their employer or the insurance company may try to take advantage of the situation by holding back or minimizing the compensation that the worker deserves. 

Although a worker is not required to hire an attorney to receive workers compensation, when facing situations as those described above it is a good idea to seek legal help. In adverse situations, where the employee feels that he is not able to understand the complexities of the workers compensation system, or if he feels that the employer or the insurance company are withholding benefits, it is important to seek the assistance of a workers compensation lawyer.

Here are some situations in which you should consider speaking with a workers comp lawyer:

  • The injuries the employee has received at the workplace are moderate to severe, and the doctor feels that he would not be able to return to the pre-injury state. In this case, the employee will be entitled to permanent partial disability benefits 
  • The employee feels that he no longer can go back to the current job, but can still work in some capacity
  • The employee feels that he can no longer work in any capacity due to the work related injury

  • The employer or the insurance company has denied medical benefits

  • The employer wants to file a dispute against the decision of his employer, his insurance company, or the Missouri state workers compensation division

  • The employer has filed a dispute against the ruling of the workers compensation division


Missouri Workers' Compensation Attorney

During any stage of the workers compensation process, if you feel confused, or think that some legal help can make things better, you should get in touch with a Missouri workers compensation lawyer at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann and discuss your case. We can explain all your legal rights to you and help you get the compensation that you deserve. 

Call us today at (314) 361-4300 to schedule a free consultation.

photo credit: thetaxhaven via Flickr

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Common Reasons Workers Compensation Claims Get Denied

Injured workers are entitled to receive benefits under the workers compensation system. Their medical expenses, loss of wages, disability benefits, and death benefits are paid for under workers compensation. It is advised that the employee notify his supervisor or employer about the injury as soon as an injury occurs.

The employee should then file for workers compensation, and the employer shall take care of his treatment. However, in some cases the employer denies workers compensation claims. There could be several reasons behind this. Here are some of them:

No One Witnessed the Injury

One common reason employers deny workers compensation is that no one witnessed the injury. Employers often treat such cases with suspicion. This is why it is important for an injured worker to immediately bring their injury to the attention of their supervisor.

Discrepancy between Initial Medical Report and Accident Records

Inconsistencies in the statements pertaining to the injury and how it happened can work against you. Your statement about how the injury occurred should be substantiated with the initial medical report, and also by your co-workers, supervisors, and other eye witnesses.

Delay in Reporting the Injury

Again, an injured worker should report his injury to the employer soon after it occurs. Any delay will only jeopardize your chances of getting workers compensation benefits.

The Employee Filed Claim after Getting Laid Off

We have come across several cases where the employee delayed filing the workers compensation claim, and by the time he did, he got fired or laid off from work. In such cases, the employer often thinks that the employer is making a revenge claim.

The Employee Refused to Sign Medical Authorizations or Provide Recorded Statement

Insurance companies may require the injured employee to provide a written record of the accident, or sign medical authorizations allowing the insurer to access his medical records. Refusal to do so may give the insurance company an opportunity to deny the claim.

St. Louis Workers Compensation Attorney

In some cases, the employer or the insurance company may deliberately try to find faults to refuse workers compensation. In such cases, the employee should consult an experienced Missouri Workers Compensation Lawyer to discuss his case, and approach workers compensation authorities to appeal the denial of benefits.

An attorney will help prepare all the paperwork and evidence to help fight your case. At the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann we can guide you through every step of the process, and act in your best interest to ensure that you get the rightful compensation that you deserve.

Call us today at (314) 361-4300 to schedule a free consultation with a workers compensation attorney at our law office.

photo credit:  bloomsberries via Flickr