Workers' compensation is a type of insurance that a company or business owner must have to ensure that they can pay if an employee is injured while on the job. The drawback to workers' compensation coverage is that if you are injured, you are not allowed to sue your employer; you have to go through the workers’ compensation system. You are also not allowed to recover for non-economic damages as you would be if you were to sue for a personal injury.
What is a work-related injury?
Just because you are injured while at work, does not mean that you are automatically entitled to recover for your injuries. To be eligible for benefits, you must prove that you were hurt while performing under the scope of your employment. That can sometimes be difficult. For instance, if you are making a delivery for your company while on the job and hurt your back delivering the package, then it would be covered. However, if you stopped while you were on your way home from the delivery to run a personal errand and slipped getting out of the car, then you likely would not be. So, although workers' compensation is not guided by fault, there are times when proving that you were working under the scope of your work-related duties might be difficult.
What types of injuries are you entitled to recover for?
If you are hurt while on the job, then you are entitled to recover for your lost wages and medical bills. Unlike personal injury cases, when you are hurt at work, you have to go through workers' compensation coverage, which does not allow for you to recover for any noneconomic damages like pain and suffering or even emotional distress.
What are rehabilitation services?
If you are injured while under the scope of your employment, you are entitled to recover for economic damages according to your injuries, death benefits, and rehabilitation services. Rehabilitation services not only include things like physical therapy that will help to get you back on the job, but if you are severely injured, then you may receive rehabilitation in the form of vocational rehabilitation.
Vocational rehabilitation helps those who can no longer function in the same capacity as they could before the accident. It seeks to help the employee find gainful and equal employment, either by the employer making accommodations for them or through other services like job training, or in some instances providing education to follow another career path.
If you are injured while on the job in St. Louis, the first step you have to take is to file a claim and prove that your injury was work-related. Once you can establish your claim, you will want to consult a St. Louis workers' compensation attorney to ensure that you are protected and that you receive all that you are entitled to. Even though you can’t sue for your injuries, in most cases you will still want a St. Louis workers' compensation lawyer to review your benefits to make sure you are getting what you deserve for your injuries.
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