Thursday, November 30, 2017

What Injuries Are Covered Under Missouri Workers Compensation?

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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Friday, September 29, 2017

Exposure to Pesticides in the Workplace - St. Louis Work Injury Lawyers

 Industries like farming, gardening, and landscaping use pesticides on a large scale. Workers who look after the plants in public and private buildings also use pesticides extensively. They use insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides which contain potentially dangerous chemicals. These are very harmful and can cause health problems. In this post, our St. Louis work injury lawyer will discuss the risks associated with pesticide exposure at work.

How Pesticide Exposure Can Occur

The toxic chemicals present in pesticides can be absorbed by workers while performing the tasks of mixing, applying or cleaning.
Dermal - Pesticides often come into contact with a workers' skin when they splash on them. Sometimes the workers touch the surfaces, equipment or clothing which have a pesticide residue and the skin absorbs it. This type of exposure is very common.
Inhalation - When the workers perform their duties in the vicinity of powders, vapors or airborne droplets of pesticides they tend to inhale them. This risk increases when ultra-low volume, fogging, or high pressure equipment is used.
Ingestion - This causes the most severe poisoning. Fortunately, it does not occur very frequently. Sometimes a worker may unknowingly consume a pesticide which is stored in an unlabeled bottle or a beverage container. In some instances, they may fail to wash their hands before eating and accidentally ingest the pesticide.

Different Levels of Exposure

A person who is exposed to toxins may display the following symptoms according to the level of exposure.
Mild - A person suffering from mild poisoning experiences irritation of skin, eyes, throat or nose, dizziness, thirst, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, sweating, nervousness, and insomnia.
Moderate - If the level of affliction is moderate the person often feels like vomiting, has abdominal cramps, rapid pulse, a constriction  in the chest and throat, mental confusion, lack of coordination of muscles, coughing, and blurred vision along with the above mentioned symptoms.
Severe - A person who suffers due to severe poisoning will have rapid breathing, excessive mucous, uncontrollable twitching of the muscles and chemical burns on his skin in addition to the symptoms of mild and moderate levels of poisoning. He may also have difficulty in breathing, lose consciousness or even die.

Diseases Caused Due to Exposure

Workers who are exposed to pesticides for a long period may fall sick or become disabled due to the nature of their work. Some of the common health problems and diseases caused due to pesticide exposure include malignant tumors, gastrointestinal disorders, brain injuries, blood disorders, Cancer, Hodgkin's and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, endocrine disruption, Alzheimer's disease, reproductive problems, Parkinson's disease, asthma and allergies.
When the workers fall sick or become disabled due to continuous exposure to pesticides they are not in a position to continue working. They have to stay away from work until they recover. As a result they lose wages. Besides this, they have to undergo medical treatment to cure their ailment. Thankfully, they can claim workers' compensation to make up for all these expenses. If they find any difficulty in getting the rightful benefits, they should immediately contact a St. Louis workers compensation lawyer. Call (314) 361-4300 for a free and private case evaluation.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

6 Common Workplace Injuries - St. Louis Workers Compensation Lawyer

If you are injured at work, you could be left with huge medical bills to pay. You may also be unable to work or perhaps unable to return to your previous job. Thankfully, workers compensation is supposed to take care of medical bills and part of wage loss.

Some common workplace injuries that a St Louis workers injury lawyer can help you with

Carpel Tunnel Syndrome - It's not just construction workers and the like that can suffer an injury at work. Anyone who spends a lot of time working at a desk on a computer can suffer from carpel tunnel syndrome. Excessive typing or holding a mouse can cause this condition. It can often be prevented with the use of special ergonomic chairs and keyboards, and some instruction on the correct height to have a desk and chair.

Back pain and spinal injuriesBack and spine problems are also common in a wide variety of jobs. Back pain should never be ignored as it can often become worse over time and as you age. This type of case can be hard to prove. There are many reasons why someone may suffer back pain. If you are sure your back pain was caused due to your working conditions, your St Louis work injury lawyer will do their best to help you prove this. Even if you have since left that employment and are now seeking compensation.

Heart attacks – A physically demanding job, a job that exposes you to high temperatures on a regular basis or a high pressure position can all result in a heart attack. If you find your blood pressure is increasing, this could be a sign of an impending heart attack and it is important you seek medical attention.

Burns – People who work in the catering industry are likely to suffer burns. Also, anyone who works with hazardous chemicals could be at risk from a chemical burn. Serious burns can massively affect your life. There are strict guidelines set out for employees to minimize risk of burns.

Foot and leg pains – If you're on your feet a lot for your job, you could end up with some bad pain in your feet or in your legs. It's important that this type of employee are given regular breaks to rest their legs and feet.

Falls and crushing accidents – One of the most common types of injury in the workplace are those resulting from a fall, or becoming crushed. Construction workers are especially at risk from this type of injury.

If you have suffered an injury at work, it's important to seek advice from a specialist lawyer to claim compensation. If you are worried that your working environment is unsafe and are concerned it could lead to an accident then you must bring this to the attention of your employer. Call (314) 361-4300 to speak with an experienced St. Louis workers compensation attorney.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Workers Compensation for Missouri Food Industry Employees

A large number of people work in the food industry. Whether it's as a server or a chef, it's not a job we associate with any great levels of risk. However the rate of workplace injuries for food industry workers is actually pretty high! 

According to the National Safety Council, if you work in the food industry, you have a sixty percent greater chance of being injured or suffering from a work related illness than in other occupations. It is important that you understand the risks.

The dangers of working in a restaurant

Working in a restaurant puts you at risk from a variety of injuries. Many workers in kitchens and restaurants suffer from cuts from sharp knives or from broken glass. Breaks happen in every restaurant and of course it is the restaurant staff who have to clean this up.

Burns are also very common. In a high pressure kitchen everything runs at a fast pace. It's easy enough to burn yourself cooking one meal at home, the risk is much greater in a hectic restaurant kitchen full of people with so many dishes on the go.

Then there's the risk of slipping on a slippery floor and hurting yourself. Additionally, lifting and being on your feet for extended periods of time can also cause strain on your joints. Back problems are very common in this industry. 

Perhaps one of the more serious types of injuries is eye injuries. Cleaning fluids or hot fat can easily get into your eyes.

Ensuring restaurant worker safety

Some say that for every dollar spent on safety, a business is saving $5 on compensation claims due to worker injury and illness. 

Some tips for restaurant owners to improve safety levels

  • Ensure you have a fully stocked first aid cabinet and make sure that everyone knows where it is.
  • Train your staff in basic first aid. A quick response can often prevent a injury from becoming more serious.
  • If there are hazardous materials, make sure everything is properly labelled and your staff know how to handle it safely. 

Keep your staff safe and you'll make sure they know how to do their own tasks in the safest possible way. For example, watch your staff to make sure they know how to use knives properly. A few extra safety measures really can make all the difference. 

If you suffer injuries on the job, contact a
St. Louis work injury lawyer to learn more about your rights.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Night Duty Police Officer Work Injuries - St. Louis Workers Comp Attorney

Police officers on night duty face higher risk of workplace injuries.


The job of a law enforcement officer is often dangerous. With the responsibility of maintaining law and order in society, apprehending criminals, and safeguarding property, police officers put their lives at risk on a daily basis. Statistics from the FBI show that the crime rates in the United States increase during nightfall, late night, and early morning hours.

Apart from such risks, a study conducted by the University of Buffalo has shown that law enforcement officers working night shifts are more susceptible to risks of work-related injuries. Our St. Louis workplace injury lawyer talks about these risks.

Working night shifts

Most law enforcement departments across the country work in three shift timings – 8am to 4pm, 4pm to 11pm and 11pm to 8am. These shifts, according to the study conducted are not allotted equally. The study points out that –

  • About 41% of officers are predominantly assigned to the morning shifts
  • 32% exclusively work in the afternoon shift
  • 27% work night shifts

The low percentage of officers working the night shift indicates potential under-staffing issues, with night shift workers having to put forth extra effort, and being exposed to a more hazardous work environment. Moreover, the study also indicated that inexperienced, young male officers were designated night shifts and four out of every five night shift officers were active patrol officers.

The university of Buffalo study

The study conducted included a group of 400 officers. The aim was to study the stress levels of these officers during night shifts. A health-related questionnaire and a physical examination including a cardiac and metabolic stress study were conducted. The research drew upon 16 years of records to understand the work history of each officer and the injuries sustained while on the job during the study period.

The results of the study

  • Regular night shift police officers faced three times more risks than that of a major on-the-job injury.
  • A major injury is defined as a physical injury that required immediate medical care and a long time off work.
  • Officers in other shift timings were also exposed to work-related injuries.
  • The work-related disability for police officers studied was 9.6 percent or one in every 10 officers.
  • Afternoon shift workers also face an elevated risk of injury, two times higher than day shift workers.

What makes the night shift so hazardous?

The high rate of injuries for officers working in the night time can be attributed to certain factors –
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Increased rates of crime at night
  • Under-staffing places tremendous pressure on night shift workers
  • Disrupted circadian rhythms

Making the change

Considering the fact that graveyard shifts are more stressful, it is the responsibility of the police departments to create a conducive working environment for all police officers to reduce the risks of injury. Some changes can be incorporated to ensure a safe and healthy work environment for police officers

  • Consistency in shifts and better routine scheduling
  • Frequent changes in shift timings should be avoided
  • Better preventive medical care and support for police officers
  • Increasing staff numbers

While these are just some of the measures that police departments can take, accidents and work related injury will still happen considering the nature of the job. Police officers should also be aware that if they are injured on the job, they are generally entitled to Missouri workers compensation benefits.

If you have been injured on the job in the state of Missouri, give us a call at (314) 361-4300 for a free consultation.