At the Piatchek Law Firm, our attorneys are frequently asked questions about how the workers’ compensation system works in Missouri. Our lawyers are happy to answer any questions you may have, and we have compiled a few common questions and answers below that we hope you will find helpful.
Will I lose my job if I file a workers’ compensation claim? Can I keep my job?
We hear this concern often from clients that have suffered injuries at work. They want to know if they will lose their job if they file a workers’ compensation claim or lawsuit. The short answer is no!
Under Missouri law, it is illegal to fire an employee who files a workers’ compensation claim. This is not to say that no employer has ever fired an employee who filed a claim, but it is illegal to do so. Firing an employee who files a workers’ compensation claim will often prove much worse for an employer than simply following the law, because taking such an action is illegal and wrong.
What if my employer pressures me to not file a claim or to take a position for which I am not suited?
Many clients have questions about their future employment. For example, what happens if your employer tries to get you to not file a claim? What if your employer pressures you to work in a different position for which you’re unsuited? The workers’ compensation system is in place so that injured workers have somewhere to turn when they are injured. Thus, it is not legal for employers to try to circumvent or ignore the system in different situations. Our attorneys have successfully handled cases and issues like these.
What if my loved one died on the job or in a work-related accident?
We have recovered large, lump-sum payments for many clients, as well as lifetime payments for the families of death victims. Cases involving death are different from those that simply involve an injury, and they must be handled differently by an experienced attorney.
How do I pay my attorney?
We are not paid upfront, nor do we charge to fight for you to get medical treatment. You will only pay if you win, and our fees are paid out of those winnings – you don’t have to pay us directly. We will simply take a percentage of your settlement if you win. Therefore, if you lose and get nothing, it will cost you nothing. If you win, we will get paid from a percentage of your workers’ compensation award.
What types of compensation or payments can I get?
There are multiple types of payments allowed in a workers’ compensation case in Missouri, and which one you get will depend on many factors. The most common types of payments or compensation in a workers’ compensation case are the following:
- Permanent partial disability (PPD): A payment determined by the extent of your work injury and what part of your body was injured at work
- Temporary total disability (TTD): A payment to compensate you while you are unable to work due to your injury suffered on the job
- Temporary partial disability (TPD): A payment to partially compensate you for your work injury, which may be used (for example) if you are on restricted duty or light duty and cannot earn your original salary while injured
- Future medical treatment: A method of protecting your right to future medical treatments or medications that will either cure or alleviate the symptoms caused by your work accident or on-the-job injury
An injury doesn’t have to be major in order to be worth pursuing your due compensation.
Where do you provide services?
Our attorneys handle workers’ compensation cases throughout the entire state of Missouri, including Monett, Springfield, Nixa, Ozark, Republic, Branson, Bolivar, Joplin, Lake of the Ozarks, and West Plains. We currently have two office locations, one in Springfield and one in St. Louis. In situations where you are unable to come to our office, we may also be available to make house calls.
What types of claims does your firm handle?
We don’t just handle standard workers’ compensation claims involving you and your employer; we will also discuss possible third-party claims you may have against parties (other than your employer) that may be responsible for your injury. For example, while working, you may have been involved in a vehicle accident that was not your fault. We can advise you of the issues involved in pursuing a workers’ compensation claim as well as a claim against the other party that caused your accident.
When can I file a workers’ compensation claim?
It is important that you realize that there is a short time frame in which you can file a workers’ compensation case. It is also important to have an attorney involved in your case early. The insurance companies hire the medical providers and handle all aspects of your case. They are trying to minimize what they have to pay you at every step, so you need an attorney there to counteract what the insurance companies are trying to accomplish. An attorney can help you avoid mistakes and bypass the pitfalls into which many clients fall. For more information on this, please see our page discussing what happens in a typical workers’ compensation case.
How do I get started?
If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys, please contact our offices by phone or e-mail. We are ready to help and thank you for taking the time to visit our website.