St. Louis Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
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Workers’ compensation insurance protects both businesses and their employees from financial loss when an employee is injured on the job or gets sick because of the conditions of their employment. Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that most businesses must have by law. This type of insurance is not the burden of the employee, meaning you do not need to have an independent workers’ compensation policy to receive benefits after a work-related accident.
If you suffer an injury on the job or illness due to work conditions, our St. Louis workers’ compensation attorneys at Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz can help you recover the benefits you deserve for medical expenses, lost wages from missed work, and permanent disability.
What is workers' compensation?
In Missouri, employees injured on the job or exposed to an occupational disease that arises due to the conditions of their employment can receive workers’ compensation benefits and services. Benefits can also extend to surviving family members if an employee dies from work-related injuries or illness compensable under workers’ compensation laws.
There are different benefits and payments that an injured employee can recover in Missouri, depending on their injury and recovery process, including:
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits: If you can’t return to work because of your injury or recovery after surgery, you may be entitled to this benefit. You may not be entitled to the same benefits, though, if your doctor allows you to perform light or modified work and your employer can provide accommodations.
- Temporary Partial Disability Benefits: If you can perform light or modified work but at less pay, you may be eligible to receive this type of benefit.
- Permanent Partial Disability: If your work-related injury affects your ability to do specific jobs, but you’re still able to work in some capacity, your situation may qualify you for this type of disability benefit.
- Permanent Total Disability: If you can no longer work in any capacity due to your on-the-job injury, you may be eligible to receive weekly payments for life or a lump-sum settlement via this type of disability benefit.
Under Missouri’s workers’ compensation laws, a qualifying injury is considered one that has arisen out of and in the course of employment. If the injury results due to an accident, you are only entitled to compensation if the accident was the prevailing factor that caused the resulting medical condition and disability. An accident for workers’ compensation purposes is an unexpected and traumatic event that can be identified at a specific time and place, producing an injury.
Our St. Louis workers’ compensation attorneys have years of experience with workers’ compensation claims. We can help you determine the best course of action to take to recover the compensation you deserve for your work-related injury and damages.
How common are workplace injuries in St. Louis?
In the St. Louis area, the reported number of workplace injuries has consistently stayed around 6,000 to 7,000 incidents for the past several years. The highest number of injury incidents reported was in 2019, with 7,061 incidents.
In 2020, the highest number of injuries resulting in lost time was at 680. In 2017, the highest number of workplace fatalities was 17. As of June 2021, there have been 2,625 incidents for the year thus far, with 67 injuries resulting in lost time and one fatality.
Whether you experience a temporary disability, permanent disability, or another type of job injury, you don’t have to go through the complex legal process alone. Our team of St. Louis worker’s compensation lawyers will look out for your best interests and provide you with the legal services you need so you can focus on your recovery. We can help you obtain the financial compensation you need to cover your medical costs and other expenses related to your workplace injury or illness.
Common Causes of Workplace Injuries
The three most common causes of workplace injuries account for more than 84 percent of nonfatal injuries resulting in time off work, including:
- Overexertion or bodily reaction injuries: Typically, these injuries result from excessive physical force or repetitive tasks that cause strain on one part of the body.
- Slip and falls: Slips, trips, or falls include events when a worker slips but does not fall to the ground, falling into an object at the same height, falling from a higher elevation, or jumping from a higher altitude.
- Contact with equipment or other workplace objects: Harmful contact can occur when moving objects collide with an employee, a falling object or moving equipment hits or crushes an employee, or a worker collides with an object or equipment.
It’s important to consider how the work injury occurred. Our lawyers can conduct a thorough investigation to understand and evaluate your claim entirely. Depending on the facts, you may be able to assert a third-party claim if someone other than your employer is at fault for your injury.
Common Injuries in a Workers' Compensation Claim
Injuries commonly asserted in workers’ compensation claims include:
- Shoulder injuries
- Spine or head trauma
- Brain injuries
- Broken or fractured bones
- Torn ligaments
- Psychological trauma
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Toxic chemicals or waste exposure
For many injuries, benefits are payable to the injured employee for lost wages, medical expenses, and disability benefits. In Missouri, to receive compensation for your injuries and damages and associated costs for treatment and recovery, you must report the injury to your employer within thirty days of the accident, and your doctor must report the cause of the injury as work-related.
How do I know if workers' compensation covers my injury?
For your claim to be eligible for workers’ compensation coverage, your injury or illness must arise out of the course of normal employment and be the direct result of a work-related task or accident. Workers’ compensation insurance covers most injuries that occur while an employee is at work and within the course and scope of their employment.
It’s essential to notify your employer as soon as possible to know if workers’ compensation covers your injury. Also, contact our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at NST Law for a free case evaluation and appropriate legal advice to know how to proceed with your claim. We can help you throughout the claim process and handle an appeal if needed.
What types of workplace injury claims do the workers' compensation lawyers at NST Law handle?
Our lawyers at NST Law have experience with many types of injury claims qualifying for workers’ compensation benefits. Workplace injury claims we’ve handled include:
- Back or spine injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Knee or leg injuries
- Brain or head injuries
- Broken or fractured bones
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Exposure to hazardous materials
What should I do if I suffer an injury at work?
If you experience an injury at work happening within the course of your employment, it’s important to immediately notify your supervisor to start the claim process and receive proper medical treatment. In Missouri, you must notify your employer in writing of the time, place, and nature of the injury and the name and address of the person injured within thirty days of the accident.
Once you’ve notified your supervisor in writing, contacting the attorneys at NST Law is an excellent way to help ensure you meet all requirements for a successful claim. In addition, we can inform you of the steps you should take to receive maximum benefits and compensation and advise you of your legal rights relevant to your situation.
It’s helpful if you also speak with your supervisor or employer about seeking proper medical treatment. Some insurance companies providing workers’ compensation benefits require the employer to select the treating physician, and thereby you need to see a doctor approved by your employer’s plan to ensure payment of your medical expenses.
Significant Workers' Compensation Verdicts & Settlements
Our legal team at NST Law handled multiple workers’ compensation cases, resulting in sizeable judgments in favor of our clients. For example, an individual employed as a billboard poster fell almost 35 feet from the catwalk, suffering severe injuries that required surgery. Our team litigated the case and mediated a payout for our client of over $950,000.
We also represented a man initially denied workers’ compensation benefits after suffering a traumatic brain injury due to a work-related accident. We took the case to trial and obtained a judgment against the insurance company for more than $560,000
Workers' Compensation Benefits
The total amount of workers’ compensation benefits you can receive depends on what you can prove, either to the insurance company during the claim or appeal process or to a court during a workers’ compensation lawsuit. Typical benefits include coverage of medical expenses, lost wages, and permanent disability.
Frequently asked questions about workers’ compensation benefits include:
Benefits under workers’ compensation plans vary depending on many factors, including:
- Your salary
- The facts of your case
- The extent of your injury
- Medical care received and treatment still needed
Our Missouri workers’ compensation lawyers can determine all benefits to which you’re legally entitled.
Benefits you can receive via a workers’ compensation claim include:
- Medical treatment
- Death and funeral services
- Ongoing care or physical therapy
The most common benefits are medical expenses and lost wages due to missed work for treatment or recovery. Our lawyers understand the different types of benefits available under Missouri workers’ compensation laws, and we can evaluate your specific case to determine all benefits legally owing to you.
Under Missouri Law, your employer cannot fire you or discriminate against you solely because of the filing of a workers’ compensation claim or the receipt of workers’ compensation benefits.
Per Missouri law, you generally have two years from the date of injury or death, or the date of last payment, to file a workers’ compensation claim. The statute of limitations and any limited exceptions are binding, so it’s essential to contact the legal team at NST Law to make sure you file everything timely or the court can bar you from initiating your case. Filing as soon as possible also ensures you can more easily obtain all necessary information to use as evidentiary support, including medical records, bills and invoices, and proof of the work-related accident.
How do I know my employer will not retaliate against me if I file a workers' compensation claim?
It’s against the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Law, pursuant to § 287.780, for an employer or agent of the employer to discharge or discriminate against injured workers who are exercising their rights under the law. If you believe that your employer discharged or discriminated against you for workers’ compensation reasons, you may be eligible to file a civil lawsuit against your employer. Filing a lawsuit can be complicated on your own, so it’s important to consult a lawyer to obtain appropriate legal advice and representation.
What if I was partially at fault for the accident?
Workers’ compensation regulations in Missouri ensure a no-fault insurance system, meaning the insurance company assesses the claim and can offer a payout no matter who is at fault for the accident. Under a no-fault system, you only need to show that your injury occurred at work and during the course of your employment, but you don’t need to prove fault.
This no-fault system provides multiple benefits for injured workers because it makes obtaining compensation for your injuries less challenging. Also, there’s no need to bring charges or civil cases against the party or parties at fault.
In no-fault states, the benefits you receive from workers’ compensation insurance companies are the sole remedy you can obtain, meaning if you receive workers’ compensation benefits, you cannot also file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer for additional monetary rewards.
How can I prove a third-party's negligence leading to my injury or illness?
Since Missouri law bars injured employees from suing their employers, you may need to file a claim for negligence against a third party (e.g., a contractor, fellow employee, or distributor) contributing to your injury or illness if the insurance company denies your workers’ compensation claim for benefits.
Negligence is a legal theory guarding against a party’s unreasonable conduct and any injuries caused by the same. To prove someone’s negligence, you need to show that they owed you a duty to exercise reasonable care, that they subsequently breached that duty by engaging in unreasonable conduct, that the breach caused your injury, and that you suffered actual harm.
Proving negligence requires evidentiary support showing proof of the accident or injury, the circumstances that led to the injury, any medical bills or other expenses incurred due to the injury, and lost wages due to missed work. The NST legal team has years of experience handling workers’ compensation cases and personal injury lawsuits, so they can assist you in gathering all necessary evidence and using it most beneficially to ensure a more favorable outcome.
Filing a third-party lawsuit enables you to pursue compensation for losses available to you via a workers’ compensation claim and some that are not, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering or emotional anguish
- Damage to personal property
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Additionally, if your family member dies due to a workplace injury or illness, you can sue for their medical expenses and pain and suffering before their death, costs for the funeral and burial, loss of companionship, and loss of income they would’ve received had they not died untimely.
The state of Missouri recognizes comparative negligence when determining negligent liability, meaning if you’re partially responsible for your injuries, you can only collect compensation proportionate to the defendant’s degree of fault. For example, if a third party named in your lawsuit can prove you’re 10% responsible for the accident, you can receive 90% of any awarded compensation to cover your damages.
The legal team at NST Law can help you determine your losses, the value of your lawsuit, and any third parties you can sue to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injury or illness.
What should I do if the workers' compensation insurance company denies my claim?
If the insurance company denies your workers’ compensation claim and you still feel you should be entitled to benefits, you can appeal the decision and ask that they review your claim. This appeals process can be complicated, but our workers’ compensation attorneys at NST Law can help ensure you complete all the necessary steps to get the compensation you deserve.
How can the workers' compensation lawyers at NST help me?
Our workers’ compensation lawyers at NST Law can help you throughout the entire claims process, including reporting to your supervisor, ensuring proper filing of your claim by your employer, and gathering all information and evidence for a potential appeal or third-party lawsuit. We can also communicate with the workers’ compensation insurance company, collect medical records to support your claim or workers’ compensation lawsuit, and advocate for you at hearings.
Hiring a workers’ compensation attorney at NST Law to represent you with your legal matter can give you a better chance of receiving fair compensation for your injuries and damages related to your workplace accident.
How much will a St. Louis workers' compensation lawyer cost?
At NST Law, we represent clients on a contingency fee basis, meaning our lawyers agree to accept payment only after we successfully handle your case. Per a contingency fee agreement, lawyers take a fixed percentage of the client’s compensatory settlement or award after winning their case. At NST Law, our fees are transparent. We will discuss all fees and costs (filing fees, deposition expenses, etc.) openly and honestly with you before hiring us, and you will never have to worry about hidden charges.
When should I contact the lawyers at NST Law?
You must contact our workers’ compensation lawyers at NST Law as soon as possible after your workplace injury. The earlier you contact us, the more we can assist you through the claims process and any appeals that might arise to avoid a delay in payments or an improper denial of your claim.
Contacting our attorneys can be done easily on our website via the contact form to receive a free consultation and review of your workers’ compensation case. You can also call us at 800-529-4004. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve for your work-related injury or illness.