How Workers Compensation Works in Missouri and Illinois
If you get hurt at work while doing your job, you probably have a workers compensation case. While you don't have to prove fault or negligence against anyone to win a workers compensation case, you do have to timely report the injury and show that the injury is work-related.
Most employers are legally required to carry workers compensation insurance. If you get hurt at work, the workers compensation statute sets out three basic benefits that should be covered under your employer's workers compensation insurance:
- Medical Treatment. Injured workers are entitled to medical care. In Missouri, other than emergency medical treatment, your employer gets to direct your care and pick your doctors. This means that if you want your employer's work comp insurance to pay for your medical bills, you have to go where your employer's insurance company sends you for medical care. In Illinois on the other hand, the employee gets to choose his/her own doctors and the employer's work comp insurance pays the bill as long as the treatment is related to the work injury. This is the general rule regarding the "medical treatment" benefit for injured workers.
- Lost time from work (TTD). Your employer's insurance company has to pay you while you can't work due to a work injury. If a doctor says you cannot work as a result of an injury, the employer's work comp insurance company has to pay 66% of your average weekly wage while you are off of work. This benefit is called Temporary Total Disability (TTD).
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD). Your employer's work comp insurance company has to pay you for the permanent effects of your work injury. The employer's work comp insurance company will hire a doctor to “rate” your injury and give an opinion as to your injury's permanent effect. We will send you to our doctor/expert who will also evaluate you and give an opinion of the permanent effects of your work injury. The insurance company doctors and our doctors usually have diffferent opinions of the percentage of the permanent effects or “disability” of the injured body part. This percentage of Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) translates to monetary compensation.
If you get hurt at work and you are permanently unable to go back to work, you may have a claim for Permanent Total Disability (PTD). Regardless of the injury you have, ask a workers compensation lawyer for advice. Consultations for these kinds of injuries are free and there is no harm in getting basic advice and guidance. Do not go it alone against your employer, its insurance company and their attorneys. Make no mistake, their job is to pay you as little money as possible to close out your case.
If you need help with a work injury, call 314-300-8380 for a free consultation.