Were you injured on the job in St. Louis, MO? You are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for your medical expenses and lost earnings. For over 20 years, The Bradley Law Firm has represented injured workers in fighting for full workers’ compensation benefits. Contact an experienced St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss your case at (314) 400-0000.
Whether you are filing an initial claim for compensation or your workers’ comp claim has been denied, we are ready to help. However, recovering the benefits you are entitled to, is not always easy. Contact our law office for a free consultation today.
How The Bradley Law Firm Can Help You with a Workers’ Compensation Case in St. Louis
The workers’ compensation system is designed to protect injured workers and give them access to a no-fault system to quickly recover lost wages and medical expenses after an on-the-job accident. Unfortunately, decisions regarding workers’ comp claims are made by for-profit insurance companies. Your workers’ compensation claim may be unfairly denied, or you may be offered less than you are entitled to receive.
You deserve an experienced St. Louis injury lawyer ready to fight for you. At The Bradley Law Firm, we help injured workers file a workers’ compensation claim to reduce the chances of an unfair denial. If your workers’ comp claim has been denied, the insurance company refuses a fair offer, or you are not receiving the full benefits you deserve, we are here to help you.
The Bradley Law Firm was founded by E. Ryan Bradley, who began his career as an insurance defense attorney. He brings this insight into every case to build the strongest claims possible for his clients.
Choose The Bradley Law Firm to represent you in your St. Louis, Missouri, workers’ compensation case, and we will:
- Offer insightful legal advice, guidance, and support at every stage
- Investigate your accident and determine if you can pursue additional damages through a third-party claim
- Help you seek medical care and evaluations with second medical opinions to ensure your injuries, illness, and disability are accurately documented
- Work with experts as needed to determine the full extent of your injuries and future medical needs
- Represent you in an appeal if your workers’ comp claim is denied
- Handle all communications on your behalf
- Negotiate with the insurance company to seek a fair offer that fully compensates you
We understand the devastating impact a work-related accident can have on your life and your entire family. Contact our law office for a free consultation today with a St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney ready to help you.
How Common Are Workplace Accidents in St. Louis, Missouri?
Workplace accidents are, sadly, all too common in Missouri. In 2018 alone, there were 102 fatal workplace accidents and 102,000 workplace injuries in the state. Of these incidents, more than 8,200 resulted in time off work.
Among fatal work-related accidents in Missouri, 25 involved traffic crashes. The most dangerous industries in Missouri included:
- Construction (16 fatalities)
- Warehousing and transportation (15 fatalities)
- Public administration (11 fatalities)
The manufacturing industry alone accounted for the largest total number of work-related injuries and the most injuries that required time off work.
In 2019, the number of workplace fatalities in Missouri was 101. Nearly 45% of these deaths were transportation-related, and 17% were caused by violence. 15% of fatal workplace accidents were due to slips, falls, and trips, and 13% were related to exposure to harmful substances.
Who Is Entitled to Workers’ Compensation Benefits in St. Louis, MO?
Most workers in Missouri are eligible for workers’ compensation. All private employers in Missouri with at least five employees are required to carry workers’ comp or be “self-insured.” Virtually all construction companies with at least a single employee are also required to carry workers’ comp insurance.
You can determine if your employer has workers’ compensation insurance by checking with the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation or the Missouri Division of Insurance.
What Is Workers’ Compensation in Missouri?
Most employers in Missouri are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance, obtained through private insurance companies, protects injured employees through no-fault benefits. It also protects employers who cannot be sued for a work-related accident. Workers’ compensation is administered by the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) within the Department of Labor.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault benefits system. If you suffer an on-the-job injury or illness, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. In exchange, you cannot sue your employer for damages related to your injuries, even if they were negligent, with few exceptions.
What Is My Workers’ Compensation Claim Worth?
The value of your workers’ compensation claim depends on many factors, including the severity of your injuries, whether you are disabled or impaired, and your medical bills. Workers’ compensation benefits are also capped in Missouri based on your average weekly wages.
There is no chart or list to tell you what your workers’ comp claim is worth and no standard settlement amount.
Factors that may be considered include:
- The part of the body injured
- Your pre-injury earnings
- Any pre-existing conditions
- Whether alcohol or drugs were involved
- Your age
- Any safety penalties
- How well you recovered
- The amount of time you took off work
- Your medical expenses
- Whether you were able to return to your normal job duties
- Whether you suffered permanent impairment or issues
- Whether you were left partially or totally disabled
Your case may be worth more if you are eligible to file a third-party personal injury lawsuit against a negligent party other than your employer. This can allow you to recover money for non-economic losses like pain and suffering not available through workers’ compensation.
There is no simple way to estimate the value of your case without a careful review. Contact The Bradley Law Firm for a free consultation with our St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyers to discuss your case.
What Kind of Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Available in St. Louis, Missouri?
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system that allows injured workers (and surviving family members) to recover a number of benefits. These benefits compensate you for medical expenses and lost wages.
In general, lost wage benefits are paid at 66 2/3% of your average weekly wage. They continue for a specific amount of time depending on whether it is temporary or permanent and partial or total disability.
Note that Missouri publishes a scheduled loss of benefits that states the duration of PPD benefits for permanent disability based on the body part. You can see this scheduled loss benefit here.
Note that there is a cap on weekly benefits depending on the type of benefits.
Workers’ compensation pays for reasonable medical expenses related to your injury or illness. Note that your employer or the workers’ comp insurer has the right to choose the doctor you see. You cannot be billed for services provided in a workers’ compensation case. However, you have the right to choose your own treating physician at your own expense.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
While you are off work recovering or if your doctor says you cannot return to work, you can recover TTD benefits. You will not be eligible for these benefits if you can perform modified duties and your employer offers such duties. These benefits continue until you can return to work or when you reach “maximum medical improvement” (MMI).
TTD is paid at 66-2/3% of your average weekly wage up to the maximum amount. These benefits are capped at 105% of the Missouri average weekly wage. For 2021, TTD is capped at $1,011.92 per week.
These benefits can continue for 100 weeks to 400 weeks.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
These benefits are available if you can return to work with modified duties but you do not receive your full pay.
These benefits are paid at 66-2/3% of the difference between your average weekly wage before your accident and the amount you earn during your disability. The same cap on benefits applies to TPD as TTD.
These benefits can continue for up to 100 weeks.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
This benefit replaces your lost earnings when you cannot return to your previous job, even with light duties, but you can continue to work in some capacity.
PPD benefits are calculated as 66-2/3% of your average weekly wages. However, the cap is just 55% of the Missouri state average weekly wage. This gives a 2021 maximum benefit of $530.05 per week.
Permanent Total Disability (PTD)
This benefit is available to workers who suffer permanent, total disability that prevents them from working at all. In the case of total disability, your benefits will be based on the extent of the disability, the injured body part, and your average weekly wage.
You can recover weekly PTD benefits at the same rate as TTD benefits with the same cap as long as you are unable to work. This may be for the rest of your life.
When an employee dies on the job, survivors may claim survivor benefits. This can involve a weekly death benefit of 66.66% of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage up to a limit and funeral expenses up to $5,000. This weekly benefit can last for a surviving spouse’s lifetime or until they remarry.
Some workers are entitled to enhanced benefits. For instance, if you suffer permanent total disability due to occupational disease caused by toxic exposure, you can recover an enhanced benefit. Qualifying disease including mesothelioma, silicosis, coal worker’s pneumoconiosis, and more.
Workers who suffer an amputation are also entitled to enhanced benefits that are 10% higher than their scheduled benefit for a specific number of weeks based on the limb lost.
If you suffered permanent disfigurement to the arms, hands, neck, or head, you may recover an additional award the Department of Workers’ Compensation considers fair. This benefit cannot exceed 40 weeks.
We’ll Fight for Compensation for All of Your Workplace Injuries
In Missouri, the most common work-related injuries are tears and strained related to lifting. While repetitive stress injuries are among the most common, workplace accidents can also be severe, disabling, and even fatal.
At The Bradley Law Firm, we help injured workers recover workers’ compensation benefits for all types of injuries, including:
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Catastrophic injuries
- Back injuries
- Joint injuries
- Crush injuries
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Eye injuries
- Hearing loss
- Occupational illnesses
At The Bradley Law Firm, we will fight for the full compensation you deserve under Missouri’s workers’ compensation laws. Our workers’ compensation attorneys are ready to help you.
How Long Do I Have to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Missouri?
After a workplace accident, you are required to report your injury to your employer within 30 days in writing. If your injury or an illness is not immediately apparent, you have 30 days from the date it is discovered or diagnosed.
You then have two years from the date of injury to file a workers’ compensation claim with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. Missing this statute of limitations will bar you from recovering any compensation at all.
If you have a third-party claim against someone else who caused your accident, you have five years to file your lawsuit.
Contact a St. Louis Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Recovering the workers’ compensation benefits you are owed can be an uphill battle. You deserve an experienced legal advocate on your side to fight for you. The Bradley Law Firm will put decades of experience to work in your workers’ compensation case. Contact our law office for a free case review with a St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer ready to help.