Workers’ Compensation in the State of Missouri was created in 1926 to help protect workers from injuries sustained at work. “Hurt at work” sounds simple enough, however, in practice it is far from a simple proposition. Over the years with the influence of many large insurance companies and business groups, the Missouri Legislature has manipulated the laws surrounding Workers’ Compensation to create a complex system of exceptions and rules to “Hurt at work” claims. All of this has been done to make the benefits you are entitled to under the heading of Workers’ Compensation more difficult for you to obtain on your own. It takes a great deal of study and legal expertise to understand all the new framework around what was originally a simple concept. At Lanzotti and Rau, we understand that if you have been hurt at work, you don’t have years to study the system before making your claim. Let our experience work for you. We know exactly how to proceed to ensure that you receive the maximum benefits, and the money you deserve to heal, and move on with your life.
How Workers’ Compensation Cases are Handled
All Workers’ Compensation cases are handled through the Division of Workers’ Compensation. The system has three primary participants:
- the injured worker,
- the insurance company,
- and the administrative law judge.
The administrative law judges at the Division of Workers’ Compensation are tasked with “administering” the Workers’ Compensation laws of the State of Missouri. Their own work regulations specifically preclude them from advocating on behalf of the injured employee. It is not the judge’s job to make sure an injured employee is provided all the benefits granted to them by Missouri Law. And it is certainly not in the insurance company’s best interests to pay you as much money in benefits as possible. Instead, they will be working to present a compelling case to pay as little money as possible, if any at all. So when you choose to handle your workers’ compensation case by yourself, it is important to be aware that no one else is focused on looking out for your interests. However, when you acquire competent legal representation from an attorney experienced in Workers’ Compensation law, you bring a new asset into play that can tip the scales in your favor.
When a Worker is Hurt
When a worker is hurt at work in the State of Missouri, a worker may receive compensation for their medical bills, time off when they cannot work, and a settlement for the resulting disability from the injury. The disability can be a total disability or a partial disability. It is important to realize that you do not have to be completely incapacitated to have a work-injury related disability. In summary, there are three basic benefits that an injured worker is entitled to: medical, time off and disability.
Dealing with Insurance Claims
With a few rare exceptions, all employers in Missouri are required to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance. As with any insurance, the insurance company makes its profit by underpaying, denying and intentionally delaying cases against injured workers. In every Workers’ Compensation case, the employer, through their insurance company, will hire a lawyer to represent them. The employers’ attorney’s job is to minimize the amount the employer pays during the life of the claim. They want to provide you, the claimant, with as little medical treatment and as little time off as possible, in addition to seeking the smallest possible settlement. The insurance company and the employer generally work very well together, at the expense of the injured employee. Remember, if you have been hurt at work, it is important to make a Workers’ Compensation claim and start the legal process, rather than simply trusting that your boss will ‘make it right.’
Have you Been Hurt on the job?
It is imperative that an individual “hurt at work” have someone fighting for their rights. Workplace injuries can cause serious financial hardship and may impact your ability to earn a living in the future. The last thing you want to do is place your health and financial security at risk by failing to file a claim, or failing to get adequate legal representation to enable you to file successfully. At Lanzotti & Rau we fight for our clients’ rights under the Workers’ Compensation Act to get them all of the benefits they are entitled to and deserve. It is our job to get you the benefits you deserve, and we are very good at it. Call today.
What Will it Cost?
Many people that are hurt at work are concerned about the cost of hiring an attorney to handle their case. At Lanzotti & Rau we handle Workers’ Compensation cases on a contingent fee basis. This means that there is NO money up front, and there will be NO bill for attorney’s fees and/or expenses. We only get paid when you get paid! The contingent fee means that Lanzotti & Rau will be paid by a percentage of your case settlement. The contingent fee is typically twenty-five percent (25%) and the fee is approved by an administrative law judge with the division of Workers’ Compensation. Obviously, this further motivates us to work hard to get the best possible results for you, as our success is directly related to your success!