Springfield Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Helping You Get the Benefits You Deserve
If you have been injured at work, you might find it difficult to navigate the confusing administrative landscape of the workers’ compensation system to obtain the benefits you are entitled to. At Lowther Johnson Attorneys at Law, LLC, our goal is to lead you through this process and help you comply with all deadlines and requirements, so you can begin recovering as soon as possible. Should a dispute arise with your claim at any stage, our experienced litigators fight aggressively to protect your rights.
Common Reasons for Denials of Workers’ Compensation Claims in Missouri
Under Missouri law, virtually every employer must purchase workers’ compensation insurance to protect employees from on-the-job injuries. If you suffer an injury that “arises from employment” “during the course of employment,” you can receive benefits to cover all reasonable medical care and part of your lost income.
However, many workers’ compensation claims are denied for various reasons, including these:
- Employee missed the deadline — The law requires workers to report an injury to their employer within a short period of time or risk losing access to benefits provided under the law. Make sure you notify your employer immediately of an injury event even if you don’t think it will amount to anything serious.
- The worker is not an employee — Employers often try to save on the cost of insurance by classifying workers as independent contractors rather than employees. However, the label a company puts on you is not enough to determine your true status. If the employer closely supervises your work, assigns tasks to you, and gives you the tools with which to perform your duties, you may be an employee for workers’ comp purposes even if you’re paid as a contractor.
- The injury was not work-related — Generally speaking, as long as your injury occurred due to a risk of employment and while you were doing some activity that benefits your employer, you are covered. This is why it is sometimes so important to explain the circumstances of your injury in detail. If you are hurt commuting to work, you are not covered. But if you are hurt commuting to work because you made a detour to run an errand for the company, you are covered. If on your lunch hour, you are hurt in the parking lot walking to your car to go take your lunch off-site, you are probably not covered. But if you slip and fall in the company cafeteria, you probably are covered.
- The injury was your own fault — Workers’ comp is a no-fault system, so even if you hurt yourself through your own carelessness, you are covered. Exceptions exist for things like horseplay, as long as the company has made it clear that horseplay is not to be tolerated.
- A doctor has cleared you to return to work — You can lose your temporary disability benefit if a doctor says you are well enough to return to work. However, if you disagree with the doctor, you have the right to be seen by another treating physician.
At Lowther Johnson Attorneys at Law, LLC, we understand how important your workers’ comp benefits are to you and your family. We are determined to assist you at every stage of the process to ensure you have access to the benefits you deserve.
Get Effective Representation for Your Workers’ Compensation Dispute
If you’ve been injured in a work-related accident or developed a work-related illness, Lowther Johnson Attorneys at Law, LLC has the knowledge and experience to help.