Most workers who are injured on the job or develop a work related illness are covered by workers’ compensation insurance paid by their employer. Workers’ compensation pays for medical care, part of lost income, and permanent disability. Workers’ compensation is a no fault insurance system. Injured workers are covered regardless of who caused the accident.
Workers’ compensation is mandatory for most businesses in Missouri and Illinois. Still, some supervisors try to discourage workers from reporting workplace injuries. Some companies and their insurance providers even try to deny valid claims for medical care and other benefits. If you are running into problems obtaining workers’ compensation benefits after suffering a work related injury or illness, talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer about your legal options.
Any serious workplace injury may keep you out of work for an extended period of time. The workers’ compensation lawyers at Sansone & Lauber handle injured workers’ claims in Missouri and Illinois involving many types of workplace accidents including:
Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company pays your medical bills and disability payments for work related injuries. Too often, however, injured workers who try to navigate the workers’ compensation system on their own receive settlements that are far less than they should receive based on their injuries and lost wages. We can advocate on your behalf to ensure you receive all the benefits to which you are entitled.
If the insurance company refuses to pay bills for authorized medical treatment for a workplace injury, we can request that an administrative law judge order the insurance company or employer, if self insured, to pay the bills. We will file a formal claim for compensation to initiate a contested case hearing.
Most workers’ compensation cases are settled through negotiation without a hearing. For cases in which the parties cannot reach a compromise, an administrative law judges conducts a hearing and determines whether the injured worker is eligible to receive benefits. According to the Missouri Division of Workers Compensation, administrative law judges held more than 2,200 hearings in 2014 and made awards to approximately 1,200 cases.
In Illinois, injured workers file 50,000 to 55,000 claims per year with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. Most cases are settled. Arbitrators of the commission hold trials of disputed cases at sites across Illinois and issue 3,000 to 4,000 decisions a year. The injured worker has the burden of proof to show you qualify for benefits. Therefore, injured workers may wish to seek the guidance of a workers’ compensation attorney to protect your rights and keep track of your claim. Either the employee or the employer may appeal the arbitrator’s decision to the Commission.
Injured workers cannot file a lawsuit against their employer for injuries. In some accidents, however, a third party (other than your employer) may have caused the accident, such as a subcontractor working at a job site or the manufacturer of an unsafe piece of machinery that caused an accident. As part of our investigation of your workers’ compensation claim, we’ll evaluate the possibility of a third party lawsuit that can provide compensation to you in addition to workers’ compensation.
Choosing a workers’ compensation attorney is an important decision. You want an experienced lawyer in this area of law, who will take charge of your case so you can focus on your health and recovery. Whether your injury occurred at a workplace accident in Missouri or Illinois, you want a lawyer who knows the system and has handled numerous workers’ compensation claims.
At Sansone & Lauber, we have represented dozens of injured workers in Missouri and Illinois and achieved successful outcomes for our clients. Contact us for assistance with your workers’ compensation claim.