Securing the Funds You Need When You’re Hurt on the Job
Springfield lawyer skilled in workers’ compensation and other legal remedies
If you’re seriously injured on the job or you suffer an occupational disease, you need immediate financial aid to cover your medical treatment, lost wages and related expenses. Employers carry workers’ compensation insurance for just this purpose. Unfortunately, few workers understand what exactly is covered by workers' comp, which can put them at a disadvantage when they are filing a claim. What’s more, complications in the process can lead to delay or denial of benefits that are owed.
That’s where a trained and seasoned lawyer can make all the difference. Ronald Coticchio of RJC Law is an accomplished workers’ comp attorney with 27 years of experience in Greene County and across Missouri. I will make sure you know your rights in advance and help you clearly grasp what benefits you may be owed. I will also keep the insurance company from pressuring you into an unreasonable or unfair settlement. Whatever hurdles stand in the way of your benefits, RJC Law will stand up for you.
What does workers’ compensation cover?
Workers’ compensation is a form of no-fault insurance that allows you to secure the money you need after a workplace accident or illness without having to bring a lawsuit or prove anyone was to blame.
By applying for workers’ comp during the time limit set by law, you can obtain reimbursement for:
- Medical expenses — This includes all authorized medical costs, including prescription drugs and transportation expenses associated with treatment.
- Lost wages — If your injuries leave you completely unable to work, you can collect two-thirds of you average weekly wage, up to a cap set annually by the state (currently $981.65 per week).
- Rehabilitation expenses — Workers’ comp covers physical therapy and can provide an enhanced monetary benefit, for an injured worker depending on the severity of the injury.
- Second Injury Fund claims — Missouri’s Second Injury Fund provides compensation when a current work-related injury combines with and increases a prior disability when the combination results in total and permanent disability.
- Permanent disability — You may be entitled to benefits for Permanent and Total Disability (PTD), if your injury is so severe that you cannot return to work. You may also be entitled to benefits for Permanent Partial Disability (PPD), if you have a medically determinable impairment that affects your ability to work.
- Final Settlements — You can recover financial compensation for injuries that can be documented by a qualified physician. At RJC Law, we will work with a medical doctor to determine your exact disability, based on the American Medical Association Guidelines for Permanent Impairments.
Whether you’re dealing with broken bones, burns, back pain, an illness linked to toxic exposure, a traumatic brain injury or any other type of harm, I will pursue a result that fully compensates you under the law.
Close family members of a worker who dies due to a job-related incident or condition can receive death benefits of up to $5,000 for funeral expenses and wage replacement payments.
How does the claims process work?
In most cases, you have 30 days to report a workplace accident or work-related disease to your employer, giving as much detail as possible. Your employer is then responsible for filing the report with the state and for notifying the insurance carrier.
Employers and insurance companies may try to deny a claim by asserting that the injury or illness did not arise in the course of your work duties. Or they may allege that you failed to undergo required medical care or to follow a doctor’s instructions. If this happens, call RJC Law and I will fight for your rights.
I advocate forcefully for my clients and I know how to navigate through the entire process to insure that you receive all the benefits you deserve, including a financial settlement at the end of your case.
Protecting your right to sue third parties
Workers’ compensation may not be your only remedy when you are injured or become sick on the job. Sometimes there is another party who can be held accountable as well. For example, if you were hurt because a machine malfunctioned or was designed without proper safety features, you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the machine’s manufacturer or maintenance provider. You may also be able to sue a contractor whose negligence caused your injury or a reckless driver if you were hurt while driving as part of your job.
Importantly, lawsuits against third parties allow you to seek damages not covered by workers’ compensation, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress. However, you need an attorney to help you determine whether you have a possible case against a third party.
Contact an experienced Missouri workers’ compensation lawyer to set up a free consultation
Ronald Coticchio of RJC Law represents Missouri employees in workers’ compensation claims and claims against third parties. I get paid only if I succeed in winning you financial recovery. Please call my Springfield office at 417-233-0073 or contact me online to arrange for a free initial consultation.