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Springfield Workers' Compensation Blog

What Workers' Compensation hearings do I have to attend?

If you are injured on the job in Missouri, you probably will file a workers' compensation claim. You will receive benefits as set out under the law. Throughout the process, you may have to attend hearings or other meetings about your benefits to ensure you receive what is due to you. There are several different types of hearings or meeting you may attend.

According to the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, when you first file your workers' compensation claim, it may go in for mediation. This is where everyone involved sits down to discuss your initial claim and reaches a settlement agreement. You may also have a pre-hearing where you discuss any issues surrounding your claim that need resolved before the hearing. It also allows you to present a settlement and have that approved, so you do not have to wait for the actual hearing to take place.

What is the proper way to handle a heavy lifting injury?

Ideally, a workplace facility where heavy objects must be transported should have preventive measures in place to keep workers from being injured. However, should these measures fail, any Missouri worker that suffers a lifting injury on the job should take crucial steps during those immediate minutes and hours after the injury has occurred to prevent further harm and to receive proper compensation.

If the lifting injury does not appear on the surface to be serious, some workplaces will encourage the worker to walk the injury off. However, an article on the Creative Safety Supply website calls this a bad move. Even if an injury does not result in bleeding or outward bruising, there could be serious harm done to your muscles, nerves or even an organ. Far more serious symptoms can manifest later on, even ones that threaten your life. You can also further harm yourself if you try to resume your normal activities without seeking treatment.

Your workers' comp claim was denied, now what?

If you were to be injured while on the job and subsequently denied workers' compensation coverage, this denial might constitute a breach of Missouri employment law. Most employers and insurance companies know this, and, being respectful of the law, they tend to honor legitimate claims. However, if you should be unlucky enough to have to deal with a questionably ethical denial of coverage, there would still be potential avenues via which you could obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

While most insurance companies have internal claims review procedures, you might also opt for a more official method of appeal. This legal alternative is likely to require a reassessment of your incident. For example, it is typically wise for you to determine whether or not your claim qualifies under state law before pursuing a lengthy and complicated set of formal actions.

What is the independent medical examination?

After submitting your workers' compensation claim, you may receive a request for an Independent Medical Examination. Understanding how this works and the purpose behind it can help you prepare yourself.

The IME consists of an examination by a doctor selected by the insurance company. This physician typically reviews your records from your regular doctor, conducts a physical exam and asks you some questions.

What is the top safety gear for construction sites?

Work on a construction site in Missouri can be dangerous. You probably have had plenty of safety training if you work in this field. You understand the risks and know what you should do. However, accidents happen on construction sites daily. The best way to prevent serious injuries and death is to use the right safety gear. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, your employer should make sure that you have the following safety gear when you are on the job. 

You should always wear a hard hat when on site. Your hat should be inspected regularly for damage. You also should be provided with proper eye protection based on the job you are doing, along with gloves, if needed. All of these items are considered personal protection devices because they protect your body.

School bus kills Missouri school student

School buses are one of the safest modes of transportation for children in Springfield and across the nation. However, they are not accident-free. School bus accidents do not happen as frequently as car and truck accidents. When they do occur, the children are the ones who often pay the price. According to NHTSA's National Center for Statistics and Analysis, there were 1,172 school bus accidents from 2006 to 2015, which is four percent of the total number of motor vehicle collisions that occurred during that time. 

School bus accidents are not limited to crashes. Recently, a 10-year-old middle school student was running late for the school bus. As he ran to catch up to the bus he slipped and fell. The bus driver did not know there was a student running behind the vehicle. The student fell under the bus's wheels. The 39-year-old bus driver continued to drive and ran over the boy's body before realizing he hit something. Currently, the accident scene and vehicle are under investigation by the Major Crash Team. 

When was workers' compensation established?

Workers' compensation is required in Missouri for most employers. You have probably heard of it before. It offers coverage for you if you are injured at work. It may pay medical bills and provide you with replacement income if you cannot return to work. One thing you may not know is how this program originated and how it was created within our country.

The Social Security Administration explains that workers' compensation as it is now in the U.S. is largely based on programs from other countries. These countries treatment of injured workers providing the U.S. with the motivation to offer something similar here. However, these programs are not run by the federal government. They are administered by each state, so the rules vary from state to state and coverage may also vary. 

Why should I report minor injuries to my employer?

If you have an accident at work in Springfield, you might not realize when you should file an incident report for your injuries. Not all injuries are severe when they first occur. It is important for you to report all injuries, even those you feel are minor and insignificant to establish a record of them. 

By law, you must report all injuries, even those that seem minor within a certain time frame. According to the Missouri Department of Labor & Industrial Relations, injured workers must report their injuries or occupational illnesses within 30 days of incident or diagnosis. Failure to do so is likely to give your employer more grounds to dispute your workers' compensation claim. Employers are not obligated to help injured workers receive workers' compensation benefits. In fact, many employers dispute claims to avoid having their workers' compensation insurance premiums increased. 

What is the Second Injury Fund?

If you have filed a workers' compensation claim in Missouri, you may have heard of the Second Injury Fund. According to the Department of Labor, the Second Injury Fund is an additional fund for injured workers who have already made a workers' compensation claim. If you have a recent injury that complicates a previous injury or disability, then you may get benefits under the Second Injury Fund to help rehabilitate you so you may work again. 

Not every injury or situation will qualify under this fund to allow you to receive benefits. There are only two categories of benefits you may qualify for if you have an injury occurring after January 1, 2014. If you were most recently injured before this date, then you may have more qualifying situations. 

The frustrating effects of dealing with an emotional injury

When thinking about workers' compensation benefits, most people imagine an injury they can see - perhaps a concussion, fracture or laceration resulting from an accident at work. While you might need medical care and time off work to recover from your injuries, many physical wounds heal in time. At the law office of Hall Ansley, P.C., we understand that emotional injuries sustained by Missouri employees can be more complex. They can take much more time to recover from, and they are often misunderstood by workers' compensation officials.

What is an emotional injury? According to the Mayo Clinic, mental or emotional trauma can include post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety. You might have developed a work-related emotional injury by witnessing a co-worker's injury or death on the job or from being subjected to ongoing stressful conditions or abuse from your employers or co-workers. Also, emotional trauma that is unrelated to your job might be exacerbated by your work conditions.

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Hall Ansley, P.C.
3275 E. Ridgeview Street
Springfield, MO 65804

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