According to data released in 2022, the United States workforce reported more than 3 million on-the-job injuries, including an estimated 120,000 fatalities. To put these numbers into perspective, roughly 8,000 employees were hurt and another 300 died every day. Fortunately, St. Louis accounted for only 0.09% of those deaths but, nevertheless, anyone who has sustained an injury while on the job is entitled to legal representation.
If the injury happened due to the nature of the job, employees are entitled to workers’ compensation. And, depending on the circumstances of the injury, an employee may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against their employer. However, these lawsuits are notoriously complex, which is why it is so important that the injured party seeks the support of an experienced labor attorney.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a workplace accident, continue reading to learn more about workers’ compensation lawyers in St. Louis. This article will help you better understand whether you have a viable case and how to proceed with a filing. No longer must you suffer the financial burden of an on-the-job injury.
Even with major advancements in workplace safety and regulations, workplace accidents are still quite common. Fortunately, though, Missouri law recognizes both workplace accidents and occupational diseases. These are defined as:
For an injury to be considered a workplace accident, though, it must occur on company property or while the employee is engaging in paid labor—whether on-site or off-site, e.g., delivering company products.
If any employee reports their injury to an employer or supervisor within 30 days, the business is legally required to provide financial support for the worker’s medical care. In addition to immediate medical support, the employee may qualify for additional compensation:
These sums must be negotiated by the injured party and the employer’s insurance provider. Of course, it is also possible that an employer may deny the claim, choosing instead to litigate the filing. In this case, it’s best for employees to seek legal advice and proceed with a personal injury lawsuit.
The workers’ compensation system is designed to be a no-fault system. In other words, an employee does not need to prove that their employer was at fault for the accident in order to receive benefits. However, if an employer denies the claim or offers an inadequate settlement, the employee may need to file a personal injury lawsuit.
It’s important to understand, though, that these lawsuits are complicated. Employees will need to prove that their employer was at fault for the accident and that this negligence resulted in the employee’s injuries. If the employee cannot do so, they will struggle to prove the validity of their case.
Furthermore, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Missouri is two years from the date of the accident. This means that if an employee does not take legal action within two years, they forfeit their right to compensation. Ideally, employees should file a claim within the first 30 days of the injury if they want a chance at winning.
If any employee chooses to file a personal injury lawsuit with a St. Louis workplace accident lawyer, they must take several steps to move the case forwards. First, the employee’s lawyer will file a complaint with the Missouri Department of Labor. The Department will then investigate the claim and determine whether there is enough evidence to proceed with litigation.
Once a lawsuit has formally been filed, both the employee and the employer must present their cases. In any case, it’s best that employees work with a St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer to guarantee that their rights are properly upheld on the stand. The judge will hear both cases and make a ruling on whether the employee is entitled to compensation.
At this point, an employer can choose to settle out of court or pay a designated amount as determined by the judge. If the case proceeds to trial, both the defendant and plaintiff will present their cases again before a jury. These proceedings can take months or even years to resolve, so it’s best to work with a professional workers’ compensation attorney in St. Louis to ease the process.
If you or someone you know has suffered a workplace accident and have been refused workers’ compensation, you’re not alone. OTT Law is home to the most prestigious workers’ compensation lawyers in St. Louis. Our team of legal experts has won more than $7 million in damages for our clients and can help you earn the restitution you deserve.
To find out more, contact our law offices through our website or call our team at +1 (314) 293-3756. We are ready to hear your case and help out in whatever way.