When you are injured on the job, filing a workers’ compensation claim is the best way to make sure your injuries and lost wages are all adequately taken care of while you are unable to work. However, this can be an intimidating and confusing process, which is where the legal advice of a skilled Kansas City workers’ compensation lawyer can help you by keeping your claim flowing smoothly and ensuring you are treated fairly.
If you have recently been injured, it is important to know what to expect throughout the process. Here is a highly-generalized timeline of a workers’ compensation claim. Keep in mind each claim is unique and your own timeline may differ significantly.
1. Notify Your Employer
The first thing you should do is immediately report an incident to your employer, more specifically the H.R. department or your immediate supervisor. This is important because there is a 30 day notice requirement in the State of Missouri. Your employer has the right to choose the medical provider it wishes for you to see, so the sooner you provide notice, the sooner the employer can arrange your treatment.
2. Seek Medical Care
Your medical treatment will be paid directly by your employer. If your injury requires you to have several doctor visits for treatment, continue to have your injury treated. Your physician will regularly report on the progress of your treatment and any changes to your condition.
Once your injury heals, the doctor will declare that you have reached “maximum medical improvement”, and your claim will be ripe for settlement after the ratings are obtained.
3. Receiving Lost Wages
You will be entitled to temporary disability benefits if the injury is significant enough that the injury restricts you from working. These benefits continue until you are cleared to return to work. Contacting a workers’ compensation lawyer can aid you greatly in understanding your options throughout the process.
4. Resolving Your Claim
Your claim can be resolved through either settlement or litigation. The settlement process will typically involve the payment of permanent disability benefits usually in the form of a lump sum payment. Litigation takes longer and is more complex.
5. Appeal an Unfavorable Decision
If you are not happy with a final award following trial, you may appeal to the Industrial Commission. Be sure to speak with your lawyer about appealing your award; they will advise you as to whether this is feasible for your case.
Adler & Manson have served the Kansas City metropolitan area since 1995, helping numerous clients with a wide variety of personal injury and workers’ compensation cases. Their experience in the courtroom and excellence in their practice have earned both Attorneys Jim Adler and Bill Manson an AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. To date they have recovered more than $75 million in benefits for their clients.
Call Adler & Manson at 816.399.2283 to request a case evaluation from our esteemed legal professionals.