If you are injured at work, you may assume that it is a simple process to get coverage for your injury, and in some cases it is. However, there are many factors to consider in workplace injury cases, and having an understanding of those factors can best allow you to make an informed decision about how to move forward with your claim. The best way to get an accurate idea of what to do with your claim is to speak with a lawyer who has had the opportunity to review the full facts and circumstances of your case.
To schedule a consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation and personal injury attorney, contact the Johnson Law Firm.
File a Workers’ Compensation Claim for a Missouri Workplace Injury
If you are an employee and suffer an injury in the course of your employment, or that arises out of your employment, you are entitled to compensation for your injury under Missouri’s workers’ compensation law. This law essentially requires employers to provide healthcare and full or partial wage replacement to employees who are injured at work. In exchange, it provides a legal shield for employers, who cannot be sued for injuries suffered by anyone covered by workers’ compensation.
The biggest factor in determining whether to file a workers’ compensation claim is whether you are classified by your employer as an employee. If you are not an employee, but an independent contractor, you do not have the option to pursue a workers’ compensation claim and will have to consider other avenues. As a general rule of thumb, if you are injured at work, it is always a good idea to file a workers’ compensation claim. If they deny coverage, then you can consider hiring a lawyer to appeal or considering other legal options.
File a Personal Injury Lawsuit for a Missouri Workplace Injury
If you are not an employee, you may still be able to sue your employer or a third party for the harm you have suffered. For instance, if you are a contract employee hired to deliver packages for FedEx and while you are en route, you are hit by a drunk driver. In this situation, you would not be able to file a workers’ compensation claim with FedEx because you are a contract employee. However, you can still file a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver.
Additionally, if your employer acts negligently in a way that causes you harm and you are not an employee, you can bring a personal injury lawsuit against them.
Personal Injury Lawsuit & Workers’ Compensation Claims Filed in Missouri
In certain situations, it may make sense to pursue both a workers’ compensation claim with your employer and a personal injury claim against a third party. For instance, revisiting the example above, however, this time you are an employee of FedEx delivering packages when you are hit by a drunk driver. In this case, you can file a workers’ compensation claim with FedEx as well as a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver. However, the workers’ compensation claim would need to be resolved prior to any settlement agreement being reached on the personal injury claim.
Smart, Compassionate Workplace Injury Attorney in St. Peters MO
If you have been injured at your Missouri workplace or as a result of your employment and you are unsure of what step to take next or what options are available to you, contact the Johnson Law Firm today and schedule a consultation.