Law Office of James M. Hoffmann Articles Understanding When to Return to Work After a St. Louis Work Injury

Understanding When to Return to Work After a St. Louis Work Injury

By James Hoffmann  Jun. 15, 2020 9:08a

Missouri worker’s compensation benefits exist so that when you get injured, you can access good medical treatment and maybe take some time off work if you need to. But, how much you end up getting in the settlement and how the case is finalized can vary greatly.

One issue that can drastically change how much money you ultimately get is returning to work.


When Your Injuries Don’t Allow You to Return to Work

Sometimes, your injuries or illness may prevent you from going back to your initial job, in which case you should either look for something else or apply for disability if you are no longer able to work at all.

These things can translate to more money in your pocket from the worker’s compensation settlement, something the insurance company doesn’t always appreciate. So, what do they do?

Think of this scenario: you work as a driver for a moving company. While on the job, you get into a car accident that wasn’t your fault but left you with a back injury. You file a worker’s comp claim and start getting treated.

The length of treatment depends on the injuries, but let’s say you are out of commission for a year, during which you also receive lost wages. At the end of the treatment, the doctor gives you the diagnosis: you can’t perform the same job because of your injury, which cannot heal 100%, meaning sitting down in the car seat for long hours, and carrying heavy cargo is out of the question.


What Happens Now?

Now come the disability payments included in the Missouri worker’s compensation laws. If you manage to find another job, you are generally entitled to partial disability benefits, which are only paid to you while you’re in between jobs. If you get employed but have to accept a lower wage, your worker’s comp settlement can include the difference in wages.


However, assume your injuries prevent you from finding any job since your medical requirements are so restrictive. That would mean you are likely entitled to full disability benefits, and your settlement may have just skyrocketed since it needs to account for the fact that you can no longer work again.


Case closed? Probably not. Your employer may then offer you another job, one that fits all your medical needs. The thing is, they did not offer this job right from the get-go, and you’ve never heard of this position in all your years working for the company. Chances are, this job doesn’t exist, and may even strangely disappear after you sign the settlement.


Speak With a St. Louis Work Injury Attorney ASAP

The employer and the insurance company will be trying to lower your settlement amount from the moment you are injured on the job. Speak with an experienced St. Louis work injury attorney to ensure your legal rights are protected. Call (314) 361-4300 for a FREE case evaluation.

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