Experienced Kansas City Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Missouri and Kansas
Helping injured employees take control and obtain the benefits they deserve
An on-the-job injury can throw your health and finances into a tailspin. It only takes a single moment for a work accident to change your life forever. Even if the injury is temporary, a worker could still suffer through painful rehabilitation and the loss of several months, or even years, of income. If you’re the sole earner for your family, you may face the added stress of wondering how you’re going to provide for them throughout your recovery.
Unfortunately, too many workers place their trust in the hands of their employers and insurance companies after an accident. An employee assumes that they will be taken care of in exchange for all their years of hard work, only to find that insurers will stop at nothing to save their own company’s money. Rest assured that Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys have the experience and resources to fight for you. Our track record of success for our clients speaks for itself.
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How can a workers’ compensation attorney help?
At Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys, we represent Missouri and Kansas workers in all industry sectors. You especially need skilled worker’s compensation counsel if:
- Your employer claims that your injury happened outside of work.
- Your employer has said that you were at fault for the injury and not entitled to payment.
- The company’s insurance adjuster has tried to convince you that you don't need an attorney.
- The insurance adjuster is pressuring you to make a statement before releasing your benefits.
- Your company doctor says you can go back to work, but you don’t think you are ready.
- Your injury is stable, but you cannot go back to your old job.
- Your workers’ compensation benefits have been denied, delayed, or terminated before your recovery.
What are the eligibility requirements for filing a workers’ compensation claim?
Workers’ compensation is a compromise. Employers are responsible for your injuries or an occupational illness, whether or not they were at fault. This means you do not need to prove your employer was negligent. The compromise is that you cannot seek pain and suffering damages.
To file a Missouri or Kansas workers’ compensation claim for a workplace accident:
- You must be an employee. Independent contractors can only file a personal injury claim.
- The accident must be work-related. This includes accidents that happen at the job site and some accidents that happen away from the site; for example, if you are a salesperson for your employer and you’re injured on your way to see a client.
- You promptly notify your employer of the accident. It’s important to notify your employer or a supervisor as soon as possible or you may be ineligible for a claim.
- Your injuries must be due to the accident and not from a pre-existing condition.
You can also file a workers’ compensation claim if you suffer an occupational illness. To qualify:
- You must be an employee.
- The illness must be due to work-related conditions.
- The illness can’t be attributable to conditions away from the workplace.
What are common examples of workplace accidents?
No industry is immune to on-the-job injuries. Whether you are a factory worker, construction worker, healthcare worker, agricultural worker, or an office worker, you face the risk of being hurt on the job. Employees have been hospitalized, paralyzed, or even killed as a result of work accidents, including:
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Crushing injuries or amputations
- Struck by object injuries
- Work-related car accidents
- Slipping or tripping
- Strain-induced heart attacks
Other workplace injuries and conditions include:
- Traumatic brain trauma
- Spinal cord injuries
- Burn injuries
- Broken bones
- Chronic back pain
- Chronic neck pain
- Damage to tissues, nerves, ligaments, and muscles
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
Some occupations are more hazardous than others. Police officers may suffer gunshot wounds or other injuries due to violence. Firefighters have a constant risk of third-degree burns, smoke inhalation, and respiratory failure.
Check out and download our free book, How to Avoid Becoming a Work Horror Story: The Ultimate Guide to Workers' Compensation in Missouri & Kansas today!
What are some examples of occupational illnesses in Kansas City?
Common examples of workplace and occupational illnesses include:
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Other respiratory and lung diseases
- Cardiac diseases
- Hearing loss
- Vision loss
- Skin disorders
Some injuries, such as repetitive stress injuries, may also qualify as workplace illness.
What benefits are available to injured workers?
Workers who suffer any type of injury or illness are entitled, in both Missouri and Kansas, to:
These benefits include emergency transport services, ER care, surgeries, hospital stays, and visits with specialists. Many injured or ill employees may also need treatment with physical therapists, vocational therapists, psychologists, and other healthcare providers. Medical benefits also include medical devices, such as prosthetics and wheelchairs, as well as medications and prescription drugs.
Medical benefits last until you reach the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI) – the point when additional medical care is not likely to improve your health. You are also entitled (and don’t let your employer’s insurance company tell you otherwise) to all the medical care you need to keep your medical condition stable – for the rest of your life.
Temporary work loss benefits
These benefits last from the onset of your injury or illness until you reach MMI. One of our main jobs as your Kansas City workers’ compensation lawyers is to fight the efforts of your employer to say that additional medical care won’t improve your health, when we know that additional care is helping.
The amount of temporary work loss benefits is a percentage of the wages you were earning prior to the accident or illness. For example, in Kansas, workers receive approximately two-thirds of their prior salary. However, there are minimums and maximums. The length of time you can receive temporary benefits may be capped. Our lawyers can explain the exact amount of work loss benefits to which you may be entitled.
Permanent work loss benefits
Once you reach MMI, your injuries are reviewed to determine:
- If you have a permanent injury.
- What type of permanent injury you have.
- The severity/impairment level of your injury.
- If you have a permanent illness and what type of illness you have.
The amount and permanent injury/illness benefits you can claim, and for how long, is based on your condition, its severity, and applicable state law.
Some workers may be entitled to vocational benefits so they can be educated or trained to perform another job in the event they are no longer able to fulfill their current job duties.
Are psychological injuries covered by workers' compensation?
The answer to your question depends on a number of factors, including whether you are in Kansas or in Missouri, and what is the nature of our injuries.
In Missouri you can make a claim for psychological injuries not associated with a physical injury, but the claim must include unusual or outrageous psychological factors.
In Kansas, psychological injuries must be associated with a physical injury. In other words, you can calim injuries like stress, anxiety, and/or depression from a physical injury or a physical change caused by factors at work. Depression, stress, and anxiety alone are not covered by workers compensation.
Experienced Kansas City workers’ compensation attorneys
While you may have been led to believe that the workers' compensation laws in Missouri and Kansas are simple and straightforward, the fact is that work injuries often present complex medical and legal issues. If an employee attempts to “go it alone” against his company’s insurance agent, they will often find their claim denied or become buried in paperwork before they see a dime. Let the lawyers at Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys help.
Our workers' compensation attorneys are proud to represent injured workers throughout the entire region. We have locations in Kansas City, Lee's Summit, St. Joseph, and Olathe, MO, and in Overland Park and Parkville, KS, and represent people throughout Kansas and Missouri. Call us today at 816-290-7621 or contact us online for an honest, no-nonsense appraisal of your case at no cost or obligation.