Should I File a Workers’ Compensation or Personal Injury Claim?
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your work-related accident or injury, you may be entitled to additional compensation by filing a personal injury claim.
Work-related accidents and exposure to dangerous conditions can leave workers suffering serious and potentially disabling injuries. These can wreak havoc in every area of your life, leaving you unable to support yourself and your loved ones while requiring ongoing medical care. At Morrison, Webster & Carlton, Attorneys at Law, we have more than 45 years combined experience helping people throughout Springfield and Joplin in these types of situations. Our Missouri workers’ compensation attorneys can advise you on the best course of action in your case, so that you can the maximum amount you are entitled to.
Missouri Workers’ Compensation
According to the Missouri Department of Labor, nearly 13,000 people in our state suffer job-related injuries and illnesses each year serious enough as to keep them from working for weeks, months, and in some cases years at a time. In these situations, workers’ compensation acts as a form of insurance, providing a safety net for injured workers and reimbursing them for the damages they incur. Through the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC), benefits you may be entitled to in a workers’ compensation claim include:
- Lost wages;
- Coverage for medical care;
- Temporary or permanent disability payments;
- Family/survivor benefits, in the event of fatal injuries.
Provided your employer is required to participate in the workers’ compensation program, you may be entitled to these benefits regardless of who was responsible for your illness or injuries. In accepting benefits, you waive your rights in filing a personal injury claim.
The Difference Between a Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Claim
While workers’ compensation does provide valuable benefits that can help you recover, it does not offer compensation for damages such as pain and suffering or the loss of enjoyment in life you have suffered as the result of your injuries. These types of damages can add up to $100,000 or more depending on your case, and are only available through a personal injury claim. In order to file this type of claim, your injury or illness must have occurred due to the negligence of another party. Examples include:
- Manufacturer defects in tools, machinery, or safety equipment;
- Exposure to known toxins and illegal substances;
- Negligence on the part of employers for failing to take safety precautions;
- Actions of a third part which resulted in your injuries.
Under the Missouri Statutes of Limitations, you have up to three years to file a personal injury claim based on negligence. This is one of many reasons why you need to consult an experienced attorney before filing a claim or agreeing to any settlement.
Contact Us Today for Help
If you have suffered job-related injuries or an illness, contact Morrison, Webster & Carlton, Attorneys at Law to discuss your rights in filing a claim. We can arrange a consultation for you to discuss your case with our experienced workers’ compensation and personal injury attorneys at our Springfield or Joplin office. Call or contact us online today.