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June 17, 2022 | Gary Burger

What to Do When Injured on the Job

Gary Burger, founder and principle attorney of Burger Law personal injury law firm in St. Louis and Chicago, sits down to talk about the steps you should taken when you are hurt while working. View the video or read on to learn what you need to do after a workplace injury.

Gary's Words: What to do When Injured on the Job

When you’re injured on the job, you have a workers compensation injury and claim under the Missouri or Illinois Workers Compensation Acts. What should you do? First, tell your employer immediately about your accident. Have them do a report of injury. Then, you have to go get medical care. The employer has the right to choose the medical care, but if they don’t send you to someone, use your own health insurance and go get your own medical care, or go to urgent care, or go to the ER, or go to your primary care doctor and get the medical care you need. Regardless of whether or not comp is going to cover the case or fight about it, you need to get that medical care to show that continuity of care.

Very often, employers will get you care right away and be responsible. When they’re not, you need to still take care of yourself, so go get that care, continue to get the care in your workers compensation case.

And, what often happens and sometimes happens in these cases is that the employer will try to settle your case and try to resolve your case without paying you the lump sum disability you’re entitled to at the end of your case. They’ll say, “Hey, we paid for your medical. We paid your TTD, your Temporary Total Disability, so we’re not going to pay you anymore. Go away.” Don’t do that. You’re entitled to a lump sum disability settlement at the end of the case. Even if their doctor says you’re zero percent, and sometimes they do that. Doctors often think that they’ll do surgery on someone who’s zero percent disabled. Doctors also have an incentive to low-rate you so they keep getting the business from the workers compensation insurance company, but you’re not.

At the end of your case, you’re entitled to a lump sum disability settlement based on the area of the body where you were injured and your percentage of disabilities. So, if you’re injured as your body of as a whole you get 400 weeks of your pay times your percentage of disability. And, Missouri sets out the specific Permanent Partial Disability, Permanent Total Disability amounts per week that you’re entitled to and the statutes are clear and this is made by the Comp Division, and call me up, I’ll send you one of these or email you one of these. They’ll tell you, “So if you have an injury at your shoulders, 232 weeks. The body as a whole, that.”

What lawyers like me can do that’s beneficial is that we can make sure that you’re accurately rated and your disability is taken into account. For instance, if you have severe injuries to your back or your hands or your shoulders or your head, you not only maybe injured at your wrist or your shoulder, 232 weeks, or your left knee at a 160 weeks, but your whole body may be affected so you may have a Permanent Partial Disability of your knee but that may affect your body as a whole, so you also may have a body as a whole disability as well and that will entitle you to more money.

So, please remember to get your medical right away. Look out for yourself. If you’re denied medical, use your own health insurance and get what medical you can, and at the end of the case, don’t walk away without a lump sum disability settlement.

If you have any questions about this, I answer all questions for free. I’ll tell you what to take and what not to take, and if you need a lawyer, if I can add value to your case, I will tell you that, and if you like me, I’ll do that. Gary Burger, 314-542-2222, www.burgerlaw.com. Thanks.

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