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Chapter 7why hire an attorney

“Workers’ Compensation in Missouri: Succeeding in Your Injury Claim”

Why Hire an Attorney?

1. Higher settlements.

As I mentioned in the introduction, a recent study conducted by Missouri Lawyers Media showed that on average, having an attorney increased settlements by nearly 50%– on average, settlements without an attorney were around $5,000 lower than those settlements with any attorney.

2. Get better treatment quicker.

A lot of what the attorney does in the workers’ compensation system is directing the nurse case manager and insurance company to provide the optimal level of treatment prior to settlement so that the settlement will be increased and the level of treatment will be higher. Often times, the nurse case manager or insurance company will make mistakes as to what treatment is needed. Without an attorney, the injured worker has no way to require the nurse case manager to provide the required treatment.

3. Manage the employer.

When an employer tells a worker to violate a duty of the doctor, it can help the employee to have an attorney to let the employer know that that isn’t allowed. If the employee themselves has to stand up for that right, it can look like they are simply being a malingerer and are not truly injured. If this information gets back to the insurance company (and it will) you should always be aware that it will seriously damage the claim.

4. Collecting Evidence.

Often a worker’s compensation claim will require the parties to present extensive evidence concerning the injury, how it occurred, and whether the injury is of the type which is covered. Valuable statements of the employer and supervisor can also be obtained by a skilled attorney in a formal deposition. These statements can be used as evidence to increase the value of your claim.

5. Stand up for your rights.

Lawyers enforce your rights under the work comp statutes, regulations and case law. If medical is improperly denied, we write letters and file hardships. If you are sent back to work too soon we fight that and go to the division. If you need different doctors or treatment, we make sure you get it. If the insurer says you have no disability and you obviously do, we go to mediation or trial to get your appropriate amount of compensation.

6. Obtaining an IME.

When an authorized physician issues a worker a low rating, an attorney can be helpful in getting a second opinion rating by an independent medical evaluation from another physician. An experienced workers compensation attorney will usually front the costs of this expense which will later be taken from the final settlement. Often workers are not in a position to pay for an IME which can range from $1000.00 or more in certain circumstances.

7. Lump sum settlement.

We insist on obtaining the lump sum disability settlement for you at the end of the case. We make demands, go to mediation and trial if necessary to ensure that you are fully compensated for your work injury.

8. Small fee.

We only charge 25% of the lump sum disability settlement at the end of your case in most cases. We do not charge for medical benefits and TTD that we do not fight for.

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