When Facing Tough Times

Get Answers From An Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Workers’ compensation law is complex. There are too many scenarios to list here but we answer some common questions that people have after they are injured at work.

The Law Office of Curtis M. Garner & Associates, LLC, offers a free initial consultation to discuss your unique work injury situation.

Can I go to my regular doctor/clinic for a work injury?

Yes and no. In Missouri, employers can require an injured worker to see one of their preapproved physicians. While employers can pick the doctors, they do not direct the treatment. However, if you are not comfortable with their “preferred” physicians, you have two options: (1) You can ask the employer to authorize you to see your own doctor or (2) by law you can seek treatment from any doctor at your own expense.

What is permanent partial disability vs. permanent total disability?

Permanent total disability (PTD) means that your injuries are so severe that you cannot sustain any gainful employment. You can collect PTD benefits for life unless your disability improves enough to re-enter the work force. A permanent partial disability (PPD) means that a part of your body is permanently damaged (such as severed fingers or loss of an eye) but you are still able to work. PPD benefits are paid for a certain number of weeks based on the specific body part and the percentage of disability.

Can I get workers’ comp if I reinjured a previous injury?

Yes. If you suffered an accident at work or if the rigors of your job aggravated an old injury, you are still eligible for workers’ compensation. Your benefits might come from the state’s Second Injury Fund, which was created to encourage employers to hire people who have “war wounds” from previous workplace accidents.

Why am I scheduled for an independent medical exam?

Workers who are on long-term or permanent disability may be periodically ordered to an independent medical exam (IME). The stated purpose of an IME is to re-evaluate your disabilities to see if your condition has improved. If you are scheduled for an IME, it typically means the insurer is angling to reduce your benefits or terminate your claim. Contact a lawyer.

Can I sue my employer for negligence?

No. That is the trade-off of workers’ compensation no-fault benefits. You can’t sue your boss or co-worker even if they were directly responsible for your workplace accident. However, you may have a lawsuit against a third party such as a property owner, automobile driver, utility company or subcontractor if their negligence contributed to your work injury.

Get Help To Assert Your Rights

The Law Office of Curtis M. Garner & Associates, LLC, serves Greene County and surrounding communities of Missouri, starting with a free consultation at our Springfield office. For help with a denied claim or any workers’ compensation issue, call us at 417-865-5297 or email us.