Were You Injured on the Job?
St. Louis workers compensation lawyers Cantor & Burger regularly win workers’ compensation claims. We are experts in these personal injury cases and do not charge a fee unless we win. Our fee is only 25% (1/4) and we do not charge a fee if you already have a written offer or on any benefits that are paid voluntarily without our involvement.
Choose a lawyer and law firm that will personally represent you. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements, so choose wisely and not just based on a 30 second television commercial. Mark Cantor and Gary Burger have represented thousands of clients with work injuries and fight for the full value of our client’s disabilities, lost wages, and medical care. In the last 10 weeks through September 15 2011, this firm has prepared for and tried seven workers’ compensation. Because most cases settle, and unfortunately many lawyers settle them for too little, that is a large amount of cases going to hearing. It is our experience that a client cannot recover full value for their workers’ compensation claim unless their lawyer routinely tries these cases, has a reputation of winning, prepares their case for trial, and has medical experts to support their Client’s claims. We have all those things and can help you win your workers’ compensation case.
Mark Cantor, our lead workers’ compensation attorney, has literally written books and articles on the best trial practices for properly handling your workers’ compensation claim. He teaches other lawyers how to handle these cases and can win your case for you. (You may click this link for an article in a book co-authored by Mark Cantor titled Missouri Workers’ Comp Trial Techniques and Strategies, explaining how to properly handle a Missouri workers’ compensation trial or click here for an article written by Mark Cantor on Missouri workers’ compensation subrogation.)
If you are hurt on the job or suffer from an injury caused by your employment you are entitled to three types of compensation from your employer:
1.) All your medical expenses (See below for definitions)
2.) Two/thirds of your average weekly wage up to a maximum amount (TTD- see below).
3.) A lump sum tax fee disability payment because of your partial or total disability (See below, PPD and PTD)
In other words, your employer must pay all of your medical, must replace your earnings and must pay you for your disability. Unfortunately, it has been our experience that insurance companies are greedy and do not want to pay what they owe. They commonly cheat injured claimants by not paying all of their medical bills, their loss wages, and certainly not a lump sum payment. We have literally tried or settled thousands of workers’ compensation cases that if the insurance companies handled properly would not require legal representation. If the insurance companies paid what they owed, you would never need to hire a lawyer. Unfortunately, we do not foresee that happening and if you are injured on the job you should call a workers’ compensation lawyer right away. If you are injured you should:
1.) Notify your employer. You must notify your employer “immediately” about your injury. Request that the employer prepare a written report. (The employer must do this even if they do not believe you).
2.) Get free medical treatment. In Missouri, the company chooses the doctor who treats your injury. If you go to the doctor without prior authorization from your employer the company will not pay the bill. Once the company doctor decides what treatment you need, the company must pay for all medical expenses, including physical therapy, medication, x-rays, CAT scans, MRIs, crutches, wrist splints, surgeries, bandages, etc…
3.) Tell the doctor about your injury, its cause, and the pain you have. Workers’ compensation does not provide money for pain and suffering, but your complaints make a diary of your permanent disability and will be important at the hearing of your case.
4.) Record the names of the supervisors you reported your injury to witnesses names and phone numbers, your job requirements (occupational injuries), says missed from work, and out of pocket expense (this includes mileage in some cases).
5.) Call the law firm of Cantor & Burger for your FREE consultation. 314 542-9999.
In most cases, we do not take a fee on past benefits paid, past medical paid, or basically what the employer agrees to provide you. We only charge any fee based upon the lump sum disability settlement at the end of the case, or any benefits that we have to fight for. This is a promise to you. For additional information click:
- Cantor & Burger Articles Regarding Workers’ Compensation.
- What You Should Do If You Are Injured At Work.
- Missouri Workers’ Compensation Selected Statutes.
- State of Illinois Workers’ Compensation Selected Statutes.
- St. Louis, Missouri Workers’ Compensation Website.
- Missouri Workers Compensation Handbook
- Click here to call or ask attorneys at Cantor & Burger a question about your workers’ compensation claim.
- Cantor & Burger Workers’ Compensation Successes.
Your Employer and their insurer owe all of your medical expenses from medical providers that they authorize. If you do not like the doctor the insurance company chooses, the law is against you in Missouri and they will not owe the charges (there are a few fact-based exceptions to this general rule of law, which is why you need aggressive representation.) Even if you are terribly injured, once you reach Maximum Medical Improvement, MMI, the company does not owe you anymore weekly benefits (TTD- see below) unless you are totally disabled from the work force. Permanent and total disability (PTD) is a difficult standard, and we hire vocational experts to prove those cases every time.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits
Temporary Total Disability benefits are the wages that you receive when you are off for a work injury in Missouri. Temporary Total Disability is frequently called TTD and the Employer is required to pay TTD while you are unable to work. In Missouri, your temporary total disability is based on your average weekly wage and paid out at two-thirds of your average weekly wage. TTD is similar in Illinois workers’ compensation.
If the company physician returns you to work on “light duty” in Missouri, but the Employer has no light duty available, TTD is still owed to you. Temporary Total Disability benefits must be paid for the entirety of the time that you are off work and when an employer or insurance company attempts to cheat you out of this money, you need to seek legal counsel immediately. This is why at Cantor & Burger we advise clients to retain an attorney as soon as they injure themselves at work in order to secure all the benefits to which they are entitled. These benefits include the lost wages (TTD), all of your medical bills being paid, and a lump sum payment for permanent partial disability or period payments for a lifetime for permanent total disability.
At Cantor & Burger we do not charge a fee on benefits that are uncontested meaning that if the Employer or Insurer is paying you money already for being off work, we will simply monitor those benefits and will not charge a fee on any of those benefits unless they are terminated and a fight is required to have them reinstated.
WHEN CAN THE EMPLOYER STOP PAYING TTD?
Unfortunately, many employers and insurers stop paying TTD even when it is still owed. This is why we encourage you to retain legal counsel early in the case and we do not charge a fee on uncontested benefits. However, when the money stops being paid we will be there to protect you. If you wait, it takes 45 days to get in front of a judge, (Usually the claim is acknowledged after 15 days and the employer has 30 days to file an answer to the claim for compensation.)
Unfortunately, there are reasons that an Employer may stop paying TTD under the Revised Missouri Statute of August 28, 2005. If you are fired or terminated for a reason unrelated to your workers’ compensation claim, for instance you show up late, the Employer may fire you. If you then have surgery for a work related occupational injury such as carpal tunnel syndrome, the Employer will need to pay for the medical expense, but will no longer be required to pay you while you are off work recovering from your surgery. This strikes me as unfair, because although work caused the underlying issue and because the surgery is required to repair that issue, but prevents you from doing any gainful work, it seems that the Employer should have to pay you, but our conservative legislature has protected the Employer / Insurer’s in Missouri and if you are fired for an unrelated reason, TTD is no longer owed.
Another pitfall to be cautious of is if you apply for unemployment benefits, the Employer may stop paying you temporary total disability benefits. This one makes a little bit more sense because to receive unemployment you are making a statement to another government agency that you are ready, willing and able to work. This statement flies in the face of your workers’ compensation benefits, wherein you are saying that you are unable to work. Therefore, if you are receiving TTD from your Employer you should never, based on both ethics and the law, also seek to receive unemployment benefits.
If you have a workers’ compensation claim at any stage and you need assistance, please call the lawyers at Cantor & Burger at 314-542-9999 or submit a contact form through this website and we will respond to you immediately. Our phones are answered professionally 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You do not need any money to hire us as we work on a contingency fee basis and we will use our combined 40 years of experienced, our knowledge, and our financial resources to secure you the most money possible.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
In Missouri, each body part is broken down on a chart. I call this the meat chart, because the law treats injured workers like a chunk of meat without regard to pain and suffering. This website breaks those down for you. For instance, your knee is worth 2/3s of 160 weeks, and your wrist is 175 weeks and your shoulder is 2/3 of 232 weeks of pay. A good lawyer will successfully argue that you have more disability and at a higher value level on this chart. At Cantor and Burger, we will explain this to you in person but click here to see the “meat chart.” Weeks of disability chart.