Burgess Law Firm - Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney


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Workers' Compensation Attorney in Kansas City

The law provides for financial benefits to be paid to workers who are injured on the job. In tragic workplace injury cases involving a workplace death, the surviving family is entitled to workers' compensation benefits.

The legal issues presented by workers' compensation cases can be extremely complex. If you have suffered a workplace injury, it is important to report the incident to your employer, seek medical treatment, and contact a workers' compensation attorney to make sure you receive the compensation you are entitled to.

At Burgess Law Firm, we have experience in workers' compensation cases aggressively fight to protect our clients' rights to workers' compensation and assist our clients by explaining the status of their workers' compensation claim, navigating the complicated procedural waters, and ultimately obtaining an award through settlement or trial before an administrative law judge.
When I tore my rotator cuff at work, the insurance company offered a small settlement and I didn't know what to do. But I contacted the lawyers at Burgess Law Firm, and they went to work for me and got me a great result. I was very happy with the outcome, and very glad I had them as my [Workers' Compensation] lawyers.
Kerry M., Kansas City MO -- Workers' Compensation Case

Injuries that entitle the worker to workers' compensation benefits include any injury that occurs on the job or as a result of your job.

Those injuries can be present in many forms, all of which entitle the worker to workers' compensation. Workplace injuries where compensation could be awarded can include:

Progressive Conditions:

From repetitive motions such as carpal tunnel syndrome or ligament damage.

Occupational Diseases:

Such as lung disease from inhaling noxious chemicals or substances.

Simply Traumatic Injuries:

Resulting from a workplace accident, such as:

Do You Work In Missouri?

The Missouri Division of Workers' Compensation administers the programs providing services to all stake holders including workers who have been injured on the job or been exposed to occupational disease arising out of and in the course of employment. The Division makes sure that an injured worker receives benefits that he/she is entitled to under the Missouri Workers' Compensation law. The Division's Administrative Law Judges have the authority to approve settlements or issue awards after a hearing relating to an injured workers entitlement to permanent benefits allowed by Missouri law.

If the doctor says that you are unable to return to work due to your injury(ies) or you are off work recovering from a surgery, you may be entitled to temporary total disability ("TTD") benefits. If the doctor states that you can perform light or modified duty work and your employer offers you such work, you may not be eligible for TTD benefits. TTD benefits should be continued until the doctor says that you can return to work or when your treatment is concluded because your condition has reached "maximum medical improvement," whichever occurs first.

If you return to light or modified duty at less than full pay, the workers' compensation law requires that temporary partial disability benefits be paid to you.

Disability Benefits [ in Missouri ]

Permanent partial disability means that your work injury affects your ability to do certain jobs or work tasks but you are still able to work in some capacity (not necessarily the job you had at the time of your injury). Permanent total disability means that you are no longer able to work at any job. If your last work-related injury alone causes your permanent total disability, you may be entitled to weekly payments for life from your employer and its insurer, or we may want to negotiate a lump-sum settlement instead of the weekly lifetime payment. If your last work-related injury combined with prior disabilities causes your permanent total disability, your employer and its insurer may only be responsible for permanent partial disability and we will have to file a "claim for compensation" against the Second Injury Fund for you to receive any permanent total disability payments.

Benefit Payments [ in Missouri ]

Compensation is not paid for the first three business days or less of disability if you are unable to work (this is called a waiting period). If you are unable to work for more than 14 days the "three-day waiting period" will be paid. Disability payments and medical bills are paid by your employer's workers' compensation insurance company. If a medical bill is not paid or you do not receive a disability check in a timely manner, contact your employer or insurer. Workers' compensation payments are tax free.

Temporary Partial Disability
These benefits are generally paid weekly and should be 66 2/3% of the difference between the average earnings prior to the accident and the amount which the employee, in exercise of reasonable diligence, will be able to earn during the period of disability, subject to the maximum TTD rate.

Temporary Total Disability
The benefits provided for temporary total disability are calculated at 66 2/3% of the injured worker's average weekly wage, not to exceed a maximum amount set by the law. The average weekly wage is based on your gross wages (your pay before taxes and other deductions).

Permanent Partial Disability
The benefits are calculated at 66 2/3% of the employee's average weekly earnings as of the date of the injury, not to exceed a maximum amount set by the law. However, if you suffer from a permanent partial disability, you may receive a lump-sum payment based upon the nature and extent of the disability.

Permanent Total Disability
If you are permanently and totally disabled, you may receive weekly payments for your lifetime, or you may negotiate a lump-sum settlement. The amount of the weekly payment is based upon 66 2/3% of your average weekly earnings at the time of the injury, not to exceed a maximum amount set by law (this maximum amount is much higher than the maximum amount for permanent partial disability).

Do You Work in Kansas?

If you are injured on the job, you are entitled to all medical treatment that may be reasonably needed to cure or relieve the effects of the injury. Under the law, your employer has the right to choose the authorizing treating physician. If you seek treatment from a doctor not authorized or agreed upon by your employer, your employer or its insurance company is only liable up to $500 toward such medical bills. You do have the right to apply to the Director of Workers' Compensation for a change of doctor. As an employee injured on the job, you are generally entitled to mileage reimbursement for trips to see a physician for distances in excess of five miles for the round trip. If you must hire transportation, this can also be reimbursed.

No compensation is paid for the first week you are off work. After this waiting period, Kansas workers' compensation law requires that an employer or its insurance carrier pay an injured employee two-thirds of the employee's gross average weekly wage up to the amount of the applicable maximum benefits. This effective maximum does not change over the life of your claim, even though the maximum benefit level for each new 12-month interval usually increases by a small amount.

Categories of Disability Compensation Benefits [ In Kansas ]:

Temporary Total Disability
Paid when the employee, due to an injury, is unable to engage in any type of substantial and gainful employment. Benefits are paid for the duration of the temporary total disability.

Warning: Acceptance of employment with a different employer that requires the performance of activities you have stated you cannot perform because of the injury for which you are receiving temporary disability benefits could constitute fraud and could result in loss of future benefits and restitution of prior workers compensation awards and benefits paid.

Permanent Total Disability
Paid when the employee, due to an injury, has been rendered completely and permanently incapable of engaging in any type of substantial and gainful employment. The loss of both eyes, both hands, both arms, both feet, or both legs, or any combination thereof, in the absence of proof to the contrary, shall also constitute a permanent total disability. By statute, substantially total paralysis, or incurable imbecility or insanity, resulting from injury independent of all other causes, shall also constitute permanent total disability.

Permanent Partial Scheduled Disability
Paid when the employee sustains complete or partial loss of use of a body part, such as an arm, due to a job-related injury. Compensation is limited to a percentage of the scheduled number of weeks.

Permanent Partial General Disability
Paid when the employee sustains permanent partial disability not specifically covered by the schedule. Compensation is based on the percentage of disability remaining after recovery and is limited to 415 weeks.

Survivors' Benefits
Paid to an employee's surviving spouse and dependent children if death occurs as a result of injury. Burial expenses up to $5,000 are also covered. Weekly compensation is payable at the applicable rate until the doctor releases you to return to work. In no case can such payments exceed a total of $155,000 for permanent total or $130,000 for permanent partial or temporary disability.

Have you been injured at Work? Contact one of our workers' comp lawyers today.

At Burgess Law Firm, we know that dealing with a workplace injury and pursuing a workers' compensation claim can be a difficult struggle, and we shoulder the burden for our clients while letting them focus on reaching maximum medical improvement and getting on with their lives.

Mitch Burgess has a proven record of successfully prosecuting workers' compensation claims in Missouri and Kansas. That success in workers' compensation lawsuits has led to Mitch being recognized in Missouri Weekly among Missouri's Winningest Plaintiff Attorneys, Super Lawyers of Kansas City, Best of the Bar in Kansas City, and Top 40 Under 40 by The National Trial Lawyers.

If you believe that you or a loved one may be entitled to workers' compensation due to a work related incident, please contact Mitch Burgess at (816)-471-1700.

We are conveniently located near I-35 and I-70 in Downtown Kansas City at 1000 Broadway, Suite 400, Kansas City, MO 64105.

Are You A Federal Employee Who's Been Injured at Work?

The Federal Employment Compensation Act provides workers' compensation for non-military, federal employees. Many of its provisions are typical of most workers' compensation laws. Awards are limited to "disability or death" sustained while in the performance of the employee's duties but not caused willfully by the employee or by intoxication. The act covers medical expenses due to the disability and may require the employee to undergo job retraining. A disabled employee receives two-thirds of his or her normal monthly salary during the disability and may receive more for permanent physical injuries or if he or she has dependents. The act provides compensation for survivors of employees who are killed.

Are You A Mine Worker Who's Been Injured at Work?

The Black Lung Benefits Act provides workers' compensation for miners suffering from "black lung" (pneumoconiosis). The Act requires liable mine operators to pay disability payments and establishes a fund administered by the Secretary of Labor providing disability payments to miners where the mine operator is unknown or unable to pay.

Legal Advice from The Missouri Department of Labor:

A workers' compensation case is a legal proceeding. The decisions you make regarding your workers' compensation case may impact you for the rest of your life. Workers' compensation was originally designed to be a simple no-fault benefit system. Many workers' compensation cases are still handled routinely without problems. However, the law has been changed many times over the years, and each change makes cases more complicated. Issues involving Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, unemployment benefits, and Second Injury Fund claims also complicate many cases. While you are not required by law to have a lawyer, you may need a lawyer. Most employers and insurance companies are required by law to have a lawyer present at all docket settings before the Division of Workers' Compensation, so in most cases you will have to speak with the workers' compensation insurance lawyer at one or more times before your case is concluded.

You have the right to consult with a lawyer, or have a lawyer represent you, at any step in the process. Here are some situations in which a lawyer may be needed:
  • The insurance company is denying your case.
  • You are not getting the medical care you believe you need.
  • Tests or surgery ordered by the authorized treating physician are denied or canceled.
  • You are not getting weekly benefit checks while the doctor says you cannot work.
  • The insurance company won't talk with you.
  • The insurance company is claiming a penalty for a safety violation or for use of drugs or alcohol.
  • You feel intimidated by the process, or you feel you are being treated unfairly.
  • You are confused about how to proceed.
  • You have been fired, demoted or harassed at work because of your work injury, or because you are asserting your workers' compensation rights.
  • You have applied for, or are receiving social security disability benefits.
  • You have qualified for Medicare, or you may qualify for Medicare within the next five years.
  • Mo HealthNet or Medicaid has paid for your medical bills.
  • You believe you are permanently and totally disabled, that is, you believe that you cannot work at any job.
  • Your employer did not have workers' compensation insurance coverage at the time of the injury.
  • Your medical bills are not being paid, even though you have only gone to medical care providers authorized by your employer or the workers' compensation insurance company.
  • If you feel uncomfortable proceeding with your case without consulting a lawyer first.
A lawyer is almost always needed, when:
  • The case cannot be resolved by settlement and must be resolved by an evidentiary hearing (trial).
  • The workers' compensation insurance company strongly advises you to get a lawyer.
  • An administrative law judge strongly advises you to get a lawyer.

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Burgess Law Firm - Kansas City MO

4505 Madison Ave
Kansas City, MO 64111
P 816-471-1700
F 816-471-1701

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.

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