FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT WORKERS' COMPENSATION
Will talking to a workers’ compensation lawyer put my job at risk?
Simply talking to an attorney and learning your legal rights will not affect your job. The conversation is private and subject to the attorney-client privilege. If you do file a claim and/or hire an attorney, there is a Missouri law that is designed to protect you from discrimination. I always tell my clients that they know their employers better than me and they will have a better idea whether or not their employer will discriminate against them or fire them for filing a workers’ compensation claim. However, if a client is fired for pursuing their rights under the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Law, I also handle lawsuits for Wrongful Termination and will do all I can do to make sure they are protected.
How do you determine whether to help me with my case?
The first and only test I have for taking a workers’ compensation case is whether or not I think I can substantially help the client. I will not take cases just to make money if I do not think the client will be better off. Sometimes I counsel people not to hire me and instead give them advice on how to handle the claim themselves. No case is too big or too small, but I will not take a case where I do not think I can win or where my client will not be better off even if I do win.
How much would a consultation cost?
The initial consultation is free. If you hire me and if I take your case then my fee will be 25% of any recovery you receive, plus expenses. I pay for all of the expenses up front, but they do come out of the client’s portion of the settlement or award at the end. I offer a 10% discount to union members and veterans.
What does this process look like? How long will it take?
I’m often asked this question, and it is hard to answer. A minimum of 6 months is likely, but most cases take a year or more to finish. If the injury is severe then they can take as long as 3-4 years. Finalizing a claim must generally wait until several months after all treatment is concluded, which is hard to predict.
“No case is too big or too small… I have literally handled workers’ compensation claims in every court in Missouri.” – Randy Alberhasky
Where do you operate? Will you hear my case if I’m outside of the Springfield area?
I have literally handled workers’ compensation claims in every court in Missouri, but most of my clients come from southwest Missouri including Springfield, West Plains, Willow Springs, Lebanon, Bolivar, Branson, Republic, Nixa, Ozark, Monett, Neosho and Joplin.
What is the statute of limitations in Missouri for a workers’ compensation case?
You generally have two years after the injury or last treatment paid for by workers’ compensation to file a claim. You have up to three years from the date of injury if the employer failed to file a report of injury with the Division of Workers’ Compensation as required by law.
What am I entitled to in a workers’ compensation case?
An injured workers is generally entitled to treatment that is preauthorized through the employer. If the employer refuses to authorize care that has been requested, then the injured worker can obtain treatment on their own and later on ask the judge to make the employer reimburse the injured employee for the cost of medical care related to the injury. An injured worker is also entitled to weekly temporary disability checks equal to 2/3rds of his wages if put on restrictions by a doctor and receiving treatment for a work injury IF the employer has not offered temporary work within the doctor’s restrictions. Finally, an injured worker may be entitled to a lump sum payment of several thousand dollars if the injured worker has a permanent physical or mental impairment but can still return to work. If, however, the injured worker is permanently and totally disabled and unable to return to any kind of work in the open labor market, then the injured employee will receive a weekly check equal to 2/3rds of his or her wages for the rest of their life.
What are your best tips for creating a successful case?
The first and most important thing for an injured worker to do is to file a written report of the injury with his or her employer and request authorized medical care as soon as possible! Do not wait, as the longer you wait to report the injury, the harder it is to prevail in your claim.
Secondly, if your employer will not authorize medical treatment for you within a week, go see your own doctor at your own cost, and tell the doctor how the injury occurred at work. This will help document the injury in the event that the employer “loses” the written report of injury.
Third, if treatment is not authorized within 1-2 weeks, contact an attorney. I can often give you advice early on in your claim without necessarily being hired by you.
Finally, if your claim is being denied, get witnesses to the accident to provide you a written statement about what they saw. This will lock in their testimony so that they cannot change it later on and it will help them to refresh their memory if needed at trial.
Our Client Reviews
We pride ourselves on helping our clients receive the compensation they deserve while also offering the best customer service available. Read some of our client testimonials to get a better idea of how we will serve you.