Month: October 2015

workers compensation attorney

Can You Get Fired for Filing a Workers Compensation Claim?

In Missouri, it is completely illegal for your boss to fire you in retaliation for filing a workers compensation claim. Missouri’s workers compensation laws provide that “no employer or agent shall discharge or in any way discriminate against any employee for exercising any of his rights under this chapter.” Mo. Rev. Stat. § 287.780.

Even though they cannot fire you, sometimes your boss may try to make you feel guilty for filing a workers’ compensation claim after a work injury. No one should feel bad about it.

Workers compensation is a government system setup by the State of Missouri. It is there to help injured workers pay for their medical bills and lost wages. The system was created by the Missouri legislature with the agreement and assistance of pro-business organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce. These organizations represent most of Missouri’s employers. They signed on to creating the workers compensation system because it protects them from lawsuits when their employees get injured. Instead of filing a normal lawsuit, the injured employee’s “sole remedy” is usually a workers compensation claim. This saves Missouri employers millions and millions of dollars a year.

Plus, your employer is required to have workers compensation insurance, so the money is not coming out of their pocket.

If you have been injured on the job, then please call Austin Bradley Law Office today at (417) 385-1338 to speak with a local workers compensation. All our workers compensation cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not have to pay us a penny unless we win your case.

Also, feel free to send us a question about your workers compensation case through our website by clicking here.


Missouri Attorney

Missouri Attorney Discusses Extending the Nets at Royals’ Games

In a Royals home game in 2011, 4-year-old Alexis Hoskey was sitting with her parents in seats located a few rows off the field on the third base side. During the game, left handed hitter Wilson Betemit hit a line drive foul ball into the stands. It struck Alexis in the face, fracturing her skull and causing a bleed in her brain.

Similar injuries have occurred in nearly all major league ballparks, and happen quite often. According to a 2014 Bloomberg Report, on average 1,750 fans are injured every year by foul balls and flying bats. Just this year, a woman at Fenway Park sustained life threatening injuries when a broken bat flew into the stands and struck her in the face. That injury garnered national attention and has led to renewed calls for Major League baseball to do more to protect fans.

Following that game, Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie tweeted that Major League Baseball should extend the protective netting at least to the dugouts. Guthrie has previously represented the players union in labor talks where he asked that the netting be extended to protect players and fans.

Currently, the netting is only behind home plate, and protects fans from foul balls and errant pitches that go straight back. Despite all of the injuries that occur past the netting, Major League Baseball and the team owners have collectively resisted extending the nets. The repeated reason cited is that it will negatively affect the fan experience.

As an avid Royals fans who has attended a ton of games, I call baloney on that. I have been lucky enough to sit behind home plate several times and I can tell you each time it was an amazing baseball experience. And, of course, the entire experience is from behind the protective netting. Before graduating law school and passing the bar, most of my Royals’ games were experienced from the cheap seats, free from any protective netting. I will take the view behind the netting any day.

One can also just look at the economics of ticket pricing. At Kaufmann Stadium, the seats directly behind home plate are some of the most expensive seats in the stadium. They cost upwards $250.00 a ticket, and that is for a regular season game. The same seats for Game 1 of the World Series are currently selling for over $7,000.00 a seat on StubHub! The price of the behind the net tickets alone shows the netting does not negatively affect ticket purchasing.  

Since the most expensive seats are behind the nets, it is difficult to conclude that Major League Baseball really believes extending the nets will negatively affect ticket purchasing or fan experience. What then, is responsible for baseball’s resistance to extending the nets? It is hard to say for sure. Tradition probably is a factor. The added cost of installing longer nets might play a roll, although that amount is probably very small compared to a major league team’s overall budget. Perhaps baseball is worried that extending the nets will start baseball down a road where more and more changes will be called for in the name of safety.

As a Missouri attorney who practices injury law, I know that the legal system does not do enough to encourage Major League Baseball to extend the nets. Missouri, and nearly every other state, provide legal immunity to baseball team owners and Major League Baseball for fan injuries that result from flying bats and balls. In the legal world, this immunity is simply known as “the baseball rule.” The baseball rule is nearly as old as the game itself. It is not in a statute passed by legislators. Instead, the baseball rule was created by judges who have long thought that a baseball fan assumes the risk of being injured when they enter the stadium. For a long time, the judges’ reasoning mirrored public sentiment.

As society progresses, technology keeps finding new ways to protect us and our families. These advances have made us as a society less tolerant of needless dangers. Our cars now have airbags, backup cameras, collision sensors, crash avoidance systems, stability control, and anti-lock brakes. When the baseball rule was created, cars did not even have seatbelts.

Our roads and bridges have guardrails that prevent us from rolling down an embankment or careening into a river. Railroad crossings have gates that warn us of approaching trains and prevent us from driving across the tracks when a train is approaching. The list goes on.

These safety improvements are, at least in part, the result of jury verdicts in favor of those who were injured by unsafe cars, roads, and bridges. There is no absolute legal immunity from a lawsuit for the producer of an unsafe car, or the designer of an unsafe roadway. Instead, when someone is injured by a defectively designed car or a dangerously designed roadway, a jury gets to pass judgment. Because of this jury system, the tools and products we use every day are designed to be safe.

Baseball stadiums should not be held to different standard. If Major League Baseball and its owners were subject to the same system as the rest of us, juries, not judges, would get to decide how far the nets should go. The result would likely be a safer ballpark, where parents can take their children to the game and be protected from a possibly life-threatening injury, even in the cheap seats.


Workers' Compensation Attorney

Workers’ Compensation Attorney – How Much Do They Cost?

A reputable workers’ compensation attorney will handle your claim on a “contingency fee basis,” meaning you only get charged a portion of the settlement.

At Austin Bradley Law Office, all of our workers’ compensation cases are handled as contingency fee cases. We never get paid and never charge any of our clients unless there is a financial recovery in their case. If you hire us to represent you, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney will handle your case from beginning to end, making sure you receive the benefits you are entitled to receive under the law.

If you are already being paid for the time you are missing due to your work injury, that money will still be 100% yours. We do not take any fees out of money you are already receiving when you hire us. Instead, as your workers’ compensation attorney, our fees are paid out of the final settlement that we achieve for you at the end of your case. Our fees will never exceed 25 percent, even if we have to take your case all the way to trial to recover.

While not every claim needs a workers’ compensation attorney, the following situations usually require hiring a workers’ compensation attorney:

  • If your medical treatment is being delayed or denied.
  • If you have been denied payment for time you missed from work due to your injury.
  • If you employer is trying to force you to work while you are unable to due your injury.
  • If you have suffered a serious work injury that will result in a permanent disability.
  • If you have been offered a workers’ compensation settlement, but feel the amount is too low.

If you are thinking about hiring a workers’ compensation attorney, then please call us today at (417) 385-1338 to speak with a local workers’ compensation attorney for free. Also, feel free to send us a question through our website by clicking here.

workers compensation

Missouri Workers Compensation Benefits Explained

Most people know that if you are injured on the job in Missouri, then you are entitled to workers compensation benefits. Few people, however, are aware of all the different benefits you may be entitled to. Generally people understand that you are entitled to have your medical bills paid by the employer’s workers compensation insurance company.

Where most folks (and some lawyers) get confused, however, is when we start discussing payment for total disability and partial disability. There are four different kinds of disability that are paid under Missouri’s workers compensation system: temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent total disability, and permanent partial disability.

Temporary total disability is fairly straightforward. If you are unable to work at all while recovering from your work injury, then you are entitled to payment for your lost wages. In Missouri, the amount you are entitled to receive is two-thirds of your average weekly wage. The weekly amount paid, however, cannot exceed a cap, which in 2015 is $886.92 per week.

Temporary partial disability is a little more complicated. Temporary partial disability kicks in when you are able to work while recovering but unable to perform the same job as before the injury. Frequently this is called “light duty.” If your “light duty” job pays less than your pre-injury job, you are entitled to payment of two-thirds of the difference in pay between the two jobs. For example, if you pre-injury job paid $1,000.00 a week, but your “light duty” only pays $700.00, you are entitled to a weekly benefit of $200.00 from the workers compensation carrier. That amount is two-thirds of the $300.00 difference between your pre-injury wage and your light duty wage.

Permanent total disability, much like temporary total disability, is fairly easy to understand. If your work injury is serious enough to prevent you from ever being able to work again, then you are entitled to receive payments in the amount of two-thirds of your pre-injury average weekly wage for the rest of your life, subject to the same weekly maximum as above.

The last benefit, permanent partial disability, is more complicated than permanent total disability. Permanent partial disability is required to be paid when your work injury resulted in a permanent injury that does not prevent you from working in the future. The Missouri Department of Labor publishes a Permanent Partial Disability Schedule that is used to calculate the amount of compensation you are entitled to receive from a work injury that resulted in permanent partial disability. The amount will depend on what part of your body is injured and the severity of the injury. The best way to figure out what your permanent partial disability claim is worth is to speak with a qualified workers compensation attorney.

If you are thinking about pursuing a workers compensation claim, then call us today for a free consultation at (417) 385-1338. Also, feel free to send us a question through our website by clicking here.