Legal Question in Personal Injury in Missouri

While employed by the City Of Kansas City Missouri on March 1, 2010, I lost my grip at the top of a standpipe ladder. I broke my fall by grabbing a lower rung with my right hand, but in so doing damaged my upper right arm and shoulder. The accident was caused by the removal of the top rung by in-house maintenance, a condition that was reported numerous times over many months prior to my accident, and existed for over one year thereafter. I took photographs of these missing rungs, still not repaired, exactly one year later on March 1, 2011. This injury resulted in shoulder surgery on July 2, 2010.

As of this date my employer has compensated for medical expenses and lost wages, but has not settled for disability losses. Two voluntary conferences have been fruitless, first when the employer’s representative showed up without my case information, and second when he failed to show up at all.

During a consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer I was told that I have claim to a fixed settlement of a scheduled amount based upon my level of disability.

My real question revolves around the fact I also have a profitable real-estate renovation business. Do I have legal claim for compensation of losses in my self-employment endeavors? I can easily demonstrate my track record of periodic acquisition and hands-on rehabilitation of distressed properties.

My next workers' compensation conference is scheduled for August 19

Asked on 7/25/11, 12:12 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Anthony Smith LawSmith
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The city is stalling yrou recover, becaus eyou have not retained counsel to represnt your interests. It i snot required that you have counsel., but employers oftern stall claiminats without an attorney. As to the extent of yrou recovery, the attorney you talked with is probalby correct. You are limited to the disability rating based upon your percentage of loss of use, etc. However, you will probably not be able to get extra funds to compensate you for loss of income on yrou self-employed work. If you have private disability insurance, you might have a valid claim for loss of that extra work,

Good luck

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7/25/11, 1:08 pm
Michael Harvath Harvath Law Offices-INJURY case representation
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Hi. I am sorry to hear about your injury and the effect it is having on your real-estate renovation business as well. I am a Missouri workers' compensation attorney that handles claims throughout all parts of the state. In addition, our firm also handles civil personal injury claims.

In regard to the workers' compensation claim, under the Missouri workers' compensation laws, you are entitled to a lump sum settlement, also known as a "permanent partial disability" settlement, based on the amount of long-term disability that you continue to have in your arm and shoulder. Truthfully, it will be quite difficult to obtain a fair settlement without having an attorney assist with your claim, and it is not uncommon for these claims to be stalled or stretched out for an unreasonable amount of time. Under the Missouri laws, there is some compensation available for loss of wages from a second job (your real-estate job), but a separate claim must be filed against the Second Injury Fund, and appropriate documentation of your second job wage loss must be included.

However, based on the facts that you describe, you could also potentially have a second claim, a personal injury civil claim, against a supervisor, or the company, for negligence. Some recent changes in Missouri law allow separate civil claims, in addition to workers' compensation claims, in certain situations. A civil claim could result in significantly more compensation than the workers' comp. claim, because in a civil claim, you are entititled to all medical bills, pain and suffering, all lost wages (at any jobs), and future medical expenses. However, there are shortened deadlines for filing notice of a civil claim against a government entity.

I hope this helps, at least to some extent. For convenience, I can be reached by e-mail at mth2000@yahoo.com, or by phone at (314) 471-5585. Evenings are acceptable.

NOTE: This answer is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. The use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship or privilege between the user and the attorney responding.

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7/25/11, 5:20 pm

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