Attorneys at Lear Werts LLP are well-versed in the procedures used to file workers’ compensation claims against Missouri’s Second Injury Fund. The Second Injury Fund is a special fund established to provide additional compensation for workers with preexisting injuries, disabilities, or handicaps. If you had a physical or mental disability before you were injured at work, you may qualify for additional benefits from the Second Injury Fund.
The purpose of Missouri’s Second Injury Fund is to encourage employers to hire and retain employees who have disabilities. Established after World War II, the fund was set up in response to employers’ reluctance to hire veterans who had sustained serious injuries in the war. The basic premise of the fund is that the State will pay additional benefits if a combination of injuries causes an employee to become totally disabled.
In some cases, the Second Injury Fund’s liability can be substantial. For example, in permanent total disability cases the Second Injury Fund may cover an employee’s lifetime weekly benefits when the permanent total disability results from a combination of the employee’s preexisting conditions and those caused by the current work-related injury. Also, in death benefit cases, if the employer failed to obtain workers’ compensation insurance, the Second Injury Fund may be responsible for death benefits payable to the employee’s dependents. Specifically, five types of benefits may be paid from the Fund, and one or more may be available to you depending on your unique circumstances:
With the exception of physical rehabilitation benefits, no payments may be made from the Second Injury Fund unless a Claim for Compensation is filed against the Fund. Our attorneys can help you make sure that your claim is complete and accurate, thus increasing the likelihood that your claim will be processed without delay.
Claims against the Second Injury Fund must comply with special time limits set out in the law. Therefore, if you believe that you may be entitled to Second Injury Fund benefits, it is imperative to start building your claim as soon as possible. Our experienced attorneys can navigate the potential complexities of multiple claims, and moreover, help you receive the maximum amount of benefits available to you. For an assessment of your potential claims, please contact a Missouri workers comp lawyer at Lear Werts LLP.