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St. Louis Attorney Dicusses Claims Which Can Be Pursued Under Both Illinois And Missouri “Work Comp” Laws

Jan. 4, 2009

Over the years, I have handled numerous Missouri and Illinois “work comp” injury cases. It often surprises injured workers to find that they can pursue their case in both states. Sometimes we will have an injured worker who is employed in St. Louis, but who is injured, for example, in Belleville, Alton, or Granite City, Illinois. Under these circumstances, the worker can pursue their case in both Illinois and Missouri. As an attorney, I will usually file a claim in both states and eventually determine which state is most favorable. In Illinois Workers’ Compensation cases, a worker can choose their treating doctor, which is certainly an advantage. There are also more favorable circumstances where an emloyee can’t return to their former employment and needs vocational rehabilitation. In addition, there are higher maximum rates for temporary total disability, permanent partial disability and permanent total disability benefits. However, for employees who are not as highly paid, the permanent partial disability rates are based on 60%, rather than 66 2/3%, as is the case in Missouri. Missouri Workers’ Compensation also has a special benefit called the “Missouri Second Injury Fund” which often provides extra compensation for a wide variety of pre-existing conditions.” Illinois Comp” tends to favor highly compensated workers who are seriously injured. “Missouri comp” tends to favor less highly compensated workers and workers with significant pre-existing disabilities. If you qualify for benefits in both states, it may be helpful to hire an attorney who is licensed in both states. There are a multitude of other factors which may come into play, such as attorney’s fees which are 20% in Illinois versus 25% in Missouri. Also the venue, or place where your case comes up for hearing, will influence your attorney’s strategy. My advice- ask your attorney if he practices in both states!