• Personal Injury

    Have you or a loved one been injured or killed because of someone else's fault? We have litigated personal injury cases for 35+ years and have the highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards. Contact us now and click here to learn more about our successful personal injury practice.

  • Wrongful Death

    Wrongful death is when a person or company causes the tragic death of a loved one. Our attorneys can help if you have lost someone. Money can never replace what was lost, but it may provide security and help prevent future tragedies caused by dangerous companies and individuals. We have offices in Joplin and Carthage and can handle cases anywhere, anytime: Springfield, Kansas City, Columbia, Jefferson City, Rolla, etc. Contact us now and click here to learn more about BWO's wrongful death practice.

  • Medical Malpractice

    We pride ourselves on being strong and successful patient advocates for those who have been injured or killed because of medical error. The prestigious Journal of Patient Safety recently reported that as many as 440,000 people die every year from unnecessary medical mistakes. Although many doctors try their best, they are like everyone else and sometimes make mistakes. When mistakes happen, let BWO's expert patient advocates help you. Contact us now and click here to learn more about our substantial medical malpractice experience.

  • Automobile & Trucking Accidents

    Roadway crashes seriously injure and kill victims every day. If you or a love one has been involved in a car or truck accident, contact the lawyers at BWO today! We have 35+ years of experience to help you get the best result possible.

    Automobile &
    Trucking Accidents
  • Work Place Injuries

    Have you been hurt on the job? If so, you are at the right place because we can help. We are one of the leading Workers' Compensation law firms in the area. We have seen virtually every type of injury there is in our 35+ years of representing hurt workers. Plus, we have the highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards. We know the law and will work hard to ensure you get the best results possible. Contact us now and click here for more information about work place injuries.

    Work Place
  • Family Law & Divorce

    When you need assistance in the area of family law and divorce, the first thing you should do is call BWO because we can help. We have 35+ years of experience. Our trial attorneys have fought for our clients in almost every courthouse in front of every judge in Southwest Missouri. Contact BWO now and click here to learn more about our law firm's family law and divorce practice area.

    Family Law
    & Divorce
  • Criminal Law

    Buchanan, Williams, & O' Brien has a strong and well-deserved reputation of fighting for the rights of our criminal law clients. We have attorneys that understand the system and know what needs to be done to make sure our client's rights are protected. We have handled all types of criminal law cases and we can help you. Contact us now and click here to learn more about BWO's criminal law practice.

  • "The leading rule for the lawyer, as for every other calling, is diligence. Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today. Never let your correspondence fall behind. Whatever piece of business you have in hand, before stopping, do all the labor pertaining to it which can then be done"- Abraham Lincoln

Second Injury Fund

If you had an injury or disability before you were hurt at work, you might qualify for additional benefits from the Missouri Second Injury Fund. The purpose of the Second Injury Fund is to encourage employers to hire and retain employees who have disabilities.

An injured employee must have a permanent preexisting disability to trigger liability of the Fund. The prior disability must be "of such seriousness as to constitute a hindrance or obstacle to employment."  In some cases, the Second Injury Fund's benefits can be substantial.

For example, an injured employee may be entitled to lifetime weekly benefits from the Second Injury Fund when a permanent total disability results from a combination of the employee's preexisting conditions and those caused by the current injury. In death cases, when the employer failed to obtain Workers' Compensation insurance, the Second Injury Fund can be held responsible for death benefits to the employee's dependents. 

The Fund is also responsible for paying medical bills of injured employee's when the employer fails to insure its Workers' Compensation liability. The Fund also provides benefits to injured employees who are undergoing physical rehabilitation. To qualify for these benefits, the employee must be seriously injured and be receiving therapy at a facility certified by the Division. If the injured worker qualifies, he or she will receive $40 per week for up to 20 weeks for rehabilitation. 

Second Injury Fund also provides benefits to injured employees with multiple jobs. If an employee is unable to work at a job as a result of an injury that occurred while working at another job, benefits may be claimed from the Second Injury Fund in connection with the job at which the employee was not injured. 

The Second Injury Fund is funded by a surcharge applied to Workers' Compensation insurance premiums paid by employers. The Missouri legislature has capped the amount of the surcharge paid by employers, which has caused the Second Injury Fund to be underfunded. Unless the Missouri legislature acts, in the near future, the Fund will become insolvent and unable to pay claims. Contact your local state legislator and encourage him or her to remove the cap on the premium surcharge so that the Second Injury Fund can continue to pay worthy claims.