Workers’ Compensation in Missouri
Workers’ comp in Missouri (also known as workers’ compensation, work compensation, and/or workmans compensation) provides benefits (medical, income, permanent disability, etc.) for employees who have been injured in work-connected accidents or who have been exposed to diseases or conditions that cause illness in the workplace. The State of Missouri requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance if they employ five or more employees. However, if the employer is in the construction industry, it must carry workmans compensation insurance if it employs 1 or more person. Independent contractors are not covered by work compensation insurance in Missouri. Claims for workers’ comp benefits should be filed with the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation.
There are certain workers’ comp issues that require the assistance of legal counsel. If your injury is severe, potentially permanent, difficult to prove, or if your claim is denied or arguable, you should discuss your case with counsel.
Illnesses and Injuries Covered Under Missouri Workers’ Compensation Law
Accidental Physical Injuries
- Falling, slipping, and tripping accidents on the job that injure a worker are covered by Missouri workers’ comp insurance.
- Some work injuries are not covered in Missouri. These injuries may have occurred because an employee was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or because they were self-inflicted.
- When an employee has been exposed to a disease or hazardous condition during the course of his employment. Such illnesses may include hearing loss, asbestosis, or lung damage due to chemical exposure.
- Death benefits are payable to the dependants of a worker if the worker dies from his work-related injury or illness.
The Missouri Worker’s Comp Claims Process
- Notify Your Boss
- Notify your supervisor or foreman in writing about your injury immediately, and in no event more than 30 days after your injury. If you do not tell your employer about your injury within 30 days, you may jeopardize your chance to receive work compensation benefits.
- Get Medical Help Promptly
- Your claim should be filed with the Missouri Department of Labor, Division of Workers’ Compensation: Your employer must file a Report of Injury after it has been notified of your injury. You may file a Claim for Compensation with the Division of Workers’ Compensation if you feel you have not been properly compensated for your injury. This Claim for Compensation must be filed within two years if your boss has filed a Report of Injury or within three years if your boss did not file a Report of Injury. Filing after the statutory deadlines will bar your claim, meaning the loss of your disability compensation, wages, and medical benefits.
- If your claim is contested, denied, or if you just need advice, get in touch with a Missouri workmans comp Lawyer.
Benefits Received in Missouri Under the Workers’ Compensation Program
It is recommended that you speak to a Missouri workmans comp attorney to discuss available workers’ comp benefits in Missouri. The following options are possible:
- Medical Treatment: Treatment for your work-connected injury or sickness, including physician’s visits, hospital bills, and/or other medical treatment are covered by your employer’s work compensation insurance. Payments are made directly to your healthcare provider.
- Wage Reimbursement: Replacement of wages you lose because you must attend and travel to and from your doctors’ appointments, and time spent in hearings with the Workers’ Compensation Division when your claim is contested or your employer or employer’s insurer are uncooperative.
- Funeral: Maximum of $5,000.
- Death: When an employee dies in a work-related accident, or from a worksite injury, his survivors may be eligible for death benefits. Death benefits are paid weekly by the insurer at 2/3 of the deceased employee’s average weekly wage the year following his death.
- Vocational Rehabilitation: When an injured worker is unable to go back to his job because of his injury, the Missouri Division of Vocational Rehabilitation may be able to provide the worker with training for a new kind of employment.
- Income Benefits: income replacement benefits in Missouri include:
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD for short): If you are temporarily completely unable to return to work because you are recovering from your injury.
- Amount: Payments are to be made weekly at 2/3 of a worker’s average weekly wage, not to exceed the statutory maximum.
- Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (or TPD for short): An employee is injured and cannot fully return to his old job duties, but can perform some light work duties.
- Amount: 2/3 of the difference between the employee’s average earnings pre-injury and average post-injury earnings.
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD for short): Possible when your injury or illness is so severe that it is completely impossible for you to work.
- Amount: You may either negotiate a lump sum settlement for your injury or, you are entitled each week to 2/3 of what your average weekly earnings were at the time of your injury.
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD for short): Available when it is possible for you to do some work, but when you cannot go back to your original job because you will always be impaired because of your injury or illness (i.e.-loss of a thumb or toe).
- Amount: Either a lump sum payment based on the extent and nature of your injury or weekly payments of 2/3 your average weekly wage at the time of your accident.
Why Hire A Missouri Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
The resolution of a workmans compensation claim can have a significant impact on your life. A Missouri workers’ compensation attorney can persuasively make your case, help you comprehend Missouri work compensation procedures, make sure that you meet the requisite deadlines and consider all your options, and recommend a strategy and course of action for your case. Hiring a Missouri workers’ comp attorney is also recommended if a defective product causes your injury and the manufacturer may bear some responsibility, or if a third party had something to do with your injury.
Missouri Workers’ Compensation Law
The following Missouri Revised Statutes are relevant to workers’ compensation law in Missouri:
- Employers Subject To Workers’ Compensation
- Missouri Revised Statutes, Chp.287, § 60.
- Covered Employees
- Missouri Revised Statutes, Chp.287, §60.
- Missouri Revised Statutes, Chp.287, §§ 149, 220, 240.
- Claims Procedure
- Missouri Revised Statutes, Chp.287, § 140.