Continual Changes to MO Worker’s Compensation Laws

The Governor’s March 2012 Vetoes. Restrictions to Missouri workers’ compensation laws in recent months have been making waves and even causing confusion.  In March, Governor Nixon vetoed one piece of legislation that changed the workers’ compensation system and another bill  related to workplace discrimination.  People have regarded these decisions as being hostile to Missouri workers and many would like to see changes that affect the recourse that workers have in a positive way, as opposed to further restricting their legal options when it comes to discrimination or workers’ compensation. The Governor has claimed that he is protecting human rights and civil liberties with these decisions but many disagree, saying instead that the vetoes work against the workers’ comp system and make it harder to prove discrimination against former employers.

2005 Amendments Allow For Civil Suits Against Employers. These changes come on top of 2005 amendments that had already significantly altered injured the way that employees can seek compensation, allowing for civil suits as opposed to going through the workers’ comp system.  Those alterations were viewed as being destabilizing to the system as a whole.

Preexisting Conditions. Some precedents being set currently are seen as favorable to workers in Missouri, however, making it possible for more Missouri workers to claim benefits even with the existence of prior conditions, by widening the definition of preexisting disabilities.  In some cases workers have been able to claim benefits when preexisting conditions that were not manifested in difficulties in job performance in the past, but have the potential to combine with work-related injuries and cause and even greater degree of disability.  These modifications are far less restrictive regarding preexisting conditions and how the existence of these conditions has an effect on the claiming benefits.

How Do These Changes Affect Current or Future Cases? Consistent changes are being made to Missouri law and different precedents are being set daily, but confusion is a common result of seeing all of these changes put in place.  Whether the changes affect workers positively or negatively is hard to even discern at times and can vary from case to case.  Sorting through current and past laws and making sense of it all is what workers’ compensation lawyers do.  If you have questions regarding a case, contacting a workers’ comp lawyer will be a good idea, because making sense of these matters is daunting and can be impossible on your own.  In the advent of a worker’s comp case or a suspected workers’ comp case, seek the aid of an attorney who can help obtain the benefits that workers deserve and damages when appropriate.  Even with restrictions and changes to the law, lawyers will know what the options pertaining to each particular case are, and how to gather evidence and present the case in a way that will garner the most favorable result.

MO Workers Compensation Lawyer

At the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann, our Missouri Workers Compensation Lawyers can provide you with the necessary information to make the right choices so that you can receive the best medical care, benefits and income. Attorney James M. Hoffmann has spent a majority of his 15-year legal career dedicated to protecting the rights of injured workers.

Based in St. Louis, and handling workers compensation cases throughout the State of Missouri, our law firm will ensure that your rights are protected. Please call (314) 361-4300 or toll free at (314) 361-4300.

 

photo credit: robertstinnett

Updated: March 2, 2017