If you have been injured on the job you are likely entitled to workers compensation benefits under Missouri law.
Missouri workers compensation typically does not allow for a direct lawsuit against an employer except under very specific circumstances. A workers compensation attorney can help you in understanding those circumstances and building a case that meets the criteria.
Workers Compensation – A No-Fault System
The Missouri workers’ compensation system has been designed to be a no-fault system, making it irrelevant whether or not your employer’s negligence was the cause of your injury or led to your disease. This also protects the employee, whose own negligence cannot be held against them when pursuing a workers’ compensation claim. For example, an employer should not be able to deny a claim for workers’ compensation based on evidence that you could have prevented the injury.
This system was designed specifically to protect both the employer and employee from the results of a work-related accident or disease. The employer is typically protected from being sued by an injured employee and employees are guaranteed to receive the medical attention they need and time off from work if necessary.
What is Included in Workers Compensation Benefits?
Your recovery of damages in a workers’ compensation claim is limited by the no-fault system. With no lawsuit, you are disallowed from seeking punitive damages for your pain and suffering, but you can expect that all medical treatment required will be paid by your employer. In addition, you have a right to be paid for the days off that were needed to recover from the injury, plus extra compensation if your injury is permanent. Read here for additional workers’ compensation benefits that are available for injured employees.
Who is Covered by Workers Compensation
Contracted workers and employees are entitled to receive workers compensation benefits from their employer. Independent contractors are not covered by this system. This can affect construction workers and truck drivers who typically work for various companies on an as needed basis. For independent contractors who are injured while carrying out the duties of their job, their only recourse may be a direct personal injury lawsuit filed against the business.
When Can an Employee File a Lawsuit?
There are only very specific circumstances when you can file a lawsuit against your company for personal injury. One of these is if your employer set out to purposely harm you. An example of this would be if your employer physically struck you out of anger. The guidelines are very clear in who can be sued when a workplace injury occurs and it is in your best interest to speak with a Missouri workers’ compensation attorney first in order to determine if your injury meets the criteria.
Receiving Compensation for a Work Injury
If your claim for workers compensation benefits has been denied, speak with The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300. We can assist you in filing an appeal to ensure that your medical and financial needs are being taken care of.