You should be eligible for workers compensation benefits, even if it’s on your first day.
One of the reasons that accidents are called “accidents” is because they can happen at any time. When you start in a new position or with a new company, you might get hurt at work the first day. In fact, if you aren’t sure what you are doing, then it might actually increase the chances that you are hurt on your first day. If you have been injured while at work, you might be worried that there is a waiting period to collect workers’ compensation benefits.
Eligibility for Workers Comp Benefits
In most instances, if you are hurt even on the first day of work or during a probationary period, you will still be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation is an insurance policy that companies in Missouri are required to carry in case an employee is injured while at work or performing work-related duties. So, regardless of whether it was your first or 400th day at work, you are eligible for workers’ compensation.
Because workers’ compensation is not based on fault or negligence, it makes no difference whether or not you were responsible for your own injuries. In exchange for employers taking out workers’ compensation coverage, employees are not allowed to sue their employer if they are hurt while working. It’s a trade-off, you are covered regardless of whether you were to blame, but you are not eligible to collect non-economic damages the way that you are when you file a personal injury suit.
Exceptions to Your Eligibility
An exception to your eligibility would be if you were doing something that was not work-related when you were injured. Although there is no negligence ascribed, you do have to be performing a duty that’s under the scope of your employment in order to collect. If you tripped and fell in the lunchroom on your first day, you would not be eligible for benefits. But if your job was to lift heavy things, and on the first day you hurt your back lifting a heavy package, then you would be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
Your Employment Status Might also Be a Factor
Although your probation period and length of time with a company doesn’t matter, the type of employee you are does. If you were hired as an independent contractor and were hurt on your first day, then you might not be eligible to collect workers’ compensation. Also, if you work in industries that are typically excluded – like seasonal workers, babysitters, or cleaners – then you would probably not have workers’ compensation coverage.
Put Our Experience to Work for You
At the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann, our attorneys will work with you, regardless of where you are in the process. Attorney James M. Hoffmann has spent a majority of his more than 20-year legal career dedicated to protecting the rights of injured workers.
If you are injured while at work in Missouri, regardless of whether it was your first or not, and you were performing under the scope of your work duties, then you should be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If you are having a hard time collecting, then it is imperative that you hire a St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer to help you get the compensation you are entitled to.