What Is a Compensable Injury?

A compensable injury is work-related harm eligible for workers’ comp benefits, covering medical costs and lost wages.


In Missouri, understanding the intricacies of compensable injuries is crucial for both employees and employers. A compensable injury, under Missouri law, is defined as any injury or illness that arises out of and in the course of employment. This includes not only physical injuries but also mental stress and occupational diseases directly related to work activities. This article will discuss what generally constitutes a compensable injury in Missouri, the process for claiming compensation, and the importance of legal guidance in these matters.

Definition and Scope in Missouri

Missouri’s workers’ compensation laws are designed to ensure that employees who suffer from work-related injuries or illnesses receive timely medical treatment and financial support. For an injury to be deemed compensable in Missouri, it must meet the following criteria:

  • Arising out of Employment: The injury must be directly related to the work performed.
  • In the Course of Employment: The injury must occur while the employee is engaged in work-related activities.

Notably, Missouri’s laws cover a wide range of injuries, from acute incidents like slips and falls to long-term conditions such as repetitive stress injuries and occupational diseases.

The Process for Claiming Compensation in Missouri

Missouri has a structured process for claiming workers’ compensation, which includes:

  1. Prompt Reporting: Employees should report their injury to their employer as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days from the injury date or diagnosis of a work-related illness.
  2. Medical Attention: It’s imperative to seek medical evaluation immediately to document the injury and its relation to the employee’s work.
  3. Filing a Claim: The employee or the employer will then need to file a claim with the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation.
  4. Claim Processing: The claim is reviewed, and if approved, benefits are provided for medical expenses, lost wages, and, potentially, rehabilitation services.

Employer’s Role and Responsibilities

Employers in Missouri are required to provide a safe working environment and carry workers’ compensation insurance. Upon notification of an injury, employers must report the injury to their insurance carrier and assist the employee in the claim process. Employers are also tasked with facilitating the return to work for the injured employee, possibly with modifications to their duties if necessary.

Legal and Regulatory Considerations

Missouri’s workers’ compensation laws stipulate the framework within which compensable injuries are defined and managed. Given the complexities of these laws and the potential for disputes over the nature of an injury or the benefits owed, it’s generally best for employees to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible.

Speak With a St. Louis Workers Compensation Attorney

If you’ve suffered a work-related injury in Missouri, it’s important to understand your rights and the compensation you may be entitled to. The legal landscape can be complex, and having an experienced advocate on your side can make a significant difference in the outcome of your claim. With over 30 years of experience and a commitment to defending workers’ rights, our team is here to guide you through the process and help secure the compensation you deserve. Reach out today to ensure your rights are protected, and your recovery is supported.

Speak With a Workers Comp Attorney

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Updated: February 29, 2024