What Types of Defenses Can Negate Your Right to Workers’ Compensation?

You should be receiving treatment for ALL of your injuries, do not let the carrier deny you benefits.

St Louis Work Injury Lawyer

In Missouri, if you are injured while on the job, your employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover your injuries. For an injury to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, it has to be work-related. The insurance company who is covering your employer will not have your best interest at heart, which is why it is imperative that you find a St. Louis workers compensation lawyer to help you through the complexity of workers’ compensation claims.

If your employer was not insured, then it might be possible for you to sue them in civil court. But, only if the injury meets the criteria for a work-related injury. The insurance company will be hard at work to try not to cover your injuries. After all, they are protecting their bottom line, which is why they will use various types of defenses to deny you coverage. Knowing what the defenses are, might help to ensure that you are prepared to counter them.

Failure to Give Notice

One of the reasons that an insurance carrier might deny your claim is if you fail to give your employer notice of your injury. State workers’ compensation law requires that you notify your employer in writing within 30 days of the injury. You will need to provide proof of the injury and to document all the events leading up to it including eyewitness accounts. Any supporting evidence you have will strengthen your case.

Statute of Limitations

Another reason that an insurance carrier might try to dismiss your claim is due to a statute of limitations. There is a time limit in Missouri that ranges from one to three years from the injury date to file a claim for workers’ compensation. The reason that you have additional time is for cases where the injury is due to exposure or where the injury takes time to show symptoms.


Self-inflicted injuries are not covered under workers’ compensation eligibility. The insurance company might try to prove that your injuries were self-inflicted or intentional so that they don’t have to pay for a workers’ compensation benefits.

No Link to Employment

The insurance company will likely try to prove that your injury was not “work-related”. That means that you didn’t sustain the injury while you were performing as an agent for the employer. There has to be a direct link between your job duties and your injury for your injury to be covered. Merely being injured while at the workplace doesn’t make you instantly eligible.

You Don’t Follow Through With Treatment

If you fail to follow through with treatment or don’t see a doctor, then the insurance company might use that as proof that your injuries aren’t real. Failure to seek treatment or to follow through with a doctor’s appointment could jeopardize your eligibility.

Willful Horseplay or Negligence

The insurance company might try to prove that your injuries were due to your negligence, and, therefore, that the employer is not responsible. If you were fooling around when you got hurt, or if you were doing something outside of procedure, that might make you ineligible.

St. Louis Workers Compensation Lawyer

If you are injured while on the job it is imperative that you have a St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer in your corner to defend you. The insurance company’s job is to try to protect their bottom line, which will make it harder for you to prove your case if you don’t know how to defend yourself as a St. Louis workers compensation attorney will.

For over 20 years, the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann has been helping injured workers get the benefits they need and deserve. Do not let the insurance company or your employer deny you of your rightful benefits. Call us today at (314) 361-4300 or fill out our online contact form to discuss your case.

Updated: August 14, 2017