In general, workers’ compensation covers any injury, illness, or aggravation of a pre-existing condition arising out of and during employment.
Workers’ compensation is an insurance program designed to provide financial support and medical care to employees who suffer from work-related injuries or illnesses. In Missouri, workers’ compensation laws are in place to ensure that employees receive the benefits they are entitled to when they suffer an injury or illness connected to their job.
In general, workers’ compensation covers any injury, illness, or aggravation of a pre-existing condition arising out of and during employment. This means that the injury must be directly related to the employee’s job duties or occur while the employee performs their job. Some common examples of damages covered by workers’ compensation in Missouri include:
- Physical Injuries: These are the most common types of work-related injuries, ranging from minor cuts and bruises to severe injuries like fractures and amputations. Examples include injuries sustained in a fall, injuries from operating machinery, and injuries caused by lifting heavy objects.
- Repetitive Stress Injuries: Repetitive stress injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis, can develop over time due to repetitive motions or strain on specific body parts. If a repetitive stress injury is directly related to an employee’s job duties, it may be covered by workers’ compensation.
- Occupational Illnesses: Workers’ compensation may cover illnesses that result from exposure to hazardous substances or conditions in the workplace. Examples of occupational illnesses include:
- Respiratory diseases from inhaling toxic chemicals.
- Skin conditions due to contact with irritants.
- Hearing loss from exposure to loud noises.
- Aggravation of Pre-existing Conditions: If a pre-existing condition is aggravated or worsened due to work-related activities, workers’ compensation may cover the portion of the injury or illness that is directly attributable to the workplace. For example, if an employee has a previous back injury exacerbated by heavy lifting at work, workers’ compensation may cover the costs related to worsening the condition.
- Mental and Emotional Injuries: In some cases, workers’ compensation may cover psychological injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or severe anxiety, if they are directly related to a traumatic work-related event or a physical injury. However, it’s important to note that proving a direct connection between mental or emotional harm and work can be challenging.
It’s important to understand that workers’ compensation will not cover all injuries or illnesses. Self-inflicted injuries sustained while being intoxicated, ones caused by horseplay, and by violations of workplace safety rules may not be eligible for benefits. Additionally, injuries that occur during a worker’s commute to or from work or during personal breaks are generally not covered, as they are not considered to have occurred during employment.