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Workers Compensation Laws in Missouri

The Missouri Workers Compensation Laws were substantially changed effective August 28, 2005. This is a brief summary of the new workers’ compensation laws.

Please do not hesitate to contact attorney James M. Hoffmann for any questions regarding the workers’ compensation laws.

Injured on the Job

A work-related injury is a traumatic experience. If you or a loved one is injured on the job or become ill as a result of your employment, the Missouri Workers’ Compensation laws can provide some relief from the worry and financial strain of being injured and possibly off work due to an injury.

Missouri law requires most employers to carry insurance, which pays for medical treatment and lost time benefits for employees who are injured on the job. The law requires prompt payment of benefits at no cost to you if you sustain a work-related injury covered under the law.

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Who is Covered Under Missouri Workers’ Compensation Laws?

If you are employed in the construction industry, your employer must have workers’ compensation insurance, if the employer has one or more employees. Employers in other types of business must carry insurance if they have five or more employees. Railroad, postal, and maritime workers are covered by federal laws.

What is Covered Under Missouri Workers’ Compensation Laws?

All injuries and occupational diseases must meet the standard of work being “the prevailing factor” in causing the injury or disease and the injury must arise out of and in the course of employment. Idiopathic injuries that result from an unknown cause are not covered. Certain injuries that occur when the employee is going to and from work are excluded.

What if I am Injured at Work?

Report the injury immediately to your employer or supervisor and provide information about the injury – what, where, when and how it happened. Your employer or supervisor should arrange medical treatment and file the necessary reports with the Division. Prompt reporting is key. Ensure your right to benefits by a written notice of every injury, no matter how slight.

Failure to report your injury to your employer may jeopardize your ability to receive workers’ compensation benefits. To assure your right to benefits for which you may be eligible, notify your employer of the injury in writing within 30 days.

Time for Filing a Missouri Workers’ Compensation Claim

If you decide to file a claim with the Division of Workers’ Compensation (Form WC-21) must be used. If a claim is accepted, then a formal claim for compensation must be filed within 2 years from the date of injury subject to the following:

  • If treatment has been authorized and paid for by the work comp carrier, you have either 2 years from the date of injury, or 1 year from the date of the last medical payment by the workers’ compensation carrier, whichever is longer, to file a formal claim with the Division of Workers Compensation.
  • If the employer/insurer forgets to file a report of injury with the Division of Workers Compensation, you then have 3 years to file a claim.

For example, a report of injury was filed. If you were injured July 10, 2010; the case was accepted and the work comp carrier’s last payment to an authorized treating doctor was July 1, 2012, you have until July 1, 2013, to file a formal claim. You can file beyond the 2 year period because Missouri law allows you to file within 1 year after the last payment (not doctor visit, but payment made by the work comp carrier to an authorized doctor.)

Another example, if you were injured on July 10, 2010, and then the report of injury was filed. If the last payment by the workers’ compensation carrier to an authorized treating doctor was July 1, 2011, then in this situation you had until July 10, 2012, to file a formal claim. If the employee fails to file a formal claim for compensation by July 10, 2012, then the only way to get your claim reinstated is if the workers’ compensation carrier authorizes and pays for a recent doctor visit, even in 2013, because of continued pain or for another reason. If so, then you have 1 year to file your claim.

Where to Get More Information

Contact attorney James M. Hoffmann for any of your Missouri Workers Compensation questions. With over 30 years of experience handling workers compensation cases, Mr. Hoffmann can answer your work comp questions.

Free Workers Compensation Consultations

Our legal team has a strong history of helping injured workers get the medical attention and financial compensation that they need. Contact our St. Louis, Missouri workers compensation law firm to ensure that your rights are protected. Please call (314) 361-4300. You can also complete our Online Case Evaluation Form.

All communications are returned promptly.