Workers compensation ensures that a company has the means to pay a worker who is injured while performing work-related duties.
If you own or operate a business in Missouri that employs workers, you are generally required to carry an insurance policy that will cover your employees if they are injured on the job. The type of insurance that a business is mandated to carry is called workers’ compensation because it ensures that a company has the means to pay (compensate) a worker who is injured while performing work-related duties.
There are some businesses that are exempt from carrying the required mandatory minimum workers’ compensation insurance. Businesses may not have to cover some employees like seasonal workers or those who work in domestic jobs. In addition, businesses employing workers in the agricultural field or employing less than five employees may be able to choose whether they want to provide insurance or not.
How Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Work?
Before workers’ compensation insurance was required, if an employee was injured while working, they had very little assistance, especially if the injury was extensive and the employer didn’t have the assets available to cover the costs of the injury.
Workers’ compensation is somewhat of a compromise. It ensures that an employee will be compensated if they are injured and that an employer is safe from liability that can lead to bankruptcy if one of their workers is hurt on the job.
If you are injured while on the job, you are entitled to have your economic damages paid for like medical bills, hospitalization and lost wages. In return, employees are not allowed to sue their employers directly. If a worker is injured while on the job, they will receive economic damages from the insurance company and forfeit the right to sue their employer for personal injury.
What About If You Are Injured and Can’t Work Again?
Workers’ compensation insurance pays for both temporary disability and permanent total disability. If a worker is injured so severely that they can no longer work in the same capacity as they had before their injury, they are eligible to receive long-term compensation.
In the state of Missouri, if a worker cannot function up to their previous capacity, they are also entitled to vocational rehabilitation and training. The aim of workers’ compensation is to find the employee gainful work in another capacity if they can no longer work in the same career path or field.
If a worker is killed while they are on the job, then death benefits are available. Death benefits are meant to provide assistance to any surviving dependents like a spouse or children. The benefits also include the cost of burying your loved one. Workers’ compensation will pay a portion of the deceased wages, but there are both maximums and minimum amounts that are eligible and some rules about who can or cannot be a beneficiary.
If you are injured while on the job, you are entitled to receive economic damages through workers’ compensation. If you are having a hard time filing a claim for workers’ compensation or having it approved, then it is an excellent idea to have an experienced Missouri workers’ compensation attorney on your side.