Though worker’s compensation laws are meant to protect injured workers, they do outline a specific process you have to go through to report your injury and receive compensation.
Not reporting your work injury can result in your claim being denied. The insurance company has the right to deny your claim if you did not respect the steps of reporting the injuries. To prevent this from happening, here is a step by step guide of reporting your injuries correctly.
When You First Find out About Your Injuries
In some cases, everyone’s going to know that you got hurt. When you go through an accident at work, and you have other people, maybe even your employer, witnessing the event, and maybe even being able to help and call 911 if needed. However, just because your employer is aware you got hurt, doesn’t mean you can skip the official notification step. Just bear that in mind.
One issue that occurs a lot of times is with workplace illnesses, in which there is no ‘event’ to speak of. Sick workers may go through a series of doctor’s appoints and tests until they discover that their condition was caused by something at work. And since in Missouri your employer has the right to choose your worker’s comp doctor, that can lead to a few issues with covering the medical costs before filing the claim.
However, you reasonably did not know you even have a case until after you spoke to your doctor. As a result, the law is in your favor here, and if you encounter any issues you should speak with an attorney right away.
Notifying Your Employer
Whether they are aware of your condition or not, you still need to notify your employer of your condition, and that you wish to apply for worker’s comp. It’s best to do it in writing, and make sure to add:
- Your full name and address
- The date, time and place of the injury (unless it’s an illness, in which case you should add the time of the diagnosis)
- the nature of the injury or illness
Remember that you only have 30 days to report the injury to your employer, from the date of the accident. If it’s an illness, then you have 30 days from the moment you were diagnosed. If you go over this limit, it’s likely to have your claim denied.
Your Employer Will Say Your Part’s Done
From the moment you officially notify your employer, the ball’s in their court to speak with the insurance company, and then notify the Missouri Division of Worker’s Compensation. However, it’s best to stay alert and gather evidence that can help you in case something goes wrong.