Workplace injuries are a sad reality faced by American workers across many industries.
Work related injuries can even occur in retail work environments. While most of us would assume that workers on an assembly line or working in the construction sector would be more prone to injuries, the reality is that workers in the healthcare sector are also highly susceptible to a work injury. Considering this, it is important for all workers to understand the legal options they have in case they get injured at the workplace. One obvious recourse for injured workers is workers compensation.
Under Missouri workers compensation, workers who are injured in the course and scope of their employment can file a workers compensation claim to cover their medical costs and income loss. All types of work injuries and illnesses are covered by workers compensation as long as they are work related, and not a result of something that occurred outside of the workplace. Usually, workers compensation claims are filed for injuries that require medical treatment beyond basic first aid. However, workers are often confused about which injuries and what type of workers are covered by workers compensation.
While all workers are covered by workers compensation, there are some exceptions, which may include:
Employees of small companies: Missouri workers compensation law requires employers with more than 5 employees to have workers’ compensation insurance. However. Companies with less than 5 employees are generally exempt from providing workers compensation coverage. There is an exception to this rule as well. Construction companies are required to have workers compensation insurance even if they have fewer than 5 employees.
Exempt workers: Missouri does not requires certain types of workers to be covered by workers compensation. This includes domestic workers, agricultural workers, volunteers, independent contractors and qualified real estate agents. However, in some cases, it is not clear as to whether the person is an independent contractor or an employee. An experienced attorney can help you understand the difference.
Disputed cause: For an injury to qualify for workers compensation, it is important that it is work related. In other words it should “have occurred in the course of and scope of employment” and the work must have been the “prevailing factor”.
Federal employees are not covered by the Missouri workers’ compensation system. There is a separate compensation program to cover federal employees.