Understanding Missouri Workers’ Compensation Laws

Understanding Missouri’s workers’ compensation laws is vital to ensure injured employees receive fair benefits and employers comply with legal obligations.

Workers’ compensation is a critical system designed to protect employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. In Missouri, understanding the nuances of workers’ compensation laws is essential for both employees and employers. This article will provide a general overview of Missouri’s workers’ compensation laws, outlining the rights and responsibilities of both parties involved.

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What is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment. In exchange for these benefits, the employee relinquishes the right to sue their employer for negligence if they are injured on the job.

Eligibility for Workers’ Compensation in Missouri

In Missouri, most employees are covered by workers’ compensation insurance from their first day of employment. Coverage includes injuries that occur at the workplace or during work-related activities. However, there are specific conditions and exceptions that may apply.

Types of Injuries Covered

  • Accidental Injuries: Injuries resulting from an accident during work hours or in a work-related situation.
  • Occupational Diseases: Illnesses that develop due to the nature of the job or workplace conditions.

Exceptions to Coverage

  • Injuries caused by the employee’s intoxication or drug use.
  • Self-inflicted injuries.
  • Injuries incurred while committing a crime or violating company policy.

The Claims Process

  • Reporting the Injury: Employees must report their injury to their employer as soon as possible. In Missouri, the deadline for reporting is within 30 days of the injury or diagnosis.
  • Filing a Claim: Once reported, employers should file a claim with their workers’ compensation insurer. Employees should also file a claim with the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation if there are any disputes or if they feel their rights are not being respected.

Benefits Under Workers’ Compensation

Medical Benefits

Employees are entitled to all necessary and reasonable medical treatments related to their work injury. This often includes doctor visits, hospital care, physical therapy, and medication.

Wage Loss Benefits

  • Temporary Total Disability (TTD): TTD benefits are for employees who are temporarily unable to work due to their injury. These benefits are typically a percentage of the employee’s average weekly wage, subject to minimum and maximum limits set by the state. TTD benefits continue until the employee can return to work or reaches maximum medical improvement.
  • Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): PPD benefits apply when an employee sustains a permanent injury but can still perform some work. The amount of PPD benefits depends on the severity of the disability, the body part affected, and the employee’s pre-injury wage. PPD is often calculated using a schedule that assigns a number of weeks of compensation for specific types of injuries.
  • Permanent Total Disability (PTD): PTD benefits are for employees who are permanently and totally disabled due to their work-related injury, meaning they cannot return to any type of gainful employment. PTD benefits are typically a percentage of the employee’s average weekly wage, like TTD, but are paid for the duration of the disability, which can be for life. The amount is subject to the state’s minimum and maximum limits.

Death Benefits

In the unfortunate event of a death due to a work-related injury, dependents of the deceased may be eligible for death benefits, including funeral expenses and a portion of the deceased’s wages.

Employer Responsibilities

Employers in Missouri are generally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance if they have five or more employees. Construction companies must have coverage with one or more employees. Employers must also:

  • Report work-related injuries to their insurance carrier.
  • Provide access to medical treatment for injured employees.
  • Cooperate with the Division of Workers’ Compensation in any investigations.

Employee Responsibilities

Employees seeking workers’ compensation benefits must:

  • Report the injury to their employer in a timely manner.
  • Seek and follow medical treatment.
  • Cooperate with their employer and insurance carrier throughout the claims process.

Resolving Disputes

Disputes in workers’ compensation claims can arise regarding the severity of the injury, eligibility for benefits, or the amount of compensation due. In such cases, parties can seek resolution through mediation or by having a hearing in front of an administrative law judge.

Missouri Workers Compensation Lawyers

Understanding Missouri’s workers’ compensation laws is crucial for both employees and employers. While this overview provides general information, each case is unique and may require a more detailed understanding of the law.

If you’ve been injured at work, navigating Missouri’s workers’ compensation laws can be challenging. The workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann is here to help. We can provide guidance and support throughout the claims process. For a free case evaluation, call us today and take the first step towards securing your rights and benefits under Missouri’s workers’ compensation laws.

Get FREE Legal Advice

Call today to speak with an experienced Missouri workers compensation attorney!

Call (816) 399-3706
Updated: December 6, 2023

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