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Missouri Workers' Compensation Laws

Maybe you were daydreaming about your staycation to Table Rock Lake when you tripped and broke your arm on the way to the breakroom. Or perhaps you dislocated your shoulder while telling coworkers about the monkeys you had seen at the St. Louis Zoo. In any case, injuries are a potential fact of life for any worker in Missouri. For this reason, the state requires employers to purchase workers' compensation insurance, which serves as a no-fault system of coverage for work-related injuries and illnesses. If you think you've suffered an injury or illness on the job, you'll need to know the ins and outs of pursuing workers' compensation in Missouri.

The table below highlights key aspects of the workers' compensation laws in Missouri, including some types of available benefits and important deadlines.

Important Deadlines
  • 30 days to inform employer of injury (Sec. 287.420)
  • 2 year time limit to file claim with the Division of Workers' Compensation (Sec. 287.430)
Some Types of Benefits
  • Medical care: all reasonable and necessary medical care required to treat the injury, including some travel expenses (Sec. 287.140)
  • Temporary total disability: compensate worker unable to work for a temporary period of time; two-thirds of your gross average weekly wage (Sec. 287.170)
  • Permanent partial disability: benefits where injury affects ability to do certain jobs, but employee still able to work in some capacity (Sec. 287.190)
  • Permanent total disability: compensate employee rendered permanently unable to work anywhere (Sec. 287.200)
  • Death benefits: up to $5,000 in burial costs; survivors' benefits for spouse and dependents of an employee who dies from a work-related injury or disease (Sec. 287.240)
Employer Obligations
  • Employers with 5 or more employees (and all construction employers) are required to obtain and post notice of workers' compensation insurance (with limited exceptions) (Sec. 287.120, 287.030, 287.090, 287.127)
  • Employer has right to choose medical provider for employee (Sec. 287.140)

First Steps After an Injury

If you're sick or injured, you should give written notice to your employer or supervisor as soon as possible. If you don't give notice to your employer within 30 days, you risk losing any right to compensation. Your employer has the right to select a doctor for you, so once they have notice of your injury, they should arrange for necessary medical treatment and file a report with the Division of Workers' Compensation .

Can I Appeal if My Claim's Denied?

In exchange for workers' compensation, you generally give up your right to sue your employer . However, you do have options if your claim is denied or there is a dispute regarding benefits, including the following:

An attorney can be very helpful during any stage of this process by answering your questions, helping you meet deadlines, and representing your interests effectively.

Need Help after an Injury? Let a Missouri Attorney Provide a Free Claim Review

Workplace injuries cause both physical and financial pain. Workers' compensation can alleviate some of that pain, but you'll need to navigate the deadlines and paperwork first. If you've suffered a workplace injury or illness, let an attorney familiar with Missouri's workers' compensation laws provide a free claim evaluation on the strength of your case.

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