If a workplace injury or illness has caused you to lose your job, you know the pain and suffering that can stem from loss of income during this tough time. G. Gray Law LLC can provide the resources, support, and winning experience you deserve during this difficult time.
Missouri Workers’ Compensation Law
Because workers’ compensation is a wide-reaching area of law, and because companies and insurance providers try to eliminate any and all chances of being taken advantage of by the system, the laws are complex. If you have a case, knowing some essential pieces of information could be helpful. Some important areas of the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Law (Missouri Revised Statutes, Chapter 287) include:
Liability of employer to contractors and subcontractors (287.040)
Employers and employees affected by the law (287.060)
Occupational diseases defined (287.067)
Vocational rehabilitation (287.146)
Death benefits and burial expenses (287.240)
Employee to not pay cost of insurance (287.290)
Every employee in Missouri should keep in mind that he or she has an inherent set of rights. However there are some limitations. For example, the employer has the right to choose the authorized treating doctor. If you decided to go to your own doctor, then your employer may not have to pay for your medical bills. Some rights that you, as the employee, have include paid mileage for trips to the doctor (subject to a 500-mile round trip limit), compensation for scarring and disfigurement, and permanent total disability benefits, among many others.
Injuries Covered Under Missouri Compensation Law
Injuries that can occur at the workplace are organized into two distinctive categories, including “accidental injuries” and “occupational diseases.” An accidental injury generally occurs suddenly, such as a slip and fall that results in an ankle injury or back pain from lifting a heavy object. Accidental injuries are solely compensable if the injury was definitively work related and that work was the prevailing factor causing injury.
Occupational diseases, on the other hand, are defined as injuries that occur gradually or over a period of time, such as repetitive use of hands that causes injury to the wrists or breathing dangerous chemicals that results in a lung injury. Like accidental injuries, occupational diseases must be clearly work related, and work must be a prevailing factor in causing injury.
Process for Workers’ Compensation Claims
If injured on the job, there are specific actions that you should take to ensure compensation and minimize the risk of delay or other inhibiting factors. These procedures include:
Reporting the injury
Make sure to report injuries immediately to your employer or supervisor. Failure to report within 30 days negatively affects your chances at receiving compensation.
Getting medical help
As noted, you should consult with your employer about which doctor(s) to visit.
Receiving benefits for your injury
In addition to medical benefits, you could also be eligible for temporary total disability benefits as well as permanent partial or permanent total disability benefits.
Resolving your claim
If you have not received all the benefits due to you, you may need to review your options and take additional action.
Appealing with the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission
After hearings and being issued awards, employees have the right to file an application at the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission within 20 days of the award.