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  • Understanding Missouri’s Workers’ Compensation Requirements

    Understanding Missouri’s Workers’ Compensation Requirements

    What are Missouri’s Workers’ Compensation Laws?

    Workers’ compensation (also known as workers’ comp or work comp) is when an employee receives benefits from their employer after they become ill or are injured on the job.

    Companies purchased workers’ compensation insurance to provide medical treatment to injured employees and aid employees financially during their recovery.

    Many times, employees are unsure of what their company offers in regards to workers’ compensation, and if they are injured on the job or become ill, they may find themselves in a battle against their employer’s insurance company.

    To put it simply, Missouri’s workers’ compensation laws require insurance companies will almost always look for the most cost-effective solution to your situation.

    In other words, they want to make sure your workers’ compensation payout(s) are as small as possible.

    Because of this, it is extremely important that employees know what they are entitled to if a work injury requires medical treatment and forces them to miss work.

    What is the recommended process after a work injury?

    • Immediately report your injury to your employer or a supervisor
    • Receive the proper medical care
    • Receive the necessary medical benefits
    • Speak with a workers’ comp attorney to ensure fair compensation and to make sure you continue to receive the correct benefits

    Related: The Most Common Workplace Injuries & Workers’ Comp Claims

    Under Missouri law, what does workers’ compensation cover?

    In the US, the requirements for workers’ compensation vary based on things like your state, the industry in which the company operates, and even the size of the company. According to the Missouri Department of Labor, employers in Missouri are required to cover workers’ compensation insurance if they have five or more employees.

    All companies working within the construction industry are also required to have workers comp insurance as well. Missouri requires employers to provide the following benefits to their employees:

    Medical treatment for work injuries

    Under Missouri law, you are entitled to compensation for medical treatment received because of an injury at work. This means that, in the event of an injury sustained while working, your employee is required to pay for things like visits to a doctor, prescriptions or medications, medical devices such as wheelchairs, or any other authorized treatments you may need. 

    Payment for time off/payment for lost wages due to workplace injuries

    When injured, you should receive payment for the wages you lose while you are recovering from your injury or surgery.

    Temporary Total Disability (also referred to as “TTD”) is the financial compensation you receive when your doctor says you are not physically or mentally able to work and should continue until he or she says you are able to work or your condition has reached “maximum medical improvement“.

    Permanent Partial Disability compensation

    If you have been cleared by your doctor to begin working again but the lasting effects of your injury force you to work less or change positions/jobs, you are likely entitled to Permanent Partial Disability (PPD).

    In Missouri, Permanent Partial Disability benefits are calculated at 66 2/3% of the employee’s average weekly earnings as of the date of the injury, not to exceed a maximum amount set by the law. However, based on the nature of your injury, you may be entitled to a lump-sum payment if you suffer from permanent partial disability.

    Permanent Total Disability compensation

    If you are no longer to work any job, you will most likely be entitled to Payment Total Disability (PTD). When receiving Permanent Total Disability, you are entitled to either a lump-sum financial payment or weekly payments for the remained of your life (also calculated at 66 2/3% of your average weekly earnings).

    It is important to note that Permanent Total Disability is only available when you are left unable to work solely because of an injury that occurred at work. If your work injury and a preexisting condition or injury are responsible, you will likely only be eligible for Permanent Partial Disability.

    How to determine if you are getting fair workers’ compensation

    You would not be wrong to assume your employer – or more specifically your employer’s insurance provider – is not necessarily going above and beyond to make sure you are not only receiving all of the treatment you need but also all of the compensation required to take care of you financially.

    Understanding the complex nature of workers’ compensation and the State of Missouri’s laws can be a very difficult task. The best way to determine what compensation and medical treatment you need after a workplace injury is to speak with a personal injury attorney. Most injury lawyers offer a free consultation and will examine your injury, your workers’ comp policy, and the treatment you have currently received.

    Your workman’s comp lawyer can then give their advice and let you know if you have a case to potentially fight for more compensation.

    I work in St. Louis, Missouri have been injured on the job, what now?

    You must follow the steps outlined above immediately after a workplace injury.

    Regardless of the nature or seriousness of the injury, we advise you to speak with a personal injury attorney that has experience in workers’ compensation cases.

    Most personal injury attorneys, and around the United States, offer a free consultation and they will be able to review your case and will be able to answer any questions or determine if you are receiving the proper compensation and benefits for your injury.

    If you have questions, please contact Craig Ortwerth for a free consultation.

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