What to Do If You Are Injured at Work in Missouri

The Missouri Workers’ Compensation Law, located in Chapter 287 of the Revised Statutes, is a valuable resource for the state’s employees. Under this law, employees who sustain injuries during work-related tasks will receive benefits for medical bills and partial lost wages through employers’ workers’ compensation insurance policies. All employers with five or more employees and everyone in the construction industry must maintain this insurance by law. After a workplace injury in Missouri, take these five steps to make sure the program works for you. If you have any questions, be sure to speak with a qualified Kansas City work injury lawyer.

Report to Your Supervisor

Workers’ comp laws make it mandatory for employees to report the accident and injuries to supervisors within 30 days of the incident or discovery of injuries. You should, however, report what happened as soon as possible – immediately afterward, if you can. Prompt reporting can provide proof that the incident occurred when and where you say it did. It can also get the benefits process started without delay. Notify your employer of the incident in writing. Your employer may provide forms to fill out with a description of what happened. Include the date, time, and place of the incident, as well as any crucial facts or names of witnesses.

Seek Medical Help for Injuries

After you report to your supervisor, go to the hospital for treatment of any injuries. Do not delay medical attention. This can worsen your condition and harm your chances of receiving benefits. Someone could argue that you made your injuries worse by delaying medical care or ignoring doctor’s orders. By law, your employer has the right to select the doctor you will see for your workplace injury. Tell your employer you need treatment, and then follow his/her instructions on which physician to see.

Make Sure Your Employer Files Your Claim

Your employer must file a First Report of Injury with the Division of Workers’ Compensation within 30 days of the incident. Your employer must file this report electronically. Employers only have five days from learning of the injury to report the incident to their workers’ compensation insurance carrier or a third-party administrator. Check with your employer to make sure he or she has filed your claim with the appropriate parties according to the deadlines. If your employer appears to be ignoring your injuries, prepare a letter that states you reported the incident to your employer but have not heard from a workers’ compensation adjuster.

Keep Copies of Your Documents

Protect yourself by keeping records of all documents relating to your workplace injury. This includes your written report to your supervisor, medical records, and photographs of the site of the accident and your injuries. The more information you keep a record of about the incident, the better. You can protect yourself in the event that your employer doesn’t carry workers’ comp insurance or fails to submit your claim.

Get Help from an Attorney

Your employer’s workers’ comp insurer should contact you for more information. If it approves your claim, you will receive your benefits check within 14 days to cover medical costs, lost time at work, and any temporary disability payments. A letter will explain the amount you receive. From there, your benefits will depend on the extent of the injury. If you need help filing your claim, or if you believe an insurance company or employer is taking advantage of you after a workplace injury, talk to a personal injury attorney in Kansas City.