Under Missouri workers’ compensation law, employees who are injured while working anywhere within the state can file a workers’ compensation claim to cover medical costs and lost income. In general, claims are filed for injuries that require treatment beyond simple first aid, including occupational diseases or injuries that require rest (including strains or sprains) or intervention (such as broken limbs).
While the majority of workers are covered under this law, there are a few exceptions, including:
- Employees of small companies. Employers with more than five employees are required by Missouri law to have workers’ compensation insurance. Companies with fewer than five workers are exempt from providing coverage (however, construction companies with fewer than five employees are still required to have workers’ compensation insurance).
- Exempt employees. Missouri does not require certain employees to be covered by workers’ compensation, including agricultural workers, domestic workers (such as babysitters or housekeepers), qualified real estate agents, volunteers, and independent contractors. Federal employees are also not covered by Missouri workers’ compensation law (however, there is a separate federal workers’ compensation program to cover federal employees).
- Disputed cause. In order to be considered a work-related injury, an employee must have suffered the injury in the course of employment. Part of this requirement is the “prevailing factor” agreement, which dictates that a work accident or exposure must be the primary cause of your injury. For example, if you hurt your back lifting topsoil while gardening the day before herniating a disc at work, your claim may be denied because your medical condition was likely caused off the clock.
What to Do After an Injury to Protect Your Workers’ Compensation Case
The first thing you must do after seeking medical attention is report your workplace injury to your employer. This notice must be given in writing, and should include your name; the date, time, and place of your injury; and a request for a response. You must report your injury within 30 days in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits. To find out more about protecting your claim, order our free accident guide, How to Avoid Becoming a Work Injury Horror Story.