Injured workers in Missouri may be compensated for their injuries in most cases. The state’s workers’ compensation law sets forth rights for injured workers.

An employer with at least five employees and all construction businesses must have workers’ compensation insurance. Businesses may self-insure under certain circumstances.

Any worker injured at work must notify their supervisor within 30 days. Notification of a repetitive or overuse injury such as carpal tunnel syndrome must be submitted within 30 days of discovery.

Workers must tell their employer that they need medical care. Employers may select the treating provider. But workers can choose their own doctor, at their own expense, if they are dissatisfied with the employer selected practitioner. Private insurance usually does not pay for treatment of work-related injuries.

Workers should also file a written claim with the Missouri division of workers’ compensation within two years of the latest of the dates of accident, last payment of money benefits and last payment of medical injury. Filing is required to protect important legal rights even if workers received benefits.

Employees may receive, tax free, two-thirds of their average weekly wage based on the 13 weeks of earnings leading up to their injury if they are unable to work. Their authorized treating physician, however, must certify that the worker is unable to work or place them on temporary restrictions which prevent them from working on the open labor market.

Workers will not be paid for the first three regularly scheduled workdays, the waiting period, after their injury. These temporary total disability rules also have complex rules for partial work, light duty, part-time work and underage workers, among other things.

Injured works may receive a settlement as payment for permanent partial disability if they are unable to return to work. Settlement amounts depend on many factors such as a physician’s evaluation, disability ratings average weekly wage, pre-existing injuries, age, amount of treatment and lost time and future medical care and problems.

Workers may receive compensation for work-related occupational diseases such as lung illnesses, skin problems and overuse injuries caused mostly by work. These diseases must be reported within 30 days of discovery. Compensation may be awarded for visible scars or disfigurement on the head, neck, arms or hands based on its severity.

This process is more extensive and complicated. An attorney can help assure that worker can pursue all their rights.