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Injuries that Qualify for Workers’ Compensation
Nearly every worker in Missouri knows they are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they get injured at work or suffer a work-related illness. However, not everyone understands which injuries qualify for workers’ compensation in Missouri.
At Law Office Of John Adams Christiansen, LC, our workers’ compensation attorney helps injured workers obtain the financial compensation and benefits they are entitled to after suffering work-related injuries. We also assist employers through the workers’ compensation claims process and help them determine if their employees’ injuries are not covered by workers’ comp insurance.
Whether you are an employee or employer, we can help you understand what types of injuries are covered and not covered by workers’ compensation. From our office in Kansas City, Missouri, we represent clients in workers’ compensation cases throughout the state, including Belton, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Raytown, Independence, and Lee’s Summit.
Brief Overview of Workers’ Compensation in Missouri
With some exceptions, workers’ compensation law in Missouri covers all employees who get hurt on the job within the state. However, not all injuries qualify for workers’ compensation in the state.
According to Missouri’s Department of Labor & Industrial Relations, all employers with at least five employees are legally required to carry workers’ comp insurance to cover most work-related injuries or illnesses. The only exception is if an employer is in the construction industry. In that case, all employers with one or more employees must carry the coverage for their workers.
Injuries That Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
In Missouri, employees can file workers’ compensation claims for work-related injuries and illnesses or occupational diseases. Minor injuries, such as cuts and bruises, are typically not sufficient for a workers’ comp claim. Under Missouri law, the following criteria must be met in order to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits:
A workplace accident or work-related incident was the prevailing factor resulting in the employee’s disability or medical condition; and
The injury has arisen out of and in the course of employment.
In other words, you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits as long as you can prove that your injury occurred on the job or is related to job duties. Common types of injuries that are eligible for workers’ comp benefits include but are not limited to lower back injuries, head injuries, broken bones, overexertion, herniated disks, repetitive use injuries, and others.
Injuries Not Covered
Not all types of injuries suffered by employees are covered by workers’ compensation. The list of injuries that typically do not qualify for workers’ compensation includes:
Injuries suffered while commuting to and from work. As a rule of thumb, injuries that occur during a worker’s commute to or from work are not covered by workers’ compensation. However, there may be some exceptions, which is why you may need to consult with an attorney.
Injuries that occur during a break or lunch outside the work premises. If an employee gets injured while taking a break or lunch outside of their fixed place for work, the injury would most likely not be covered by the employer’s workers’ comp insurance.
Injuries that occur while being impaired. If an employee is impaired by alcohol or drugs at work and their impairment contributed to the workplace accident, the resulting injuries will not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Injuries that occur when attending an off-site work event. If a worker is injured while attending an off-site work event (e.g., team building or holiday party), their injury may not be compensable under workers’ comp law. The only exception is if the employer required the worker to attend the event and/or the employer benefited from the worker’s attendance.
If you are an employee who got injured on the job in Kansas City or other parts of Missouri, you might be wondering if your injury is covered by workers’ compensation law. You must contact our workers’ comp attorney at Law Office Of John Adams Christiansen, LC, to evaluate your situation and determine if your injuries qualify for compensation.
The Process to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
The workers’ compensation claims process begins with an employee reporting their injury to the employer. When an employee is injured on the job or suffers a work-related disease, they must take these steps:
Notify the employer of the injury/illness. Missouri law requires employees to provide written notice within 30 days of the workplace accident. Missing a deadline for reporting the injury can lead to the denial of a workers’ comp claim.
Seek medical attention and follow the doctor’s orders. The importance of this step cannot be overstated. It is critical that an employee receives proper medical care in a timely manner and follows the doctor’s orders.
File a claim for workers’ compensation and wait for the insurance company’s decision. When an injured employee files a workers’ comp claim, it will be up to the insurance company to determine if the employee’s injury qualifies for benefits. Missouri law requires employees to file a claim for compensation within two years of the injury date.
Contact an attorney. While the claims process may seem straightforward, an injured employee can benefit from seeking the assistance of a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney to help them secure the compensation to which they are entitled.
Our workers’ comp attorney at Law Office Of John Adams Christiansen, LC, helps employees in Kansas City and throughout the state of Missouri secure the benefits they deserve. We also represent employers who need help disputing an employee’s claim because they do not think the employee’s injury qualifies for workers’ compensation in Missouri.
Discover Your Options
Understanding what types of injuries qualify and do not qualify for workers’ compensation can be challenging. Every case is unique, which is why you may need the assistance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help you file a claim to obtain workers’ comp benefits or, if you are an employer, help defend you against an employee’s claim. Contact Law Office Of John Adams Christiansen, LC, to discuss your particular situation. Our legal team has the resources, comprehensive skills, and background to walk you through the process. We proudly represent clients in Kansas City, Belton, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Raytown, Independence, and Lee’s Summit, Missouri.