After a work-related injury, it is imperative to report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. Do not assume that your employer will compensate you without a claim.
In 2015 alone, workers’ compensation programs paid $61.9 billion of lost wages and medical payments to claimants.
However, you must file a claim before the Missouri workers’ compensation statute of limitations expires to receive benefits.
The Missouri Workers’ Compensation Statute
In the state of Missouri, you have 30 days to report your injury to your immediate supervisor. Also, you must report injuries that occur over time or develop later 30 days after discovering them. It is common to discover this type of injury at the doctor’s office.
Make sure to inform your supervisor of your injury in writing. Once notified, they should provide you with paperwork to report your injury. The Department of Labor fines employers that fail to submit your paperwork to the Division of Workers’ Compensation. If an employer does not provide you with a form to report the injury, you can use this form from the Missouri Department of Labor.
Once you report the injury, you have two years from the date of the injury to file for Missouri workers’ compensation. You can do this by filing a claim and sending it to the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation. If an employer fails to report your injury to the division on time, the Missouri workers’ compensation statute of limitations, you can potentially extend the statute of limitations for one year.
What to Do if an Employer Retaliates or Denies Claims
The Missouri workers’ compensation statute does not allow an employer to terminate or discriminate against an employee for filing a claim.
Employers sometimes use the following actions to discriminate against employees exercising their right to workers’ compensation:
- Reduction of Wages
- Increase or Decrease in Job Duties/Hours
- Poor Performance Reviews
To claim that retaliation occurred, you must prove the following:
- You were an employee before the injury
- You filed a claim within the workers’ comp statute of limitations
- Your employer discriminated against or terminated you
- Your relationship between you and your employer was casual between filing your claim and retaliation
Employers can deny claims if they occur outside of the Missouri workers’ compensation statute of limitations. Failing to file a claim before the statute of limitations can jeopardize your case, resulting in forfeited wages, rejected time off, and medical compensation.
If you sustain a work-related injury, report it to your employer immediately. You can also seek help from a lawyer to help you file your claim before the statute of limitations runs out.
Contact a Skilled Missouri Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Workers’ compensation cases are primarily determined on a case-by-case basis, so it’s essential to consult with a lawyer.
For a free consultation, contact Cottrell Law Office today.