Workers’ Compensation in Missouri: Obligations of Workers

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Almost all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance and to pay for a worker’s medical expenses related to an injury the worker sustained on the job or an illness that was caused mostly or entirely by exposure to dangerous substances on the job.  If the employer fails to pay the workers’ compensation benefits to which the worker is entitled, then the worker has grounds to file a workers’ compensation lawsuit against the employer.  In order to have a strong case in your workers’ compensation lawsuit, however, you must make sure that you have met all your obligations in terms of following procedures related to claiming workers’ compensation benefits.

Reporting Your Injury in a Timely Manner

If you do not report your injury to your employer as soon as it happens, it will be very difficult to prove that your injury actually happened at work.  If the company you work for has a form for accident and injury reports, fill out that form and submit it to the relevant department at your company.  If your company does not have such a form, print form WC-280 from the Missouri Department of Labor website.  Submit the completed form to your employer, not to the Department of Labor.  After you submit the form to your employer, you may call the Department of Labor at the phone number listed on the form to verify that you have submitted the form to your employer in a timely manner.  You must submit form WC-280, or your company’s equivalent of it, within 30 days of the injury.  If you are requesting workers’ compensation for a chronic illness brought on by exposure to occupational hazards, then you must notify your employer within 30 days of receiving a diagnosis for the illness.

Your Employer Has the Right to Choose the Physician

According to Missouri law, your employer must pay for your medical treatment related to illnesses and injuries sustained on the job; neither you nor your insurance company must pay.  Your employer can, however, choose which physician treats you for your work injury.  (This makes sense because, if you were the one paying, you would choose a doctor who was in-network for your insurance, but since your employer is paying, they will choose a doctor who is in-network for their workers’ compensation insurance.) If you go to a physician other than the one your employer chooses, then your employer is not obligated to pay for treatment you receive from the physician chosen by you.  The first step in getting workers’ compensation-eligible medical treatment is to notify your employer that you want to receive treatment for your injury.

Contact Walton Telken, LLC About Workers’ Compensation Cases

Missouri workers’ compensation laws outline specific rights and obligations of employers and of injured workers.  If you follow proper procedures and your employer does not cover your medical expenses, then you might have grounds for a workers’ compensation lawsuit.  Contact Walton Telken, LLC in St. Louis and Kirkwood to discuss your case.


The information provided by Walton Telken, LLC in this Blog is not intended to be legal advice, but merely provides general information related to common legal issues. This Blog, and the information contained within it, is Attorney Advertisement. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Past results afford no guarantee of future results. Every case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

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