In many ways, workers’ compensation claims are even more complex than typical personal injury claims. While the workers’ compensation scheme is designed to streamline the process of recovering compensation, it often involves more paperwork. Worse, that paperwork comes from both you and your employer, and goes to both your employer and the Missouri Department of Labor. Even the deadlines can be confusing.
Here are the deadlines you need to know. Missing them can prevent you from getting the compensation you deserve after a workplace injury.
Within 30 Days of the Accident: Notify Your Employer
The first deadline that you need to hit is notifying your employer of a workplace injury. In most cases, you can do this in the same conversation that you call out from work because of your injuries.
However, in cases where you are still able to function on the job, it is important to go through the notification process. If you do not notify your employer about the accident and your injuries within 30 days, it can keep you from filing a workers’ compensation claim, down the road.
Within 2 Years of the Accident: File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you do not think you were adequately compensated, you can file a Claim for Compensation with the Division of Workers’ Compensation at the Missouri Department of Labor. This claim form needs to be received by the Division within 2 years of the accident.
Importantly, there is little reason to wait to file your Claim for Compensation. Unlike with personal injury cases, where you have an incentive to wait for all of your injuries to manifest themselves so you can include them in your lawsuit, you are not trapped by the terms of your initial workers’ compensation Claim. If your workplace injury gets worse or complications arise you can simply add them on to your original Claim for Compensation, even if you have already filed it.
If your employer did not correctly report your injury to the Division, you have 3 years to file your Claim for Compensation. However, because it is unwise to trust your employer with your workers’ compensation rights, you should always file your Claim within 2 years.
Different Rules for Repetitive Use or Exposure Injuries
These two deadlines, however, only apply when your workplace injury happened at a specific point in time. When your injuries are the result of months or even years of exposure to a dangerous chemical or a repetitive motion, the date of the injury is vague, at best.
Workers’ Compensation in St. Joseph at the Smith Law Office
The workers’ compensation attorneys at the Smith Law Office in St. Joseph can make sure that your case is filed in time. Contact them online or call their law office at (816) 875-9373 if you have been hurt on the job and want to discuss your legal options.