Missouri Workers’ Compensation- Reporting Injuries
Joe is an honest, hardworking employee who injures his back on the job on a Friday afternoon. Joe doesn’t know if he is injured and decides not to report the accident to the employer that afternoon. He figures that he will put ice and heat on his back over the weekend in hopes that he will feel better by Monday when he goes back to work.
When Joe arrives at work on Monday, he has severe pain in his back and decides to report the accident to his supervisor. Joe is surprised when his supervisor accuses him of injuring his back over the weekend. He confronts Joe with the fact that he did not report the accident when it occurred and finds his story to be very suspicious. The employer’s insurance company has now denied Joe’s claim and they launch an investigation which, at the very least, delays Joe’s benefits and treatment. At worst, the insurance company denies the case because of the suspicious circumstances.
It is important for you to immediately report an on the job injury, even if it is unclear as to how serious the injury may be. The seriousness of an injury may not be apparent immediately after the accident.
DON’T TAKE ANY CHANCES, REPORT INJURIES WHEN THEY OCCUR!
Bill is a construction worker who feels a strange pop in his shoulder when he is working. Work is slow and there have been a lot of layoffs. Bill is afraid of getting laid off, so he doesn’t report the injury to anyone. Bill struggles with his shoulder day by day and a month later, Bill received notice that he is terminated due to lack of business. The shoulder has become more painful and Bill goes to see a doctor who tells him that he has a torn shoulder muscle and is going to require surgery. Bill would now like to report his injury and make a claim, but Bill’s case is denied by the workers’ comp carrier on the grounds that he failed to report the accident within the time required by law. In addition, Bill’s employer takes the position that Bill is only filing a claim in retaliation for being fired. Had Bill reported the claim when it first happened, he would have had surgery on his shoulder and would be receiving workers’ compensation benefits and treatment.
Do not avoid reporting work injuries because you are afraid of a layoff. If you end up being laid off and don’t report the injury, then an employer might believe that your claim is motivated by being laid off or fired.
Samantha hurts her knee on the job. She doesn’t think that it is very serious and doesn’t want to make a workers’ compensation claim. Sam decides to get treatment and makes an insurance claim with her group health insurance. As it turns out, Sam’s knee injury is going to require surgery and she doesn’t have much sick time available. Sam decides to tell her employer that her injuries are work related but the employer and the workers’ compensation carrier deny her claim. They argued that Sam did not injury herself at work, but is trying to file a workers’ compensation because her sick pay won’t cover her time off of work. Most judges will probably come to the same conclusion if Sam’s case goes to trial because they believe that Sam filed a false claim with her health insurance company and would have reported this as a work injury if it had actually occurred at work
Do not file a claim with your group health insurance if you are injured at work.