What do you do if you’re injured on the job in Missouri? I’m Gary Burger of Burger Law. We talk about this in the book I wrote in Chapter 3. It’s a book, “Workers’ Compensation in Missouri.” You can get it for free at www.burgerlaw.com, download it.
What do you do if you’re injured on the job? First, make sure of two things. You want to make sure that you’re hurt at work, not going to work, not coming from work. You want to make sure that it’s a sudden occurrence that happened at work: “I was lifting this, and my knee popped, my back popped, I got cut, something happened. I deliver pizzas and I’m driving and I get in a car wreck. I’m working on a job site and the guy from a subcontractor hit me in the head with a 2x4.” Make sure it’s a sudden, specific thing at work.
Two, make sure that the work is what caused your injury and not something else. If you have a heart attack at work, the work didn’t cause your heart attack, your heart condition did, or an epileptic seizure, or something else, or hypertension, so make sure what happened, that your work, being at work and working is what caused your accident.
Then you do the following: File an injury report. Go to your boss. “I got hurt. I need to file an injury report.” You write it out. They write it out. You do it. They described it wrong. So what? Sign it. Say, “I don’t agree with how you describe it, but I’m signing it,” and so you sign it. You have an injury report. It’s there. Take a picture of it with your phone if you can. They won’t do an injury report. You write it out for him: “Joe, I got injured on the job today. My knee buckled. I sprained my ankle. My elbow popped when I was lifting drywall.” Whatever it is, you take a picture with your phone, you hand it to him, you put it in his mail, it’s like you reported to him. So, file an injury report.
The employer has a duty to file an injury report under Missouri Workers’ Compensation Law. You should always ask that a written report be made. Under 287.380, they’re required to file the report, to get medical treatment, go to Concentra if they tell you. The employer gets to control where you get your medical care. They’ll send you to Concentra and urgent care; go to that; go to an orthopod. If they won’t send you to medical care, go to the emergency room, go to urgent care, go to your primary care physician; you go get medical care. Go get medical care. When you go, tell them it was a work-related injury. You got to tell them that. You don’t want to make up a story that it’s not work-related in order to use your health insurance. You just say, “Listen, it’s a work-related injury, but here’s my health insurance. We’ll figure it out later. If you have any problem with that? You call me.”
The employer gets to control where, when and how to get your medical, but if they’re going to refuse to do it, you got to go take care of it yourself. If they don’t provide you the medical you need, we file hardships for our clients. They’re motions. We try those cases.
File your claim with the Workers’ Compensation Division. The only way for you to ensure that your claim is recognized by them, that you’re entitled to get the lump sum disability at the end of the case, that your employer can’t skimp on your TTD, your Temporary Total Disability benefits, that they can’t send you to work back on light duty when you really can’t do it, they can’t send you back to light duty when they don’t really have light duty and they’re making you work full duty, they won’t reinjure yourself. There’s a lot of reasons why you want to file a workers’ compensation claim with the Workers’ Compensation Division. You’re not filing a lawsuit against your employer; you’re filing an administrative claim to ensure that you get the benefits to which you’re entitled under Missouri law. And, we have a lot about this.
So, these injuries are compensable under the law. File a workers’ compensation claim. If you have any questions about these simple steps about what you do when you’re injured on the job, email us, contact us. You can fill out our contact form on our website. firstname.lastname@example.org is a great email address to reach me or my team. 314-542-2222 is a good phone number for us. Google us. Find out where we are. We’re happy to talk with you for free about your claim. We’ll meet with you for free about your claim. Thanks for listening.