Workers' compensation laws vary state to state, and an employee that has been injured often
finds his or herself attempting to navigate a complicated and confusing
system. Generally, an employer owes three duties to an injured worker.
First, the employer should provide medical treatment. Second, if the injury
results in physical restrictions while treatment in ongoing, the employer
must accommodate the restrictions, or pay the injured worker a weekly
benefit known as temporary total disability. Finally, after the injured
worker has completed medical treatment, the employer must compensate the
worker for any permanent disability.
In Missouri, the first thing an employee should do is report the injury,
even if the injury does not at first appear to be significant. The necessity
of prompt reporting was recently reiterated by the Missouri Court of Appeals
for the Eastern District in Aramark v. Faulkner, ED99439. In the Faulkner
case, the claimant's failure to timely report her injury, within thirty
days of the date of the occurrence, pursuant to R.S.Mo. Section 287.420,
was deemed to have prejudiced the employer, and resulted in a denial of
Ms. Faulkner's workers' compensation claim.
In the Faulkner case, the employer and employee stipulated to the fact
that the injury did arise out of and in the course of Ms. Faulkner's
employment, and was, therefore, work-related. Unfortunately, the court
concluded that the fact that the injury was work-related was not sufficient
to recover. The appellate court ruled that " before determining whether
an injury is compensable under worker's compensation, the employer
must receive timely notification of the injury or a claimant must prove
an employer was not prejudiced by an untimely notification of the injury."
The court also reaffirmed that an employer's actual knowledge of the
occurrence resulting in the alleged injury to an employee will act as notice.
Based on the ruling in
Faulkner and other Missouri cases, it is clear that an employee should always immediately
report, in writing, any work-related injury. Failure to do so, may severely
impact an employee's workers' compensation claim.
Faulkner demonstrate how difficult and complicated it can be to pursue a workers'
compensation claim in Missouri. The
Montee Law Firm has been assisting individuals injured in on the job for decades. If you
have suffered a work-related injury, and would like a free consultation
to explain your rights, call 800-788-1996, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .