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How to Properly Report a Work Injury

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If you are injured at work, you might be entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits. Missouri employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance or to self-insure to protect the safety of their employees. The workers’ compensation system does not require you to prove fault to recover workers’ compensation benefits. However, you must follow the state’s rules for promptly and properly reporting your injury. If you fail to meet the deadlines or make other errors in reporting, you could face problems as you try to recover benefits to pay for your medical bills and income losses. Scroll down to learn how to properly report a work injury in Missouri.

How to Properly Report a Work Injury

1. Report Your Injury to Your Supervisor Immediately

Under R.S.Mo. § 287.420, employees must report a workplace injury or accident to their employer no later than 30 days after their injury occurred. If you have suffered an occupational disease, you must report your illness as soon as you learn that it was caused by your employment. If you don’t report your injury or occupational disease within 30 days, it could prevent you from recovering benefits or make your claim more difficult. While you have 30 days to report your injury, it is best to inform your supervisor immediately. Promptly reporting your injury can make your compensation claim stronger because the evidence will still be available. Eyewitnesses will also be more likely to recall what happened accurately.

2. Report Your Injury to Your Supervisor

You also need to make sure you report your injury to the correct person at your company. Under the law, you must file your report with your supervisor. If you only report your injury to a coworker, that will be treated as if you didn’t report your injury at all.

3. Make Your Report in Writing

Missouri requires you to report your injury in writing to your supervisor. This also helps your claim since you can use your report as evidence later in your claim. The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations requires you to include the following details in your written injury report:

  • Time, date, and place you were injured
  • Type/nature of your injury
  • Your name and address

Be detailed in your written injury report to make the processing of your claim easier. Your supervisor should supply you with a form to make your written report. If they do not, you can use the online form provided by the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation.

4. Retain a Copy of Your Injury Report

When you create your injury report, you should photocopy it and retain a copy. You might need a copy of your report to prove that you made it within the deadline and that you included enough details. Some employers might claim that employees failed to file their reports on time or to include sufficient details about their injuries and accidents. Having a copy can help counter these types of claims.

5. Write Down the Delivery Date

You can choose to mail your injury report to your supervisor or provide it in person. If you mail it, send it using the certified, Return Receipt service so that you have documentation showing the mailing and delivery date. If you deliver it in person, document the date, the name and title of the person you provided it to, and the address where it was delivered.

6. Verify Your Employer Filed Your Claim

Once you give your employer a written injury report, they must file the claim with their insurer within five days. If your accident required you to seek emergency treatment, your employer must immediately report it to the state. Make sure your employer has submitted your claim on time. You can also check with the Division of Workers’ Compensation to verify your employer reported your injury.

Talk to an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Filing a workers’ compensation claim should be a straightforward process. Unfortunately, some employers try to dispute or deny workers’ compensation claims. If you were injured at work, you should speak to an attorney at the Law Offices of Bryan Musgrave for help recovering the benefits you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation at 417-322-2222 (Springfield) or 417-624-4258 (Joplin). You can also contact us online.