Blog: Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury

Most Common False Facts About Missouri Work Comp

Many times injured workers are told false information about Missouri Workers’ Compensation. Below, please find some of the top false facts spread about Missouri Work Comp along with their corrections. You can also view our Top Common False Facts chart.

Missouri Workers’Compensation
TOP COMMON FALSE FACTS

FALSE- You have no case because you hurt yourself.
TRUTH Fault does not matter. You still have a case.


FALSE- You automatically lose if you don’t report the injury the same day you are hurt.
TRUTH You must give written notice within 30 days. Actual knowledge and verbal notice may be enough.


FALSE- You no longer work for the employer and therefore get nothing.
TRUTH If you left the job you can still file a work comp claim


FALSE- You went to your own doctor so therefore you forfeit all benefits.
TRUTH You may have to pay for that doctor visit but you still can pursue benefits from the employer. In many cases you only find out your injury was work related from your own doctor.


FALSE- Carpal Tunnel & Occupational Diseases aren’t covered
TRUTH These are covered in workers’ compensation- including all repetitive trauma injuries. In fact, most injuries are covered.


FALSE- You don’t have a case because your employer is out of business.
TRUTH You still have a case. The work comp insurance still covers it. Even if the insurance is bankrupt you can still pursue the Missouri Guarantee Insurance Fund.


FALSE- Employer tells you to submit the work injury bills to your company health insurance plan.
TRUTH Always insist work comp pay. It is at no cost, no copay, & zero deductible to you. Work comp is separate and apart from health insurance


FALSE- Employer tells you they never owe you mileage.
TRUTH Employer shall advance/reimburse transportation when medical appointments are outside metro area where you worked.

 

Missouri Adopts Federal Daubert Expert Standard

On 3/28/2017, Governor Greitens signed HB153 into law making Missouri a Daubert state for qualifying expert witnesses on certain cases only. Link to Bill Text.

Previous Standard: If scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise.

Daubert Standard: A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise if: (a) The expert’s scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue; (b)  The testimony is based on sufficient facts or data; (c)  The testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; and (d)  The expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.

New Missouri Department of Labor Director

Missouri Governor Greitens announced Anna Hui, Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Labor, will become the new Director of the Missouri Department of Labor. See the Governor’s 3/30/2017 press release here.

The acting director is Tammy Cavender. The director oversees the Division of Employment Security, the Division of Workers’ Compensation, the Division of Labor Standards, the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, and the State Board of Mediation.

Important distinction for Fund liability- First PTD Award interpreting SB1

Gattenby v. Treasurer – Western District Court of Appeals WD80052, 2/28/2017

This is the first Court of Appeals case to interpret Senate Bill 1 since it came into effect on 1/1/2014. Senate Bill 1 created, among other things, a new Section 287.220.3 in Missouri Workers’ Compensation. This case harmonizes sections 287.220.2 and 287.220.3 of the MO Work Comp law.

Mr. Gattenby was injured at work in 2014 and also had several pre-existing injuries that all occurred before 2014.  Mr. Gattenby alleged he was permanently and totally disabled due to the combination of his injuries against the Second Injury Fund. The argument was over whether 287.220.2 or 287.220.3 applied.

The Court explained that 287.220.3 applied only where both the preexisting and the primary injuries occur after January 1, 2014. In support of its analysis, the Court stated, 287.220.2 plainly refers to “previous disability,” whereas 287.220.3 does not.

Because Mr. Gattenby’s claim against the SIF involved pre-existing injuries that resulted in disability before 1/1/2014, subsection 287.220.2 is controlling.

This opinion is very important because up till this point the Second Injury Fund maintained the position that all new cases with a primary work injury occurring after 1/1/2014 was controlled under the “new law” and standards of Section 287.220.3.

This case further bolsters statutory interpretation for Fund responsibility for PPD cases under 287.220.2 where the primary injury is after 1/1/2014 and the pre-existing injury is before 1/1/2014.

January 2017 Missouri Work Injury Statistics Released

Recently published Missouri work injury statistics for January for the entire state of Missouri:

Workers’ Compensation Injuries Filed – 7,687 – via the Missouri Department of Labor- Data

If you have been injured on the job, make sure you provide a written report of injury immediately to your Employer. Be sure to demand medical treatment in writing.

Remember- A written report of injury is not the same as filing a Claim for Compensation. You must still file a Claim for Compensation within the statute of limitations. If you file a Claim for Compensation after the statute of limitations then you will receive nothing.