In order to protect your Missouri Workers Compensation Claim, you must meet certain deadlines. The first deadline – understanding when I should tell my boss that I was hurt at work. Injured workers must notify their employers that they were hurt at work within 30 days of the injury. Pursuant to Missouri Statute 287.420, this notice must be in writing.
Missouri Workers Compensation Act – Notice Requirement
287.420 — No proceedings for compensation for any accident under this chapter shall be maintained unless written notice of the time, place and nature of the injury, and the name and address of the person injured, has been given to the employer no later than thirty days after the accident, unless the employer was not prejudiced by failure to receive the notice. No proceedings for compensation for any occupational disease or repetitive trauma under this chapter shall be maintained unless written notice of the time, place, and nature of the injury, and the name and address of the person injured, has been given to the employer no later than thirty days after the diagnosis of the condition unless the employee can prove the employer was not prejudiced by failure to receive the notice.
Actual Notice vs. Written Notice
Importantly, failure to put the notice in writing is not the end of the story for an injured worker. If the Employer received actual notice, either verbally from the Employee or a supervisor witnessed the injury occur, then the notice requirement is fulfilled unless the Employer can show it suffered significant prejudice. The Missouri Appellate Court confirmed this Actual Notice Exception in Sell v. Ozarks Medical Center (click to view the case).
Basically, this means so long as your Employer knew about your injury within 30 days, then the first deadline has been met, unless your Employer lost all ability to investigate the injury. The safest course of action: put the notice in writing to your supervisor.
If you have questions about your Missouri Workers Compensation Claim, including any concerns about looming deadlines, please contact the BiState Law Center. A Missouri Work Comp Lawyer will talk with you about your case, explain all of the deadlines, and help you understand if you need a lawyer to help with your claim. Get a Free Consultation or call us at (888) 519-2215.