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Do All Employers in Missouri Have to Carry Workers’ Comp Insurance?


Do all employers in Missouri have to carry workers’ comp insurance? When you need answers, call the law firm of Buchanan Williams & O’Brien. Get help today!

We are personal injury experts who have achieved results for our clients in Missouri for over 40 years.

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How Does Workers’ Compensation Work in Missouri?


Workers’ compensation is a state-mandated “no-fault” insurance system for work-related illnesses and injuries.

The compensation covers medical care received, parts of the wages lost, and permanent disability. The secondary purpose is to provide employers immunity from civil lawsuits brought by employees for injuries received at work.


How Do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Work?

The effect of the workers’ compensation system is that employers are saved from lawsuits instituted by their employees and from paying additional damages to injured workers. Workers’ compensation limits injured workers’ rights to recover damages.

The injured worker is entitled to treatment. The treatment, however, is provided by a medical professional chosen by the employer or the insurance company. Generally, wage losses are limited to two-thirds of the weekly wages and there are prescribed legal limits to the total lost wages claimable.

A worker that suffers permanent or partial disability but is able to return to work once they have recovered from the injury could claim permanent or partial disability benefits. Payments for permanent or partial disability are based on the doctor’s assessment of the disability based on a chart that apportions different amounts to different body parts injured. This is called the Missouri workers’ compensation injury chart.

Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien, P.C. can be counted on to fight for you when dealing with workers’ comp claims. We can also assist in calculating the workers’ compensation using the Ruediger Formula in Missouri.

Is it Mandatory for All Missouri Employers to Provide Workers’ Compensation Insurance?


The simple answer to this is yes. Whenever Missouri Employers have five or more employees, they are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. Construction industry employers are obligated to do so if they have one or more employees.

You may have some worker compensation issues either as an employer or employee. If so, consider seeing a locally based, highly experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can assess your matter and advise you accordingly.

Let’s look closer at workers’ compensation in the state of Missouri.


Definition of an Employee in Missouri

Since employees form the foundation of a workers’ claim, we need to understand how an employee is defined. Chapter 287 defines an “Employee” to include “full and part-time employees and includes every person in the service of an employer under any contract of hire, express or implied, oral or written, or under any appointment or election, including executive officers of a corporation.”

“Employee” thus includes part-time, casual laborers, full-time, or family members.

Sole proprietors and partners are not themselves compelled to be covered, but they have the option of coverage if they so wish. Employees who are close family members and members of a limited liability company are presumed to be covered, but they can elect to decline coverage.

Are Any Employers Exempted from Providing Workers’ Comp?


Several exceptions are outlined in the legislation, which exempt employers from having to provide workers’ compensation. These exempt categories include:

  • Farm laborers and domestic servants who work in private homes

  • Occasional labor performed for private households

  • Qualified real estate agents

  • Direct sellers

  • Volunteers who are not paid wages while working for a tax-exempt organization

  • Postal, railroad, and maritime workers who are covered under separate federal laws

If an employer is not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance due to insufficient employee numbers, they may still opt-in to benefit from the coverage and ensure that they are not exposed to civil lawsuits by their employees.

What Is the Most Common Injury Claim in Workers’ Comp Insurance?


Some of the most common injuries include:

  • Deep cuts

  • Burns

  • Lacerations

  • Strains and sprains

  • Fractures

  • Bruising

  • Injuries to the eyes

What Is the Workers’ Compensation Claims Process?


In short, the process involves the following stages after a worker is injured at work:

Step 1: The employer has to report the injury to the employer. If you don’t report it within 30 days, you may lose your right to claim. It is prudent to report the injury as soon as possible.

Step 2: The employer or the insurance company ensures that the injured employee gets medical care and attention so they can recover from the injury.

Step 3: The employee may be able to claim various benefits, such as temporary total disability benefits, amongst others.

Step 4: If an employee feels that their matter has not been suitably resolved, the employee can launch a claim and will be granted a hearing. An administrative law judge will make a determination.

Step 5: A final appeal process can be followed within 20 days of the award being issued.

How Can Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien, P.C. Help?

Even though workers’ compensation was established as a streamlined benefits system, workers’ compensation cases can be complex. A workers’ compensation case can affect your entitlement to unemployment compensation, Social Security, and Medicare benefits. It can be challenging to figure out a fair workers’ comp settlement.

Our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys can assist you from the inception of your claim through all stages of the process. Your first consultation will be free and will allow us to assess your case and advise you on your options. Call us today!


Frequently Asked Questions


Does Missouri Workers’ Comp Pay for Pain and Suffering?

Workers’ compensation does not include compensation for pain and suffering. Claimants are limited to claiming medical and disability benefits. Damages under Missouri workers’ compensation are outlined in chapter 287 of the Missouri workers’ compensation laws.

What Is the Timeline for Resolution of a Workers’ Compensation Case in Missouri?

It generally takes about six months from the date of injury to settle a workers’ comp case in Missouri. However, the facts of every case are different, and the complexity of a case can add significant delays to your case.

Can an Employee Be Fired While on Workers Comp?

Some employees fear being fired by the employer if they launch a workers’ comp claim. This fear is unfounded, as it is illegal for an employer to fire an employee in retaliation for a workers’ comp claim. An employer cannot fire an employee solely because they have availed workers’ compensation. If they do, they may face a wrongful termination claim.

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