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How Long Do I Have to Sue for Work-Related Injuries in Missouri?

Suffering any injury can profoundly disrupt your life, but a workplace injury poses a unique threat because it directly jeopardizes your livelihood. Additionally, while workplace accidents can occur in any setting, some industries present an increased risk due to exposure to heavy equipment and machinery, industrial equipment, toxic substances, and other hazards.


Fortunately, in Missouri, most workers are protected under the state’s workers’ compensation program and are eligible for benefits if they sustain an injury while on the job. It’s essential to initiate the workers’ comp claim process immediately because you only have a limited time to do so under Missouri law.


Missouri Workers’ Compensation Claims


Injured Missouri workers should inform their supervisor of an injury immediately. They must also report their injury to their employer in writing within 30 days of the accident. This report should include such details as the date, time, and location at which the injury occurred, as well as the nature of the injury. If you’ve suffered an injury at work, it’s essential to report the injury promptly because failure to do so can risk losing access to the benefits you deserve.


Ideally, your employer will report your injury to their insurer and you’ll receive the medical benefits and wage replacement you deserve. However, in some situations, they may look for reasons to provide fewer benefits than you’re owed, or even deny your claim altogether. In this case, you have two years from the injury date to file a workers’ comp claim to recover the benefits you believe you’re still owed. Working with an experienced and knowledgeable Missouri workers’ comp attorney from the outset can help you through the process of filing a workers’ comp claim and pursuing your benefits.


Can I File a Separate Lawsuit?


Workers’ compensation is usually the sole remedy for workplace injuries. It’s a no-fault system, meaning you do not have to demonstrate negligence on your employer’s part to be entitled to benefits, and you generally cannot sue your employer for additional compensation. However, depending on the nature of the accident, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim against a third party who caused your injuries.


For example, if a party other than your employer is liable for your injuries, such as the manufacturer of a defective product, you may file a claim against them to pursue additional compensation. This may include compensation for pain and suffering, which workers’ comp doesn’t cover. Similarly, if a property owner, contractor, or subcontractor created a hazardous situation that led to your accident, you may file a claim against them to recover compensation.


Missouri has a five-year statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits, meaning you have five years from the injury date to file a lawsuit against any third party whose negligence caused the accident that injured you.


Injured at Work? Call an Attorney


The period following a workplace injury can be stressful and exhausting. You need the time and space to focus on healing, and an experienced attorney can help you by handling the workers’ comp claim process and any other legal action related to your accident. Contact Holland Injury Law, LLC, today to learn more about your legal rights and options under Missouri law and secure the representation you need.

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