Changes May Be In Store for Missouri Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Diseases
Currently, workers who are injured on the job in Missouri may seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and temporary or permanent disability via their employer’s workers’ compensation coverage in most circumstances. However, workers who suffer an occupational disease after years of exposure to a hazardous substance or situation can still bring their claims to court instead - a situation that may soon change, according to a recent article in the Kansas City Star.
According to the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Missouri is the only state that allows personal injury cases to be brought for occupational diseases instead of requiring individuals with an occupational disease to seek workers’ compensation.
Proponents of this system note that the compensation awarded in a successful case is often higher than the ill person would have received through workers’ compensation. They also note that, because many occupational diseases progress quickly, a court case may provide a quicker route to needed benefits than a workers’ compensation claim.
Those who wish to change the current situation, however, argue that it is hurting Missouri’s chances to attract businesses and expand job opportunities in the state. They also argue that the system is unfair, because it creates two different methods for getting benefits for workers whose health is affected on the job, depending on whether the health impairment is due to an injury or an illness.
If you’ve suffered mesothelioma or another occupational disease due to work, please don’t hesitate to contact experienced Missouri work-related injury attorney John Page Your initial telephone consultation is free and confidential. Call us today to learn more about your legal rights.