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Painter’s Work Injury Case Decided by Missouri Supreme Court

On behalf of Brown & Crouppen, P.C. posted in Workers’ Compensation on Friday, October 26, 2012

Recently, a Missouri painter suffered an injury while at work when he fell off of a ladder and landed on the concrete floor. Besides filing for workers’ compensation benefits, the injured painter also sought penalty payments from the employer on what was called a “second injury fund” for the employer’s apparent violation of Missouri’s scaffolding law.

The painter received payments from the employer and from this second injury fund. However, the Missouri Supreme Court stated that no penalty should be assessed to the employer as far as the second injury fund was concerned.

The second injury fund was designed to reflect amounts issued for aggravation to a preexisting injury, and the employer was not considered responsible for that preexisting injury. Therefore, it was felt that it would be unfair to further penalize the employer in this manner.

There is really no way to describe this case with more clarity. The reason why we hire attorneys when someone suffers a work-related injury to begin with is because the laws pertaining to such injuries can be complicated.

Workers’ compensation law is governed by a series of statutes. Because the employer controls the time, place and conditions of employment for its workers, the laws are put in place so that injuries that occur while on the job can be compensated without having to prove that the employer was actually at fault. However, workers nevertheless need to jump through a number of legal hoops to determine just how much money should be collected.

Injured workers will require the assistance of a good workers’ compensation attorney so that no benefit will be denied or overlooked. Workers are entitled to receive compensation for being injured on the job.

Source: Risk & Insurance, “Penalties don’t apply to award paid by second injury fund,” Oct. 11, 2012

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