Missouri employers with 5 or more employees are required to have workers’ compensation insurance or qualify as a self-insured. Construction industry employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance coverage if they have one or more employees.
An employer who knowingly fails to insure its workers' compensation liabilities is guilty of a class A misdemeanor and may be liable to the state of Missouri for a penalty of up to three times the annual premium or up to fifty thousand dollars, whichever amount is greater. A subsequent violation is a class E felony. Failure to maintain workers’ compensation insurance should be reported to the Fraud and Noncompliance Unit of the Division of Workers’ Compensation.
An injured worker may be able to recover the cost of medical expenses from the Second Injury Fund if the employer fails to insure its workers’ compensation liability as required by law. Generally, both the uninsured employer and the Second Injury Fund are liable for the medical care and expenses. (The Second Injury Fund is entitled to seek reimbursement against the employer as required by law.) The Second Injury Fund is responsible only for payment of medical bills in this situation, and has no responsibility for payment of temporary or permanent disability benefits. In order to make a claim against the Second Injury Fund for payment of medical bills, you must file a claim for compensation against the Second Injury Fund and the uninsured employer. For more information, see How the Second Injury Fund Can Help You on this website.
An injured worker may also elect to bring an action for personal injury in circuit court against an employer that fails to insure its workers’ compensation liability.
Making a claim against the Second Injury Fund and filing a suit in circuit court are complex legal matters. Before taking such action, it is advisable that you consult a lawyer. For more information, see Obtaining A Lawyer on this website.