On the job injuries are more common than many people may think. Millions of people have suffered from workplace injuries and/or illnesses.
As a worker in Minnesota, you have the right to workers’ compensation after an illness or injury associated with your job. The benefits you can receive will cover lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses that relate to your injury and recovery process.
It is important that you protect your ability to receive workers’ compensation by gaining a clear understanding of your rights and responsibilities if you suffer an injury or illness at work.
If you have developed a work-related injury or developed an occupational disease, you could qualify to receive workers’ compensation benefits. There are several steps you will need to follow leading up to the filing of a claim.
Seeking Medical Attention
If you suffer an injury on the job, you should not wait to receive medical attention. Your well-being should be of the highest concern, but it will also be important for you to obtain medical documentation that will give your employer information about your injury and any treatment you may need.
In Minnesota, the law allows you to choose your own medical doctor when seeking care for your injury or illness. However, an employer can request that you have an appointment with a doctor of their recommendation. This so-called independent medical examination can be scheduled with a medical provider within 150 miles of your home.
However, there are some exceptions to this type of situation, including the following:
- You are part of a managed care plan
- You were working under a collective bargaining agreement that still has validity
After the injury, it is important to inform your supervisor of the injury. While you may only want to do this verbally, you should strongly consider making your injury known in writing. It can be easy for anyone to deny a verbal conversation, but it will be difficult to deny a notification that has been written. Information about your injury should be shared immediately while you can remember as many details as possible.
Workers’ Compensation Law
Workers’ compensation is intended to help workers who have been injured on the job cope with medical bills, lost wages, and other related expenses. However, the claims process is not an easy one, and some claims are not disputed fairly. Why does this happen? The bottom line.
When there is a high number of claims being filed, this will result in higher costs for an employer. Workers’ compensation insurance premiums will rise when the number of workers’ compensation claims increase, or when one worker has an expensive workers’ compensation claim. To ensure you have a valid claim, it is important to seek the assistance of an experience workers’ compensation law team.
Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that will act as a salary replacement and medical benefits for those who have been injured on the job. The insurance is paid for by employers in exchange for the release of your right to sue at a later date. As an insurance policy, workers’ compensation plans will not be the same for all states:
- Generally, there will be provisions made for payments to replace the wages that one can no longer receive
- Compensation is usually granted for economic loss
- Families of individuals who died due to a work-related accident will receive the benefits
Workers’ Compensation and Litigation
Since injured workers will no longer have the right to sue after an injury or illness, receiving additional benefits like pain and suffering will generally not be available. Workers’ compensation is intended to reduce the chances of going into litigation. Injured employees will not have to prove that their employers were at fault for the injury or illness you experienced.
You may want to know why you need to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer if you do not have to prove responsibility or neglect. Many people may choose not to hire a lawyer if they feel their case is minor. However, many others will discover that they do need a workers’ compensation lawyer to help them collect the insurance once things start to become complex.
You will likely need a workers’ compensation lawyer if:
- Your claim has been denied or you did not receive your benefits
- You were fired, demoted, or discriminated against because you filed a claim for workers’ compensation
- The settlement you were offered does not cover your cost of medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses
- You cannot return to your previous job or find a new job because of the severity of your injuries and/or illness
- You are worried Social Security may gain access to some of your benefits
If you are injured on a job where the company does not have a workers’ compensation policy, you may have to resort to other measure to receive compensation, such as filing a civil suit.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
In Minnesota, there are three types of workers’ compensation benefits:
- Wage-loss benefits can include temporary or permanent partial or total disability. The total amount you can receive will depend on the severity of your disability and the amount of money you were earning before the injury or illness. Wage-loss benefits can also receive a cost-of-living adjustment.
- Medical benefits will include doctor visits, rehabilitation care, medications, surgeries, and other medical-related expenses that one will need after an injury or illness.
- Rehabilitation benefits can include training and vocational services that one may need after the work-related injury or illness.
Throughout the process of seeking workers’ compensation benefits, it is important to maintain all records that relate to your injury or occupational disease. Keep written documentation about how the injury or illness occurred, what you have been diagnosed with, and the treatments you will need. You should also keep written documentation of how the injury has impacted your personal and professional life. You should also save any receipts or invoices you have that relate to the expenses you have accumulated.
Working with an experienced law team will improve your chances for a fair resolution. If you need guidance during this difficult time, please contact Harvey & Carpenter, Attorneys at Law for a free consultation.