Despite people’s best efforts, from time to time injuries do occur in the workplace. The first thing to do is to REPORT IT TO YOUR EMPLOYER. After that, you may well need more information – someone on your side – to figure out what is next.
Harvey & Carpenter assists clients who have had an accident or injury at work. Injured workers often do not know how to start or manage their cases or how to respond to the workers’ compensation insurer or to the employer. Whether it is a traumatic injury, an occupational disease, a repetitive use injury, or qualified mental problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), we can help explain and guide injured workers through what can be a tricky and complex process. We offer FREE consultations at whatever stage your claim is at.
Minnesota Compensation is a No-Fault System
What is a no-fault system as it applies to workers’ compensation? It means that negligence or “fault” is not relevant. A workers’ compensation claim depends only on whether your injury arose out of and in the course of your employment – not whose fault it was. And an injury can happen due to a specific incident (like a fall) – but can also happen due to repetitive use or an incident that worsened or accelerated a health problem the employee already had.
Types of Benefits
Depending on the employee’s circumstances, the injured employee may qualify for monetary assistance in the form of:
- Temporary total disability if disabled from work more than three days
- Dependency benefits in the case of an employee’s work-related death where the employee has dependents
- Temporary partial disability if the employee’s earnings go down due to the injury when s/he returns to work
- Permanent total disability if totally unable to return to work due to the injury
- Permanent partial disability if the injury can be rated by a doctor under a percentage of disability table issued by the State
- COLA adjustment of benefits if benefits continue long enough
The workers’ compensation insurer is required to pay for medical care that is reasonable, necessary, and substantially related to the work injury – to cure and relieve the effects of that injury. This includes doctor appointments, hospitalizations, surgeries, various kinds of medical care (which may include some chiropractic care, podiatric care, etc,), traditional medical care, prescriptions, medical supplies, mileage to and from appointments, psychological care if necessitated by the work injury and its effects, etc.
In the cases of permanent and total disability, under Minnesota Statutes 176.135, subd.1, additional requirements that the insurer must pay for can include paying for nursing services by members of the family is allowed or by a personal care attendant service. Employers are also required to replace things that are required by the work injury as they wear out, such as:
- Artificial members/prostheses
- Hearing aids
- Modifications to a vehicle to allow for the injured employee to drive
Many reasonable expense that allow the employee to receive treatment, can also include in the right circumstances,
- Travel costs
- Cost of medical reports
- Attorney fees
Vocational Rehabilitation Services (Disability Case Management)
The employer, the insurer or the employee can request a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant (QRC). If someone does not agree that a QRC is appropriate, the employee is allowed a consultation with a QRC to determine whether the employee is “qualified” to receive services.
The rehabilitation consultation determines whether the employee is eligible for rehab services. A worker qualifies for vocational rehabilitation if:
- The client may be unable to work at their usual and customary job.
- The employee has restrictions from the work injury that impact his or her ability to work.
- The worker will benefit from rehabilitation services.
Assistance in Finding New Employment
The QRC operates as a neutral liaison to coordinate communication among the employee, the employer, the insurer, and any attorneys involved in the claim. The QRC may also assist I coordinating medical care and assisting in scheduling appointments, etc.
Also, a QRC assists clients in reviewing their opportunities in the job force. Your consultant wants to help you find a job, possibly similar to your last job. The QRC assists in helping to find work – even to getting a job placement vendor to assist in finding job leads, developing resumes, and training employees to interview and search for jobs on their own. In some instances, retraining may be a part of the plan.
The new job’s wages should be close to the earnings and benefits earned before the injury. The consultant may suggest training programs that allow you to become competent in another area or field of expertise.
Harvey & Carpenter, Attorneys at Law
We are Mankato Minnesota attorneys, and we know our way around the many types of work-related injuries that workers face in our state. We want our clients to understand that the claim process doesn’t always go smoothly. Many employees do not know that they may not get the benefits they deserve if they start the claim process without the aid of well-seasoned attorneys. Here’s an example of what we mean.
One member of our firm had a client injured due to a work-related motor vehicle accident. The car accident took place while the client was at work. Our attorney negotiated a settlement of a whopping $225,000 for his client, and, while he was at it, he garnered an agreement with the insurer that allowed the client’s future medical care to continue to be paid by workers’ compensation even after the settlement.
Our results and successes in our workers’ compensation assistance for our clients make us proud. We work hard to make sure our clients receive fair compensation. Call us at 507-779-7529