What Workers Need To Know About Workers’ Compensation
Sometimes the person who experiences an injury at a place of business is one of its employees. It’s important for employers to have workers’ compensation insurance so that they can pay you for injuries that you sustained while on the job. If you are worried about whether your job will still be there after filing for workers’ compensation, talk to us at Keller, Woods & Thompson, P.A. We’ve helped numerous Minnesota and Wisconsin workers through the workers’ compensation process.
While this means you don’t need to sue your employer to make sure you’re being compensated for the work you’re unable to do while you’re recovering, it is important to consult with a personal injury attorney to make sure that you are receiving the full amount of benefits you deserve.
Workers’ Compensation Laws In Minnesota
In Minnesota, employers are required to provide insurance to their employees, including non-US citizens as well as minors. There are a few exceptions to this requirement, such as infrequent employees, nonprofit organizations whose annual payroll is less than $1,000, household workers who make less than $1,000 every quarter, and more.
Types Of Work-Related Injuries
Some work-related injuries are obvious because they are sudden, can be traumatic and are an obvious result of an accident at the workplace. Another type of work-related injury, though, is one that is preexisting, but becomes aggravated or worsens because of work activities.
When an injury occurs or worsens because of work, it’s important to report it within 180 days of the incident. If your injury is one that’s preexisting, the “incident” would be considered doctor’s visit when you become aware that your injury has worsened or become irritated.
Filing A Claim For A Work-Related Personal Injury
Remember, you only have 180 days from the time of your work-related accident to notify your employer if you sustained an injury. In Minnesota, you can’t be fired for submitting an accident report, so don’t let the fear of losing your job keep you from filing a report.
Notify Your Supervisor
When you are injured from a work-related accident, you should notify your supervisor as soon as possible. After that, it’s your supervisor’s responsibility to complete a First Report Of Injury form.
Seek Medical Care
If your injury requires medical attention, it’s important to visit the doctor as soon as possible. Your employer may require that you go to a specific medical center that’s within the company’s workers’ compensation insurance network, but you may be able to go to your own physician.
When you go to the doctor, make sure you inform them that you’re seeking care for a workers’ compensation injury. Tell them when the injury occurred and how it happened, as well as your symptoms and why you believe the injury was sustained from a work-related accident or injury. You will also need to give your physician the name of your employer, the name and phone number of your supervisor, and the name of your employer’s insurer.
During your visit, the doctor will complete a Report Of Work Ability form. This form will explain your physical limitations. Your employer and the workers’ compensation insurance company will need a copy of this form as soon as possible because it can affect your wage-loss benefits.
The Claims Process
If you do not miss time from work, you could still be eligible for medical benefits and rehabilitation benefits for your work-related injury. If you do miss work, however, you are also eligible for compensation due to a loss of wages.
When you submit a claim, there is a waiting period before your benefits start. Once your claim has been processed, you will receive a copy of a form from the insurer with information about whether or not your claim was accepted or denied. If your claim is accepted, it will provide information about your benefits and when you will start to receive them.
If your claim is denied, the insurer will provide all reasons as to why. If you disagree with the denial of your claim, there are actions you can take to settle the dispute.
Work-Related Injury Benefits
When you are injured in a work-related accident, your benefits may include medical, rehabilitation, wage-loss and other monetary benefits. The amount of benefits you receive depends on the severity of your accident and how it affects your ability to work.
Benefits for medical expenses will cover the cost of your medical treatment. This could include any treatment or supplies that are used to cure or relieve the effects of your injury. Different treatments may include psychological, chiropractic, podiatric, surgical and hospital stays.
If your injury prevents you from performing your job, you may seek a consultant for vocational rehabilitation to help retrain your body to perform tasks associated with your job. In order to receive this benefit, you must submit a request to your employer’s insurer for a rehabilitation consultation. Once approved, you, your employer, and a certified rehabilitation consultant will create a rehabilitation plan that will help you relearn tasks associated with your job.
Wage-Loss And Monetary Benefits
Depending on your injury and how much time you miss from work, there are different types of monetary benefits that you could receive. Some benefit the employee, while other benefit the dependents of the employee should they die because of their accident.
Other Workers’ Compensation Factors To Consider
- Temporary Total Disability: If, after your accident, you are unable to perform tasks for your job and your employer is unable to accommodate your work restrictions, you may be eligible for this wage-loss benefit
- Temporary Partial Disability: If your injury prevents you from working as much and you experience a loss of wages because of it, you could be eligible for this wage-loss benefit.
- Permanent Partial Disability: If you have lost the ability to use a specific body part, this benefit will compensate you for your disability.
- Dependency Rights: In the unfortunate event that the employee dies as a result of their work-related accident, the dependents of the employee could receive this monetary benefit.
- Cost-Of-Living Adjustments: If you are receiving benefits over a long period of time, you may be eligible for an adjustment to your benefits as the cost of living changes. Adjustments under this benefit could be up to 3 percent.
Take Your Next Step Today
Whether you’ve sustained an injury from a slip-and-fall accident or a work-related incident, Keller, Woods & Thompson, P.A., is here to help as your personal injury attorney. It’s important that you talk with us personally about your specific situation so that we can represent you to the best of our ability. Contact us today to set up a consultation. You can also give us a call at 763-447-4076 at your earliest convenience.