A work-related injury can directly impact your life now and in the future. Governmental safeguards offer workers’ compensation if you’re injured at work. Unfortunately, as an injured worker, you might not receive the benefits you deserve, incurring high medical bills and other expenses instead.
Don’t let this happen to you. A dedicated Minnesota work injury attorney can help you navigate the legal process to your benefit.
Minnesota Workers Injury and Compensation Law
Minnesota Statute 176.011, sub. 16 defines a work-related injury as a mental and physical injury arising out of and in the course of employment. (This provision precludes employees from seeking compensation for something suffered while not working.)
Minnesota has a non-fault recovery system for work-related accidents. Employees are guaranteed payment for injuries regardless of fault by the employer or the co-employees. In this set-up, employees are only entitled to a fixed amount and can’t initiate a “common law action” against the employer. However, they can bring an action against a third party liable for the employee’s injury.
Types of Work-Related Injuries
Most work injuries qualify for workers’ compensation under the law. Here are some of the work-related injuries we represent at Swor & Gatto:
- Aggravation of Pre-Existing Conditions. Insurance companies and the defendant may allege that your injuries are due to a pre-existing condition to avoid paying what you’re owed. Our attorneys can underscore the correlation between your duties at work and your injury, making it harder for an insurance company to deny you benefits.
- Repetitive Strain Injuries. Repetitive motion might lead to a work-related injury. We can help prove that joint injuries and other strains occurred in the workplace and that you are entitled to compensation.
- Motor Vehicle Accidents (Tied to the Workplace). Did you suffer a motor vehicle accident while performing your duties at the workplace? You may be able to file a compensation claim.
- Mental Health Conditions. You may be entitled to compensation for mental health issues related to a physical injury that is tied to the workplace.
What to Do If You’re Injured at Work
When reporting a work injury in Minnesota, follow these recommendations to avoid unnecessary obstacles and help the process move along:
Make a prompt report. Report the work-related injury to the employer or supervisor as quickly as possible—the claim can be denied if too much time passes. The notification must occur as soon as it happens unless you’re incapacitated. If there wasn’t a specific accident, but there is reason to believe it’s related to work activities (i.e., repetitive injuries), don’t delay giving notice.
Prioritize accuracy. List all symptoms in the report. If new symptoms develop after the incident, let your employer know you’re including them in the claim.
Seek medical attention. A medical professional needs to accurately document your condition. If the claim is denied, medical records can help strengthen your case. Ensure your doctor understands all related injuries and how they occurred. This information could prove crucial to successfully fighting a claim dispute.
Keep the doctor up to date. You may be allowed to return to work, maybe with restrictions. If job duties aggravate the injury, inform your primary care provider immediately. Discuss modified limitations with the insurer and employer as they arise and before they become a significant problem.
Follow medical advice and rules. Follow your doctor’s recommendations, including treatments or physical therapy. You want to keep the doctor supportive of the work injury claim. A dispute may arise during the legal process, at which point someone may ask a medical professional to write a report. If you neglect their advice, their account may not be in your favor.
Do not quit or refuse a job without legal consultation. The legal process can be lengthy and frustrating. Some workers get so fed up with the insurance company or their employer that they quit. This can negatively impact your benefit eligibility now and in the future. Instead of doing something rash, talk to a Minnesota work injury attorney about your rights.
Be aware of surveillance. Insurance companies sometimes monitor claimants by documenting daily activities. If their recordings show you ignoring or going against your doctor’s recommendations, it can jeopardize your claim. Always assume you’re being watched and follow the doctor’s recommendations at all times.
An important point: Insurance companies hire experienced claim adjusters concerned with looking out for their interests and the company’s bottom line. They are not looking out for the injured workers who file the claims. Hire a Minnesota work injury attorney to represent your case when questions and concerns arise.
How a Minnesota Work Injury Attorney Helps
Although Minnesota envisions a no-fault recovery system for work-related injuries, navigating the legal process alone can be complex and frustrating.
A qualified attorney can help you:
- Collect and document evidence to support your case
- Provide legal representation and legal advice
- Compute the amount of compensation you need
- Negotiate with the insurance company and the employer on your behalf
- Initiate a legal work injury claim against a third party on your behalf
Most Minnesota workers’ compensation claims stay under the radar, without lawyers, conferences, trials, settlements, or major disputes. Unfortunately, some cases face complications, especially if the insurance company disputes it. A Minnesota work injury attorney can provide guidance and answer questions about confusing requirements and limitations.
If this sounds familiar, contact our Swor & Gatto team. We look forward to helping you!