Injured At Work: What Am I Supposed To Do Now?

 

Work-related injuries happen all of the time.

Workers’ compensation is a system that provides benefits if you become injured or ill from work-related activities.  In the state of Minnesota, all businesses are required under law to purchase workers’ compensation insurance or become self-insured.  It is also important to note that Minnesota is a “no-fault” state, meaning that it does not matter whose fault the injury or illness was, the compensation benefits must still be paid.

While the concept of Workers’ compensation is relatively straight forward, and in many cases, claims are paid without any problems, like any area of the law, issues arise from time to time.  If you feel as though you are not receiving the right benefits, here are some steps you should follow:

  • First, seek medical treatment for your injury.  You are entitled to a doctor of YOUR choosing.  Make sure to tell your doctor that you got hurt at work and tell him or her exactly how it happened.
  • Tell your supervisor immediately.  This is perhaps the most important step you can take to making sure you are treated fairly.  Note that your employer must file a First Report of Injury form with the Department of Labor and Industry if you sustained a disability lasting more than three days, as is often the case.  They must also provide you with a copy.
  • Contact an attorney.  Under MN law, all attorneys are all paid the same – by statute. They get 20% of whatever benefits they recover for you, but they only get paid if there is a controversy in dispute.  You have nothing to lose by getting the best lawyer you can find involved as early in the process as possible.  Just having an attorney “on the file” makes it less likely the adjuster on your claim will try to take advantage of your lack of knowledge of the law.
  • If the adjuster calls you keep a record of the call.  Include the name of the adjuster, the date of contact(s), and the time of said contact(s).
  • Save everything.  Always keep a record of everything that occurs that you think might be relevant for your case.  As a workers’ compensation attorney, I can tell you that it’s much easier to tackle a giant when you have a arsenal of facts at your disposal.

Christopher Rosengren

Mankato, Minnesota