Workers Comp Lawyer in Rochester, Minnesota
When you have been injured in any way at work, it’s important to know that there are laws to protect you. Under the Workers Compensation Act, you can file a claim in order to hold your employer accountable for any injuries you have sustained. By working with a Minnesota workers compensation lawyer, you can also ensure that you’re getting the level of care that you’re entitled to every step of the way.
What is Workers’ Comp?
It is important to understand your rights as it pertains to worker’s compensation. It is a type of insurance that your employer maintains in order to cover such things as:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
If you fall ill or get hurt on the job, a worker’s compensation claim is filed so that you can tap into the benefits. In the event that you die as a result of a job-related incident, your family has the ability to file a claim.
How Do Claims Get Paid Out?
Claims are paid out differently based on state laws. Additionally, the workplace injuries are based on the “class” that your employer is grouped into based on the level of risk.
Claims are paid out once you have visited a healthcare professional to be diagnosed with an illness or injury that can be linked back to the workplace. Once medical reports are there to support claims, the employee works with the insurance company in order to file a claim. The compensation is paid by the insurance company to cover your medical expenses, rehab, and any lost wages that were experienced.
Although not required, hiring a lawyer can be beneficial as it ensures that you have someone in your corner. A workers’ compensation lawyer works for you, not the insurance company. They will go to work for you to ensure that the claim is handled in a timely manner and that the settlement includes everything that you deserve. Insurance companies are notorious for paying as little as possible, which could leave you getting less than what the law entitles you to get.
Who Is Covered and Who Isn’t?
If you have become sick or injured on the job, you need to know who is covered and who isn’t. There are different types of worker’s compensation programs, including state-run programs and federal programs.
State-run programs are for employers who have a certain number of employees and are required to get the insurance coverage.
Then, federal employees, longshoremen, and railroad employees are covered with different systems.
However, when you are in Minnesota, you have to look at whether you are actually covered. Some of those who aren’t covered include:
- Independent contractors
- Part-time employees
- Taxi drivers
- Business owners and sole proprietors
Even if you fall under those who aren’t covered, it’s still a good idea to work with a Workers’ Compensation lawyer in Minnesota to find out what your rights really are.
Don’t assume that Workers’ Compensation is only for accidents. There are also occupational diseases that you can contract, which can lead to the need to file a claim in Rochester – and that’s where we can help.
Some of the diseases include:
- Allergic dermatitis
- Pregnancy and fertility abnormalities
- Infectious diseases
- Hearing loss
If you can link your occupational disease with the work that you do, you may be eligible for a workers’ compensation claim. While these can be more difficult to build a case around, our experienced lawyers can work with you in Minnesota.
Knowing Your Benefits
There are various benefits that you are entitled to through workers’ compensation. This includes:
- Medical treatment
- Wage replacement benefits
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Other benefits depending on case
Perhaps the most common benefit that is ignored is vocational rehabilitation. If you are no longer able to do the job you did with the company, they are required to pay to provide training in order to teach you a new vocation that you can do with your newfound disability. It allows you to have the ability to support yourself in a way similar to before the incident occurred.
Additionally, there are wage replacement benefits. This is not the same as lost wages. It takes into consideration how you may not be able to earn the same level of wages as you did before – either because of having to take a lesser paying job or work fewer hours. By involving a lawyer, it can ensure that you get all of the benefits that you are owed, which can also ensure that you have greater financial certainty in the future.
Timeline of a Case
From the moment you hurt yourself until the moment you get a settlement can take months or even years. It depends on the level of your injury, how quickly your employer is willing to accept fault, and many other factors. Often, by seeking the help of a professional workers’ compensation lawyer, the timeline can be moved along to avoid an employer (or their insurance company) from giving you the runaround.
You have 180 days to report a workplace injury in the state of Minnesota to your employer. Additionally, it is against the law for them to terminate your employment for reporting an injury.
There are a few basic steps that fall within the timeline:
- Report your injury or illness
- Obtain medical care
- Injury is reported to the insurance company by the employer
- Insurance company works on claim to accept or reject
- Settlement is paid out
Of course, you may have to provide various details in order to move each step forward. Additionally, if a case is denied, you will want to work with a lawyer so that a claim for compensation is filed.
When you have been injured or a loved one was killed on the job, Patterson Dahlberg Injury Lawyers are here to help you. We offer free initial consultations so you can learn more about how legal assistance can help you with your claim in Minnesota.