When you are injured on the job in Minnesota, you may not know what your rights are. Oftentimes, a worker files a legitimate workers compensation claim only to find their claim is denied. This may occur because your employer failed to file the proper paperwork, or because the insurance company believes your injury or illness was not the result of your job.
Mandatory Worker’s Compensation Coverage in MN
Employers in Minnesota are obligated to have workers compensation coverage. The coverage is for employees who can demonstrate that their employment resulted in the need for medical care. Coverage includes not only physical injuries, but also includes certain occupational diseases and mental injuries including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Worker’s Compensation Claim Denials
A worker’s compensation claim denial is not the end of the road. You have rights under the worker’s compensation act and those rights include the ability to challenge a denial of your benefits. Workers compensation claims are generally meant to ensure you are receiving part of your salary, that your medical bills are paid for any injury or illness resulting from your job, and that you have access to retraining if it is necessary for you to return to the workforce.
Appealing Denial of Benefits
To appeal a denial of benefits, you must meet certain deadlines. Too often, workers are not familiar with the process necessary to file an appeal and they simply file the paperwork and hope for the best. This is a bad approach because without legal representation, your appeal could be denied as well. Instead of attempting to file an appeal on your own, immediately upon getting a denial contact an attorney who has experience with worker’s compensation claims and appeals.
Minnesota Workplace Injuries and Your Rights
Those workers who suffer and injury which results in their being permanently disabled may also have other rights including the ability to apply for and receive Social Security disability payments. The bottom line is unless you work with a skilled personal injury attorney, you may not know what your rights are.
Types of Compensation
Remember, your employer, and the insurer have no obligation or incentive to inform you of your rights. That’s why it is always a good idea to work with an attorney with experience handling these claims. We have helped victims of workplace injury and accidents claim all benefits to which they are entitled including:
- Temporary Total Disability
- Temporary Partial Disability
- Permanent Partial Disability
- Permanent Total Disability
- Reasonable and Necessary Medical Expenses
- Rehab Benefits
Preexisting Conditions Exacerbated by Workplace Environment
It is important to remember even if you have a preexisting condition your worker’s compensation claim may still have merit. If your job has made an existing condition worse, you have the right to file a claim and to pursue compensation. Remember, your employer has an obligation to ensure your health and safety on the job. An example of this would be if you were previously in a car accident and suffered a back injury.
An on-the-job injury resulting in a back strain, or a herniated disc may mean the insurance company tries to pass the injury off as a preexisting condition. However, if your condition was manageable before a workplace incident, and it is no longer manageable, you have the right to have your worker’s compensation claim approved. We understand this and we will fight aggressively to get you the benefits you are entitled to under Minnesota worker’s compensation laws.
Medical Care and Worker’s Compensation
While the insurer may insist you undergo an independent evaluation of your injury or illness from a physician they select, you have the legal right to seek a second opinion. You also have the right to select your own healthcare provider when you file a claim. Once your claim is in progress, or has been approved, you also have a right to work with a rehabilitation counselor of your choice if you are going to be unable to return to your previous job.
Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)
From time to time, we have seen clients who have been informed by their doctor there are no further medical procedures, treatments, or therapies which will result in an improvement. In these cases, depending on your physical and emotional state, your compensation may be stopped. This is when it is important that you are working with an attorney.
When Social Security Disability is an Option
There are other options available to you including the potential of applying for and receiving Social Security disability payments. This will depend largely on whether your physician determines your overall capacity to work. We have experience dealing with reviewing medical records, working with physician’s and rehabilitation specialists to understand what limitations you are still facing.
We understand one of the concerns you have when seeking the assistance of an attorney is the financial burden of working with a lawyer. We also understand that when you are already faced with a loss of income resulting from an illness or injury suffered as a result of your work that you are already under a great deal of stress.
We believe you should fully understand your rights when you are seeking assistance for workers compensation cases and that is why our initial consultation is free of charge. We will review your case, help you understand your options, and help you determine the best option to move forward.
Putting Our Experience to Work for You
We have years of experience helping those who have suffered an on-the-job illness or injury including victims of serious workplace accidents like the plant explosion in Dodge Center, Minnesota. This is one of the reasons why we encourage anyone who is injured on the job in Minnesota to contact our offices immediately and come in for a free consultation. We have experience handling cases of all sizes and we will make sure you get the compensation and care you are entitled to under the law.
We are never prepared for an unexpected illness or accident which leaves us unable to work. You need time to heal, you have financial concerns, and you are worried about your future. Let us focus on your claim or appeal while you continue to focus on your physical and mental health. Contact Patterson Dahlberg Injury Lawyers if you are injured on the job and let us help.