Injured workers should report their injuries as soon as possible to maximize their chances of receiving benefits. Here are three reasons to make the report today.
- Get Benefits Faster
The faster you report your injury, the sooner you can get benefits such as payment for medical expenses and wage loss replacement. After your employer sends the First Report of Injury document to its insurance company, there is a waiting period before the insurance has to start paying benefits. The waiting period exists to allow the insurer to evaluate your claim. Also, sometimes workers are able to return to work after only a short time and have few losses. Workers may not receive wage loss benefits if they are disabled for only a few days.
- There Are Time Limits to Report
Once you discover your injury, you have 14 days to report it to your employer to best avoid potential challenges by the insurance company. If you report 15 to 30 days after you learn of the injury, the insurance company can deny your claim, but only if it shows that it was harmed. If you report between 31 to 180 days, the insurance company could deny your claim initially. You will need to show that you did not report earlier because of your own mistake, inadvertence, or ignorance of fact or law, because of your inability to give notice, or because of your employer’s fraud, misrepresentation, or dishonesty. After 180 days passes, you can still receive benefits if you were mentally or physically incapacitated and could not give notice of your injury.
- The Longer You Wait, The Harder to Prove the Injury Was Work-Related
If you report your injury weeks or months after it occurs, you may have some difficulty in getting benefits. The likelihood that the insurance company will initially deny your claim is higher. This is because insurance companies only have to pay benefits for injuries that arise out of and occur in the course of employment. (Minn. Stat. § 176.021.) The more time passes, the more likely the insurer thinks that something outside work caused or aggravated your injury. Of course, you may have doctors’ notes and diagnoses showing an initial non-work injury and later aggravation at work, or you may be able to show that you did not discover the injury for a long time after it occurred. Talk to a lawyer for more advice about aggravation or late discovery of injuries.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.