If you changed jobs before you discovered a work injury, you probably have questions about what to expect. Moving forward, you will need to take a few key steps to secure medical treatment and other benefits.
Can You Still Receive Workers’ Comp for an Injury at Your Old Job?
Yes, you can receive workers’ compensation benefits even if you no longer work at the job where the injury occurred. Sometimes injuries do not come to light until months or years later. Or you may have been injured just before your last day at the old job. As long as you were an employee of the old company and you were injured in a work-related injury, you should be able to receive benefits.
How Should You Report the Workplace Injury?
You need to tell both your former employer and your current employer. Your former employer needs to know so that it can make a report to its workers’ compensation insurance company. The insurance company actually pays you for benefits, not the employer (unless the employer is “self-insured”). Since you no longer work at the old employer, the insurance company may initially deny you benefits because it doubts that the injury occurred at work. In that case, you may need a lawyer’s help.
You need to tell your current employer about your injury for two reasons. First, the insurance company may factor in your current wage rate when assessing the amount of wage-loss benefits you should receive. In that case, the insurer would need information from your current employer. Second, you will want to make sure your new employer accommodates any restrictions that you have. You do not want your new job to aggravate the injury, and your new employer has an interest in this too. An aggravated injury or a new injury at the new job could drive up your new employer’s insurance premiums.
Fighting the Likely Claim Denial
If the insurance company denies your claim for benefits, you may need to file a Claim Petition. Doing so starts the process of having your case heard by a workers’ compensation judge. You should speak to a lawyer about filing a Claim Petition even if only one part of your benefits was denied (for example, a particular medical procedure). Receiving benefits may take some time, but for many workers it is worth it in the end.
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.