In a fog of pain and busy with doctor’s appointments after a workplace injury, you do not tell your manager that you have been hurt. A friend mentions that you should apply for workers’ compensation, but you worry that you waited too long to receive benefits.
Does this sound familiar? If this is your story, you are probably very concerned that you will be stuck with medical bills and lose wages that you cannot recover. Fortunately, Minnesota law says that in some situations, you can still receive benefits even if you do not report your workplace injury right away.
You May Have Up to 180 Days – Or More – To Report an Injury
Ordinarily, you have 30 days after you get injured to tell your employer about the injury. However, this time limit may be extended under certain circumstances. People frequently do not report their workplace injuries right away, especially if they do not know how workers’ compensation benefits work. In other cases, people do not discover that they are injured until months later when a repetitive strain injury flares up or a minor injury worsens.
If you report your injury 31 to 180 days after it happens, then you will need to show that you did not report earlier due to: (1) your mistake or inadvertence, (2) your ignorance of fact or law, (3) your inability to give notice, or (4) your employer’s fraud, misrepresentation, or dishonesty.
If you report your injury more than 180 days after it happened, then you have a higher standard to meet. To receive benefits, you have to show that you were mentally or physically incapacitated during that time. The mental or physical incapacity must prevent you from giving notice of the injury to your employer.
Make a Report to Your Employer as Soon as Possible
Once you learn of the injury, learn you can get benefits, or recover from your incapacity, you need to tell your employer about the injury right away. The clock is ticking on the time limits described above. Strongly consider retaining a lawyer to help you with your case, because the insurance company will most likely deny benefits initially due to the reporting delay.
Did you report your workplace injury a long time after it happened and need legal help? 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.