When you are sure that your injury is only temporary, seeking workers’ comp may not seem worth it. But doctors and lawyers will tell you that you may need expensive treatment and may qualify for benefits right away.
Temporary Injuries and Workers’ Compensation
What is a temporary injury? You may think of an injury as temporary if it subsides quickly, looks minor, or heals in only a few days. But you should keep in mind that even injuries that seem temporary could have long-term consequences. Too many people ignore large cuts or significant bruises, only to later learn that they have infections or internal bleeding. Even an ankle sprain that seems to heal quickly could cause major problems later on if it is aggravated.
Since a temporary injury could quickly become worse, or you could aggravate it later on, take even minor injuries seriously. If you get hurt at work, notify your manager or Human Resources. Then seek out medical attention from your primary care doctor, urgent care, or a specialist. Further, keep medical records and bills from treatment so you can get reimbursed by the insurance company if needed.
Your Claim for Benefits
The insurance company must start paying you wage-loss benefits if your injury lasts more than three days and you take time off work or work fewer hours. As long as your injury is not truly very minor (e.g. broken fingernail), the insurance company also should pay for necessary medical treatment.
Once you report the injury to your manager or Human Resources, they will need to tell the insurance company. You should receive a letter notifying you of your claim status within a couple of weeks after the employer makes an injury report. If the insurer denies you benefits, you may need the help of a lawyer to proceed.
A lawyer can help you file a Claim Petition contesting the denial of benefits, or help you pursue other remedies relating to your claim. Also, your lawyer may have the opportunity to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. This would provide you with a lump sum in exchange for a release of your claim.
In sum, no matter how temporary your injury, you still may need and receive workers’ compensation benefits in Minnesota. Be sure to seek medical treatment if needed and report your injury to your employer.
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.