You have probably heard about a friend or relative who got injured while at work. Sometimes that friend or relative comes to you for advice about what to do. Or you may learn that he or she is experiencing financial hardship due to the injury. You may be able to help out, starting by asking a few questions.
- Ask Some Questions
Talk to your friend or relative about the injury, and find out:
- If he or she reported the injury to the employer
- If he or she is getting any medical or wage loss benefits
- If he or she has gone to the doctor for treatment
- If he or she has retained (or has talked to) a lawyer
Your friend or relative needs to report the injury to start the workers’ compensation benefits process. The employer must tell its insurance company after a report is made. Then the insurance company can decide whether to grant or deny benefits. If your friend or relative receives a denial of benefits, suggest that he or she seek legal assistance.
- Provide a Helping Hand
Encourage your friend or relative to get medical treatment so the injury does not get worse. The medical treatment may be necessary even if the work injury seems very minor – like a twisted ankle or a split fingernail. It’s easy to hope the injury will heal on its own, but in the meantime permanent damage or infection could set in.
You can help by asking if your friend or relative wants you to accompany him or her to an appointment. If you go along, take notes and help out by asking questions to clarify the doctor’s diagnosis or treatment. You may want to prompt your friend to ask the doctor if he or she thinks the injury is work-related. Having a medical opinion can help in making a case for benefits.
- Respect Your Friend or Relative’s Decisions
Your friend or relative must make the ultimate decisions about treatment options, reporting an injury, and talking to a lawyer. However, you can encourage him or her to do so. Receiving benefits could save him or her from financial hardship and promote a return to work. Further, professionals like doctors and lawyers who know the workers’ compensation process can help your friend or relative get the best outcome in the end.
Does your friend or relative need help getting workers’ compensation for an 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.