As a business owner in Minnesota, you need to know about the state’s laws for workman’s comp. Acting without knowing the laws can lead to you and your company being on the receiving end of a work comp claim.
If your employee gets injured on the job, you need to provide the workman’s comp Minnesota requires. Not only should you provide the benefit on time, but you also need to provide the right type and at the right amount.
For these reasons, you need to be familiar with how workman’s comp works in Minnesota. To learn more about workman’s comp in the state and the benefits you need to provide, keep reading!
Minnesota’s “No-Fault” Policy
Minnesota is a no-fault state. It is crucial to keep this point in mind because it determines what type of insurance you need to get as an employer.
The state’s no-fault policy extends to many types of accidents. The no-fault policy applies to roadside accidents. And, more importantly, it applies to work-related accidents.
Under the no-fault policy, liability is minimized for both the worker and employer following a work-related accident. Hence, there is no immediate need for either party to prove negligence.
However, under the state’s labor laws, an employer does retain a degree of liability. This degree of liability requires employers in Minnesota to have insurance. This insurance must be in the form of business liability insurance or no-fault insurance.
Business liability insurance or no-fault insurance removes some of the financial burdens from employers. With insurance, an employer will be able to compensate injured workers without paying for the expenses out of pocket.
The expenses that can be covered include wage-loss benefits if the worker is unable to work due to the injury. It can also include payments for the injured employee’s:
- Medical treatment
- Dependency benefits
- Vocational or rehabilitation benefits
In short, in Minnesota, fault is not assumed of either party following a work-related incident. However, employers are legally bound to provide workman’s comp that Minnesota law prescribes.
What Counts as a Work-Related Injury in Minnesota?
For an employee to claim workman’s compensation, the resulting injury must be work-related. Work-related injuries have different definitions depending on the state. In Minnesota, a work-related injury needs to have occurred “at work.”
Within the context of Minnesota’s current statutes, being injured “at work” implies several conditions. Here they are:
1. The Injury Occurred Within the Place of Work
An injury needs to occur at the employee’s place of employment for it to be work-related. The only exception seems to be drivers whose areas of work are the automobiles they operate for the company.
For drivers, injuries sustained from driving a vehicle can count as work-related. Of course, it needs to occur within their shift. This brings us to the next condition that needs to be met.
2. The Injury Occurred During the Employee’s Shift
Other than being at the place of work, the employee needs to be working within his or her regular hours. Injuries that occur during a regular shift are considered work-related injuries.
Even when an employee works overtime, he or she can sustain work-related injuries. This is why employees need to show that overtime work was agreed upon prior to the injury.
3. The Injury Occurred as a Result of the Employee’s Work-Related Activities
This is arguably the most crucial condition for a work-related injury. It needs to be the result of what an employee does at the workplace during his or her regular shift.
For example, imagine an employee who needs to lift boxes for a living. One day, the employee tore his bicep as a result of lifting a heavy box. The employee’s injury should have transpired in the workplace during a regular shift.
Because the injury occurred performing a work-related task, his or her injury will tick all the boxes for what a work-related injury is.
4. The Injury Needs to Cause Physical, Emotional, or Mental Impairment or Damage
Lastly, a work-related injury in Minnesota needs to take the form of impairment. An impairment or injury does not need to be physical. It can also be emotional, cognitive, sensory, or even mental.
If an injury leads to problems in normal daily function, it is an injury, whether it is physical or not. And, if the injury satisfies the first three conditions mentioned, the injury is work-related and merits workman’s comp in Minnesota.
How an Employee Files a Workman’s Comp Claim in Minnesota
A workman’s comp claim follows a work-related injury in Minnesota. There are two main requirements for an employee to file a workman’s compensation claim in the state.
It begins when an employee reports a work-related injury.
Work Injury Report
An employee needs to report a work-related injury. The report serves as evidence for the circumstances surrounding the work-related injury.
A work injury report needs to contain the following details:
- The time of the injury
- The location
- What the employee was doing
- Witnesses, if there were any present during the time of the incident
A permanency rating is expressed as a percentage. It indicates the severity of an injury. More importantly, it also grades the degree of impairment and how permanent an injury is.
A physician determines the extent of an injury. From the results of the assessment, the physician will assign a permanency or impairment rating. The permanency rating is the basis of compensation in Minnesota.
Different schedules or classifications of workman’s compensation benefits depend on the physician’s permanency rating.
Who Shoulders the Costs of Workman’s Comp Minnesota Employees are Entitled to?
As mentioned earlier, Minnesota is a no-fault state. In other words, although an employer has some accountability, the employer does not shoulder the costs.
It is for this reason that the state requires all business owners to carry business liability insurance. Part of the coverage of business liability insurance is workman’s comp insurance. Workman’s comp insurance pays for everything, including:
- Wage loss benefits
- Medical care
- Benefits for the injured employee’s dependents
- Vocational or rehabilitative training or other associated benefits
In short, an employer’s insurance provider shoulders the costs of workman’s comp in Minnesota.
Business Owners in Minnesota Need to Know How Workman’s Comp Works
Knowing how workman’s comp works in the state can help you as an employer. Not only can it keep you away from litigation, but it can help you go about resolving disputes in compensation easily.
If you are an employer and you have questions about workman’s compensation in Minnesota, ask a lawyer who specializes in it. We at Osterbauer Law have the expertise and experience to give you the insight into workers’ compensation in Minnesota.
Call us now for inquiries about workman’s comp in the state!