How Hurt Do You Have to Be for Workers’ Compensation?
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How Hurt Do You Have to Be for Workers’ Compensation?

When you have a minor injury, you may wonder if workers’ comp will still pay for your medical treatment. If you have to take time off work – even if only a few days – you probably need the lost wages to pay the bills.

The good news is that most injuries, even if seemingly minor, qualify you to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Most of the time, it is better to report the injury than to keep quiet. You never know when a small cut, a mild burn, a tender muscle, or a scraped knee could turn into something more serious. Cuts, burns, and scrapes can become infected or let disease into your body, and sore muscles can indicate tears or strains. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company will decide whether the injury is truly minor enough, in its view, that you should not receive benefits.

One major factor in the amount of benefits you can receive is how long your injury lasts. If you have a small cut that just needs a few dissolvable stitches and no follow-up care, you may receive just payment for your doctor’s visit. In contrast, if you contract Hepatitis C when you get the cut, you may need more extensive medical treatment and time off work.

The insurance company does not have to pay you wage loss benefits for the first three days you take off work because of the workplace injury. Your employer may want you to use sick days or PTO for the time off. You should take the time to recover if you need it, to prevent the injury from getting worse. If you need more time off after that, make sure to get a doctor’s note to give to your employer, and make sure that you receive wage loss benefits.

Be wary of rushing back to work when you do not think you are “too hurt” to do your job. Always follow your doctor’s orders when you have a workplace injury, because the insurer is looking for any excuse to stop paying benefits. Not following doctor’s orders or working against restrictions could lead to termination of your benefits.

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.