If you have never been injured at work before and have never worked with a lawyer, you might need some help navigating the Minnesota workers’ compensation system. Spend a few minutes learning about how the system works, how your injury claim translates into payment of benefits, and what to do if your benefits request is denied.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation consists of benefits paid by insurance companies to injured employees. The injured employees’ employers pay insurance premiums to the insurance companies. In exchange, the insurance companies cover medical costs, wage loss benefits, and vocational rehabilitation for injured workers. In Minnesota, the state’s Department of Labor and Industry oversees workers’ compensation regulations and enforcement.
What Happens After You Report an Injury?
After you report an injury to your employer (by speaking to management or Human Resources), your employer must make a claim with its workers’ compensation insurance company. The insurance company then has about two weeks to notify you of whether it will pay benefits or deny your claim. If it agrees to pay benefits, you can submit your medical bills and report the days you took off work because of your injury.
Should You Directly Contact the Insurance Company?
Insurance company adjusters often encourage employees to contact them directly if they have questions about their workers’ comp benefits. Unfortunately, employees may reveal information to the adjusters that ends up hurting their cases. The insurance companies do not operate to help employees – instead, they want to spend as little money as possible on paying out benefits so that they can make money from employer premiums.
If you are concerned about contacting the insurance company directly, you may want to speak to a lawyer first. When you hire a lawyer, the lawyer talks to the insurance company for you.
What If Your Benefits Are Denied by the Insurance Company?
Many injured employees have their claims denied by insurance companies. There are several ways to fight denied claims, but you may need legal help to do so. Once you get past the initial claim stage, the workers’ compensation process is more complicated – potentially involving a court hearing at the end.
Are you struggling to get workers’ comp benefits so you can return to work? 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.