If you get hurt at work during a natural disaster, you probably have many questions. Not only can natural disasters be distressing, but getting hurt can be painful, stressful, and difficult. In Minnesota
Consequences of a Natural Disaster
Natural disasters can have consequences that may affect your ability to get medical care and workers’ compensation benefits in Minnesota. For example:
- Hospitals may be closed or have limited services
- Your doctor’s office may be closed
- It may be difficult to travel
- The workers’ compensation insurance company’s office could be closed
- You might not have access to medical supplies or prescriptions
You may have very little control over which medical care you can receive or whether you can pursue your benefits claim in the immediate disaster aftermath. Pursue as much medical care as you need or can find. Be sure to tell medical providers that you were hurt at work. This could help you later because the medical records will show that you had a workplace injury, not just an injury in the disaster.
How Can You Receive Benefits After the Disaster Is Over?
All disasters, whether ice storms or floods, eventually get better. In the aftermath, you probably need additional medical attention and help getting benefits. You should immediately report your injury to your employer if you have not already – keep in mind that with the disaster, records might not have been made or might be incomplete.
You may want to speak to a workers’ compensation lawyer for help. Since you may not have received all medical care that you needed in the moment, the insurance company might try to deny your claim. This may be true especially if the insurer’s office was not affected by the disaster.
As long as your injury happened at work, the natural disaster should not bar your claim for benefits. It just may be more difficult to get medical bills reimbursed and start receiving wage loss benefits initially. Make sure you take as much time as you need for recovery, and follow doctor’s orders if you need to stay home from work.
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.