If you have just been injured in an industrial accident, you probably have many pressing questions about how to move forward. Fortunately, the workers’ compensation system may be able to help you get your medical bills paid and receive lost wage benefits for time you take off work.
Emergency Medical Care
Your first priority should be getting any emergency medical care you need for injuries you suffered in the accident. If your employer did not already send you to the emergency room, see a doctor as soon as possible. You can choose the doctor you see. If your employer participates in a certified managed care plan, you will need to choose a doctor who is in-network. Alert any doctors you see that you were injured in a workplace accident, and tell them the name of your employer.
Report the Injury
If your managers do not know that the accident happened – perhaps because you work by yourself or only coworkers were around at the time – you need to report the injury to someone in charge. Depending on your workplace, the best person to receive the report could be your manager, a safety officer, Human Resources, or someone else. Whoever you tell, he or she will need to fill out a First Report of Injury form to give you and send to the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. Make your report of the injury as soon as possible after the accident happens.
Continuing Hazards and OSHA
Some workers who are injured in industrial accidents have concerns about continuing hazards or safety violations in the workplace. If they will be returning to work, the hazards could injure them again, or coworkers could face danger. Tell your employer about any hazards or safety violations that may have led to your accident when you report it. Urge your employer to correct the problems. Your employer should report industrial accidents to the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MNOSHA). You also can make a report to MNOSHA. The agency should follow up and inspect the workplace for safety issues.
After you report your injury, you should hear from the employer’s insurance company within a few days about whether it plans to pay benefits. In the meantime, you should ask your doctors to submit any medical bills to the insurance company. If the insurance company denies benefits, be prepared to challenge the denial. At this point you may find it very helpful to retain a workers’ compensation lawyer to assist you in getting benefits.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your industrial 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.