When you start a workers’ compensation case seeking benefits for the first time, you may be unfamiliar with your employer’s responsibilities. The Minnesota workers’ compensation laws list a number of very specific requirements for employers when employees get injured at work.
- Workers’ Compensation Insurance
All employers of at least one employee in Minnesota must purchase workers’ compensation insurance or become properly self-insured. The insurance company is the one who pays benefits to injured employees. Or if the employer is self-insured, it pays out the benefits itself. If an employer does not have workers’ comp insurance or self-insurance, it could face expensive penalties plus the obligation to pay for an injured employee’s medical costs and wage losses.
- Reporting a Claim
Because your employer takes out an insurance policy, it must report any claims against the policy to the insurance company. If you get injured at work, the first thing you should do (after seeking emergency medical treatment if needed) is report the injury to your employer. Your employer should fill out a First Report of Injury form, give you a copy, and send the form to its insurance company. This begins your claim for benefits.
In addition to notifying the insurance company of the injury, your employer may have the responsibility of correcting any safety violations that led to the injury. Minnesota workplace safety laws list certain requirements for worker equipment and protections that your employer needs to follow. Otherwise it could face fines and inspections.
- Cooperating with Return to Work and Medical Restrictions
Finally, your employer needs to cooperate with you and the insurance company as you receive benefits. At some point, you may be released by your doctors to return to work. Your employer should return you to your old position, unless you cannot perform it anymore. In that case, your employer may offer you an alternative position. If you have medical restrictions but can still do most of your old job, ask your employer to discuss possible accommodations to your job duties or environment that help you follow those restrictions. Your employer should not force you to violate your restrictions to get your job done.
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.