At some point, your employees will have asked this question. With Minnesota labor laws in effect, the answer is straightforward — an employee can file a claim and receive benefits.
Employees in Minnesota are entitled to workers’ compensation in the event of a work-related injury. Workers’ compensation as a benefit will pay for everything from medical expenses to potential wages that could have been made had the injury not taken place.
In short, there is little to no shortage of courses of action following a work-related injury — at least in the case of an employee. However, this begs the question — what do you as a business owner do if you are the one who sustains an injury on the job?
Depending on the type of business you own entity-wise, you may also benefit from workers’ compensation coverage. Of course, as a business owner, there will be caveats.
Read on to learn more about what to do following a work-related injury in your place of business.
How Does Workers’ Compensation Work in Minnesota?
Minnesota is a no-fault state. This means that whenever injuries occur at the workplace, a business owner is only minimally accountable for the incident. For this reason, barring a few exceptions, business owners in Minnesota do not shoulder the costs incurred from compensating a worker.
On behalf of the business owner, insurance providers shoulder the costs of workers’ compensation. Often, workers’ compensation coverage is part of an insurance policy’s business liability insurance in Minnesota.
This is why Minnesota requires business owners to carry workers’ compensation insurance. In the state, business owners with at least one employee are required to have worker’s compensation insurance.
Can a Business Owner Be Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
The answer to this question is “yes.” In Minnesota, employers or business owners can be covered by workers’ compensation if they have been injured on the job.
By law, workers’ compensation can cover the beneficiaries of a worker’s compensation insurance policy. As a business owner, you may include yourself as a beneficiary, especially if you run a start-up with less than 10 employees.
Following an injury at work, workers’ compensation can provide you with the same benefits it gives your employees. In particular, you can receive coverage for:
- Medical care
- Rehabilitative services
- Death benefits that your immediate dependent may receive
If you are running a sole proprietorship or a partnership, you may be exempted from carrying workers’ compensation insurance. However, it is still a good idea to have it.
Other forms of insurance like health insurance may not provide you with coverage for an injury you sustained at work. If you are denied a claim, you may pay hefty medical bills out of your pocket.
What To Do if You Have Been Injured at Work
To file for workers’ compensation as a business owner, you will need to follow several steps. Given your designation, there will be some slight differences in how you file for a claim. For the most part, the steps will be identical to the ones your employees need to follow.
Follow these steps if you have sustained an injury at work:
1. Document the Incident
You will need to document several pieces of information relevant to your work-related accident. The pieces of information to take note of are:
- The time of the incident
- Where it occurred
- What you were doing prior to the incident
- Injuries you noticed immediately following the incident
If your business has a work injury report form your employees use, you can place all the necessary information there. Otherwise, you can write down the information somewhere.
Accidents are stressful events. Not writing down the details may cause you to leave out important information when you file a claim. You may also want to gather several pieces of evidence like CCTV footage and witnesses if any were present.
2. Seek Medical Care
You need to seek medical care preferably from a physician your business has tied with for work-related injuries. The reason for this is insurance-related. You may also seek treatment for your injuries with any physician if you have not partnered with one yet.
3. Seek an Impairment or Permanency Rating
A permanency rating or impairment rating is important to your workers’ compensation claim. The rating provided by the physician treating you will determine the type of compensation or benefit you will receive.
The permanency rating indicates the severity of your injuries. More importantly, it shows the extent to which your injuries impair your capabilities to work.
4. File for Workers’ Compensation with Your Workers’ Compensation Insurance Provider
This is where your documentation and permanency rating will play their part in your claim. Using the information you have documented and your physician’s permanency rating, your insurance provider will calculate the amount to which you are entitled. This amount will cover the following:
- You medical expenses
- The costs incurred from securing a medical assessment and permanency rating (if any)
- Potential losses in earnings as a result of you missing work (for LLCs, sole proprietors, or partnerships)
It is advised that you do not file any claims against any third party that may be held liable in your work-related accident. If you file a claim against a third party that may be liable, any money you recover might need to be paid back to your insurance provider.
Hence, while you are on benefits, it is a good idea to either avoid or put off making claims against a liable third party.
Potentially liable third parties can include:
- An equipment company
- The owner of a property where you sustained an injury (e.g., if you run a delivery service as a sole proprietor)
- An employee or anyone whose actions led to your accident
Consult a Lawyer Who Specializes in Workman Injury Compensation in Minnesota
You may encounter some obstacles as you seek coverage for your work-related injury. For legal advice or representation, you need a lawyer that specializes in workman injury compensation in Minnesota.
If you have been injured on the job, reach out to us now at Osterbauer Law, your workmans’ comp lawyer in Minnesota.