3 Ways Workers’ Compensation Supports Injured Workers

Group 152

Table of Contents

Understanding Workers’ Comp Benefits

Getting injured on the job can be devastating on many levels. In addition to physical pain and injuries, a workplace accident or illness can impact your ability to work, earn an income, and support your family. Fortunately, Minnesota workers’ compensation laws provide important protections and benefits for employees who suffer a work-related injury or illness.

If you’ve been injured at work in Minnesota and wonder what comes next, here’s a breakdown of how workers’ comp supports you during recovery and beyond.

At Mottaz & Sisk Injury and Work Compensation Lawyers we have years of knowledge and industry experience. Call us at 763-421-8226 today for your free consultation.

Paid Medical Expenses

One of the biggest burdens of a workplace injury is paying for medical treatment. Emergency care, hospital stays, surgeries, physical therapy – these expenses add up quickly. Since most people rely on their income to pay health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs, they’d struggle to get care without support.

Thankfully, Minnesota’s workers’ compensation program requires employers to pay for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to your workplace injury, including:

  • Doctor and specialist visits

  • Prescription medications

  • Medical equipment and supplies

  • Hospital and emergency room care

  • Surgery and anesthesia

  • Physical/occupational therapy

These payments aim to cover your injury-related treatment completely so you can focus on healing – not bills. And there are no deductibles, copays or claim forms for your care when complying with Minnesota’s workers’ compensation system. This takes a huge burden off your plate financially.

Of course, your employer’s insurance company may occasionally dispute whether certain treatments are reasonable, necessary, or related to the initial work injury. An experienced workers comp attorney can help get approval and reimbursement for medical services critical to improving your health and ability to function.

Wage Replacement Checks

In addition to medical expenses, missing work days can also deal a major financial blow after an on-the-job injury. Going from your normal wages to reduced income significantly impacts your budget and ability to provide for your family.

Workers’ compensation insurance helps here too by providing checks when you lose wages related to your workplace injury. For the first three calendar days you miss work, no wage replacement benefits payments kick in. But once you’re off four days or more, checks covering two-thirds of your average wage (tax-free) would start, issued on your regular paydays.

So if out six weeks recovering from a workplace back injury, for example, you’d get wage replacement checks covering most of those days missed. This steady (though somewhat reduced) income stream helps stabilize household finances rather than drain savings or lead families into debt after an injury.

Make sure you know your rights here too. Some employers wrongly pressure injured staff to use sick days or PTO while recovering from a workplace illness or injury. But remember – you’re entitled to workers’ compensation wage benefits from day four onward per Minnesota statute. Don’t hesitate to call a trusted workers comp attorney if you have questions or face resistance trying to claim rightful benefits.

Permanent Disability and Impairment Benefits

While many workplace injuries heal well over time, some unfortunately cause lasting issues hindering your capacity to work. Lifting restrictions, chronic pain, loss of limb function and more can impair future employment opportunities despite the best medical care.

Thankfully Minnesota’s workers’ compensation program accounts for this possibility too. If your work accident injury causes permanent damage leaving you impaired or disabled, additional payouts help offset long-term impacts to your earning capacity.

A few types of permanent disability benefits available include:

  • Permanent partial disability (PPD) – Pays out if your work injury or illness leaves you forever impaired to some degree. Since you can still work but may face challenges, PPD offers compensation for potential future wage losses related to medical impairment. Payout calculations consider vocational factors too like age, education and experience.

  • Permanent total disability (PTD) – Provides long-term checks when a catastrophic workplace injury leaves you permanently and totally disabled from gainful employment. Since your earning power is essentially wiped out through no fault of your own, PTD benefits help replace some lost future wages over an extended time period (or for life). This situation is less common than PPD but absolutely vital.

Figuring out if your situation warrants disability status – and valuing any future loss – involves medical terminology and intricate Minnesota statutes. Having an experienced workers comp attorney in your corner levels the playing field and helps maximize payouts to protect your finances. Don’t leave this important process solely to your employer and their insurance company.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re an injured worker with questions about your rights and benefits, you’re not alone. Many common workers’ compensation issues arise.

First, report your workplace injury or illness to a supervisor as soon as possible for proper documentation. Next, work with your employer to file the appropriate First Report of Injury form to kickstart your workers comp claim. Make sure accident details get reported accurately and don’t downplay the incident since this record starts the process. From there, stay in touch with your employer and their insurance company as your case progresses. Reach out to an experienced workers comp attorney anytime for advice or help expediting rightful benefits.

Most physical injuries from workplace accidents fall under Minnesota’s workers’ comp system, including injuries from falls, equipment malfunctions, trips, motor vehicle incidents, heavy lifting, workplace violence and more. Occupational illnesses may also qualify if tied to repeated work exposures over time – conditions like lung disease, cancers, hearing loss or carpal tunnel syndrome. Even mental health issues like PTSD can qualify if stemming directly from workplace trauma. Reach out to a workers’ compensation lawyer serving your area if you have questions.
No, employers cannot legally terminate employees solely for submitting a workplace injury claim or using workers’ compensation benefits. Minnesota statutes protect your right to wage replacement checks, medical care coverage and other benefits after a legitimate work-related injury or illness. Firing someone for seeking these entitled benefits constitutes wrongful retaliation. Punishing an employee for filing a valid workers’ compensation claim breaks state law, so reach out to an attorney right away if you face disciplinary action or termination after reporting a workplace accident. They can help ensure your job (and rights) remain protected.

Don’t panic or give up if your workers’ compensation claim gets denied. Many legitimate claims still face initial resistance by employers and insurance companies, especially more complex cases involving pre-existing conditions, occupational illnesses over time or disputes over benefit access. Know that experienced local workers comp attorneys can help fight denial of rightful benefits for injured Minnesota employees by presenting evidence, negotiating with insurers, appealing decisions and more. With legal guidance, many seemingly “lost cause” claims do ultimately result in proper medical care coverage, impairment payouts and other compensation injured workers deserve. So rather than accepting a claim denial at face value, fight back with help from a legal expert in workers’ compensation.

Selecting a Workers Comp Attorney

Sustaining injuries on the job disrupt life emotionally and financially. Thankfully Minnesota’s workers’ compensation system mandates certain employer-paid benefits allowing you to focus energy on healing rather than hospital bills or lost wages. Make sure you understand these supports in full. And don’t hesitate to call an experienced workers comp attorney if you ever face claim denial or other barriers accessing rightful benefits after a workplace injury or occupational illness. They can help maximize available compensation so you can move forward.

At Mottaz & Sisk Injury and Work Compensation Lawyers we have years of knowledge and industry experience. Call us at 763-421-8226 today for your free consultation.