Dealing With a Work Injury: Your Steps and Timeline

Sustaining a work injury while on the job can be a stressful and confusing time. You may be worried about your health, unsure if you’ll be able to work, and have lots of questions about the process. This blog post will overview the key steps to take after suffering a work injury, provide a general timeline of what to expect, and offer guidance on contacting a workers’ compensation attorney who can advise you.

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.

Immediate Next Steps After the Injury

If your injury is severe or life-threatening, call 911 or go to the emergency room right away. For less serious injuries, take these immediate steps:

  • Report the Injury: Alert your supervisor right away that you have been injured, even if the injury seems minor. Reporting promptly helps show that the injury is work-related and protects your ability to file a workers’ compensation claim.

  • Get Medical Care: See a doctor even if you think you only need first aid. A medical evaluation will document your injury and can help link it to your job. Keep records from all doctor, clinic or hospital visits.

  • Fill Out Any Required Forms: If your employer has particular injury report forms, complete them as soon as possible after the incident. Include specifics like what happened, when, where you were working and who witnessed it.

The First Week After the Injury

During the first week after your workplace injury, you’ll need to take additional steps including:

  • Keep Your Supervisor Updated: Let your supervisor know if you have medical restrictions on your duties and cannot work or can only work light duty. Provide any doctor’s notes that outline your limitations.

  • Review Your Employee Handbook: Look over company policies about workplace injury claims, medical leave, short term disability and wage replacement for time missed. Know your rights and responsibilities.

  • Document Everything Carefully: Keep a record of all conversations about your injury at work, plus details like income lost due to missing work. This creates crucial evidence for your potential claim.

  • Consider Hiring a Workers’ Comp Attorney: An experienced attorney can advise you, protect your rights and represent your interests. They generally offer free consultations.

Follow Up Within 30 Days After the Injury

During the first month after your injury, follow up on:

  • Your Medical Care: Go to all follow up appointments, physical therapy and other treatments. Fully participate in your recovery and provide your employer updates on your capabilities and work status changes.

  • Your Workers’ Comp Claim: In most states you need to formally file a claim within 30 days. An attorney can help ensure proper filings. If your claim is disputed you’ll need evidence and medical records.

  • Wage Replacement Benefits: Inquire about any wage replacement or temporary disability payments you may be entitled to if you cannot work or can only work reduced hours during recovery.

Continuing Your Workers’ Comp Case

As your case progresses, there are things you will need to stay on top of over the long run:

  • Attend Independent Medical Exams: The workers’ compensation insurance company may require you to get exams from doctors they select to assess treatment needs and capability to work. Prepare thoroughly for these visits.

  • Participate in State Hearings: If your claim or benefits are significantly disputed, formal state hearings overseen by judges may be scheduled. With legal guidance, present your side as effectively as possible.

  • Explore A Settlement: Once your work injury situation stabilizes, discuss the possibility of a lump sum settlement with your workers’ comp attorney instead of continuing to receive benefits. There are pros and cons to evaluate.

While every work injury situation is unique, focusing on these general steps, timeline markers and claim components will help you maneuver through the complex workers’ compensation system. Having an experienced attorney in your corner can also optimize your outcome and ease frustrations. With persistence and patience, you can achieve a fair result.

When to Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Handling the legal complexities around a workplace injury in Minnesota can be extremely difficult, especially while also trying to physically recover. Having knowledgeable legal representation is almost always warranted. Connect with a workers comp attorney as soon as possible after these essential times:

  • Immediately After Any Significant Injury Requiring Extensive Medical Care

  • If You Will Miss Significant Work Beyond a Couple Days or Cannot Work At All

  • Before You Formally File Your Workers’ Comp Claim Paperwork

  • If Your Claim Is Denied, Delayed or Disputed At All

  • In Preparation for Any Workers’ Comp Hearings With a Judge

  • Prior to Discussing Possible Claim Settlement with the Insurance Company


1. What should I do if I get injured at work?

If you suffer any kind of injury while performing your job duties, report it immediately to your supervisor. Make sure the injury and how it occurred is documented in writing per company policy. Get medical attention right away if the injury requires it. Failure to promptly report injuries can negatively impact your ability to file a workers’ compensation claim.

2. How do I file a workers’ compensation claim?

To start the claims process, notify your employer about the injury in writing as soon as possible. Your employer should provide you with the necessary paperwork and forms to complete. The deadline to file a claim is typically within 30 days of the accident. An experienced workers’ comp attorney can help guide you through the process.

3. Will I still get paid if I’m injured and can’t work?

If your injury prevents you from working for more than 3-7 days, you should qualify for workers’ compensation wage benefits to partially replace lost wages. The amount will be a percentage of your average weekly pay based on state laws. These benefits should kick in after you’ve completed the waiting period.

4. Do I need a workers comp lawyer to help with my workers’ compensation case?

While not legally required in order to file a claim, consulting with a workers’ comp attorney is highly recommended. An attorney has extensive knowledge of state law, can assure your rights are protected, facilitate medical treatment approvals, negotiate fair settlement offers, and represent you at hearings, if necessary.

5. How much does hiring a workers’ compensation attorney cost?

In most cases, hiring a workers’ comp lawyer costs you nothing upfront. Workers comp attorneys who are experienced in workers’ compensation cases handle cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning legal fees come out of any settlement award you receive at the end of your case. If you don’t receive benefits, neither does your attorney.

How to Find the Right Workers’ Comp Attorney

Not all attorneys have experience in workers’ compensation, so look specifically for workers comp lawyers focusing on this niche who also have experience in your state laws and system. Ask colleagues for referrals to competent workers’ comp attorneys they have dealt with. You can also check legal associations and your state bar for attorney referral services.

When reaching out to workers comp lawyers, clarify there is no charge for initial consultations before choosing who to meet with. During appointments, come prepared with details about your work injury, treatment, employer’s responses so far and your goals. Ask lots of questions to understand the attorney’s capabilities, track record with cases like yours, communication and fee expectations. Do you feel confident and comfortable working with them? At the end of the day, the right attorney for your situation is one combining relevant knowledge with a personality and approach that best matches what you need during this sensitive time.

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.