Workers’ Compensation for a Back Injury in Minnesota
Suffering a back injury on the job can be devastating. Not only does it cause immediate pain and disruption to your work, but it can potentially impact your quality of life long-term. Luckily, if you are injured while working in Minnesota, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to help cover the costs of medical treatment and missed wages. Here’s what you need to know about getting workers’ comp for a back injury in Minnesota.
A work injury can feel overwhelming and exhausting, but with the correct legal council by your side it doesn’t have to be. Call Mottaz & Sisk Injury and Work Compensation Lawyers at 763-421-8226 today for the help and support you need.
Determining Eligibility for Benefits
The first step is determining if you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in the first place. In Minnesota, most employees are covered by workers’ comp insurance through their employer. As long as your injury occurred within the course and scope of your job duties, you will likely qualify.
Some key factors in establishing eligibility include:
You must have suffered a work-related back injury. This means the injury must have occurred while performing job duties. Injuries that happen outside of work generally do not qualify.
The injury must be more than just a temporary flare-up. There needs to be evidence that the work injury caused real physical or functional impairment.
Pre-existing conditions can complicate claims, but may not necessarily disqualify you from benefits. An workmans comp attorney can help you navigate this issue.
The injury must be promptly reported to your employer per company policy. Failure to follow proper reporting procedures can jeopardize your claim.
If your back injury meets these criteria, you should be eligible for Minnesota workers’ compensation benefits. An experienced workers comp attorney can review the details of your case and help determine if you qualify.
Types of Benefits Available
In Minnesota, several types of benefits are available to those with approved back injury claims. These include:
All reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to your work injury should be fully covered by workers’ comp insurance. This includes services like:
Doctor visits and specialists
Imaging tests (x-rays, MRIs)
Surgery and hospitalization
Your doctor will need to provide justification showing how treatment is aimed at improving function and abilities affected by the work injury.
Temporary Disability Benefits
If your back injury forces you to miss more than 3 calendar days of work, you may be eligible for temporary disability wage replacement benefits. These benefits kick in on the 4th day of disability and can continue for up to 104 weeks as long as you remain unable to work in either a full or partial capacity.
The amount paid is typically around two-thirds of your gross weekly wage, subject to certain limits.
Permanent Disability Benefits
If your injury causes permanent restrictions that impair your ability to work long-term, you may receive permanent disability wage benefits. The amount depends on the severity of impairment and is based on a formula factoring in your weekly wage and disability rating.
If you cannot return to your previous occupation, vocational rehabilitation services like job retraining may be provided to help you secure alternate employment within your restrictions.
Proving Your Back Injury Is Work-Related
One key challenge in back injury claims is proving that your condition is directly attributable to your work accident, rather than caused by degeneration or other issues. It helps to have:
Detailed medical records documenting the progression of symptoms since the accident occurred. Seeing an authorized workers’ comp doctor initially is ideal.
Eyewitness statements from co-workers who can corroborate you suffered a specific traumatic injury at work.
Photographic evidence like pictures taken at the accident scene.
Recorded statements you provided to insurance adjusters in the immediate aftermath.
Video surveillance footage if available.
An experienced attorney will know how to gather the appropriate evidence and use it to build a compelling argument for compensability.
Finding Legal Help
Given the complexities involved, it is advisable to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer to assist with your back injury claim. Some benefits of legal representation include:
Navigating complex rules and paperwork
Determining compensability and maximum benefits available
Proving your injury is related to the work accident
Avoiding mistreatment or denial of care by insurance companies
Negotiating favorable settlements
1. What if my back pain didn’t start immediately after the accident?
You may still be eligible for benefits as long as you can show the work injury substantially contributed to the condition. Your doctor will need to confirm this link.
2. Can I get workers’ comp if I hurt my back due to repetitive overuse at work?
Yes, cumulative or repetitive trauma can be eligible for workers’ comp. Examples could include heavy lifting, bending, or driving over many years.
3. What if I have a history of back problems?
Pre-existing conditions don’t necessarily preclude you from benefits, but the work injury needs to be the primary cause of your current impairment and need for treatment.
4. Will I still get benefits if I’m fired after my injury?
Yes, being terminated does not impact your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits under Minnesota law.
5. Can my employer’s insurance deny my claim?
Yes, it’s possible for claims to be denied. That’s why having an attorney advocate for you is so important. They can appeal denials and ensure your rights are protected.
Suffering a back injury at work can negatively impact your life in so many ways. While the workers’ comp system in Minnesota can be complex to navigate, an experienced attorney can help maximize the benefits you are entitled to. Taking proactive steps to document your injury, seek quality medical treatment, and hire legal representation will go a long way towards getting you the compensation you deserve.
Benefit of Workers Comp Attorney
When choosing a workers comp attorney in Minnesota, look for someone well-versed in workers’ compensation and back injury cases specifically. Understanding both the law and medicine is crucial. Also make sure to understand fee structures and alignment of incentives. Most work injury attorneys work on contingency, taking a percentage of benefits won.
Mottaz & Sisk Injury and Work Compensation Lawyers has 20+ experience dealing with worker’s compensation matters. Please call us at 763-421-8226 for a free consultation if you have experienced a work related injury.