Filing a workers comp claim and recovering compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and other damages derived from your workplace injury is a daunting and complex process to navigate. Unfortunately, the legal intricacies associated with workers comp have also led to several widespread myths.
Learning the common myths and misconceptions about workers’ compensation claims will enable you to protect your rights and seek maximum compensation from your Minnesota workers’ comp claim.
1. You Need To Prove Negligence To Make a Claim
Minnesota is a no-fault state. Accordingly, employees do not have to prove that their negligence or carelessness led to their injury at the workplace.
Likewise, employers can not deny liability by claiming that an employee’s fault or negligence caused their injury. Therefore, any injury or illness that may occur due to your oversight is covered by workers’ compensation, and you may be entitled to compensation for it.
Any injury created or worsened by duties performed on the job is subject to workers’ compensation benefits. However, the Minnesota workers’ compensation law does not cover intentional injuries or those resulting from intoxication or drug abuse, rendering it almost impossible to receive any benefits.
2. The Injury Had To Occur While Performing Your Job
Another widespread misconception about Minnesota workers’ compensation claims is that you must be actively working while the injury occurred to collect the benefits. The truth is that, in a no-fault state, you are eligible to receive compensation if you got injured during any non-job-related activity.
Whether it is falling down the stairs after your work shift ended or perhaps getting struck by a forklift while walking to the lunchroom during break time, you may be eligible to seek compensation for injuries that were not directly connected to your job.
3. You Can Be Fired or Punished for Making a Workers’ Compensation Injury Claim
Many employees do not pursue a workers’ compensation claim due to fear of retaliation from the employer. They fear that they may lose their job if they bring a claim against their employer for getting hurt on the job. Minnesota state law prohibits any retaliatory behavior against an employee.
Any employer who threatens to punish or fire an injured employee for making a compensation claim and seeking benefits is legally liable for such an act.
If you believe your employer is targeting you for seeking benefits or being discriminated against, consult a workers’ compensation lawyer immediately.
4. Workers’ Compensation Only Covers Medical Expenses
Contrary to popular belief, workers’ compensation coverage extends far beyond medical expenses. While one of the core aspects of worker’s compensation is to cover medical costs of the injured or ill employee, the policy is designed to provide various benefits to workers who were injured on the job.
Besides receiving coverage for medical expenses like hospital bills, an injured worker may also be entitled to receive coverage for income loss due to time off from work, disability benefits, and rehabilitation expenses.
5. You Can Not Reopen an Old Claim
While you may have received all the benefits you were entitled to through a settlement or court order from the insurance company, you may think that your workers’ compensation claim is done and dusted. However, the truth is that your claim can be reopened anytime in the future, and you could become eligible to receive further compensation.
There are various reasons for a case to be opened, such as if the employer gave fraudulent information or the judge made a mistake. However, the primary basis for reopening it is if your injury or medical condition has significantly worsened.
Some symptoms can show up several months after the workplace accident, and you may develop serious complications consequently that require additional medical procedures, surgery, or physical therapy. To cover those expenses, you may be entitled to compensation benefits, and your workers’ compensation claim may be reopened accordingly.
If you have suffered an injury at the workplace, it is essential to contact a skilled and experienced workers’ compensation attorney. They will determine the best course of action for you while dispelling any myths surrounding workers’ comp claims.
By avoiding these myths and working with an attorney, you can assert your injury claim and enhance your chances of getting the just compensation that you deserve in a no-fault state.