If you are one of the unfortunate individuals that suffer an injury at work, the following are some good reminders:
- Report your work injury immediately. If you suffer a work injury, even if you think it is minor, make sure you protect your statutory rights and report your injury. Generally, employees should report their injury to a supervisor within 14 days of the injury. Don’t be afraid to report your injury. It is against the law for employers to retaliate against workers who seek workers’ compensation benefits. Once you report your work injury, the employer has the responsibility for initiating a workers’ compensation claim.
- Seek appropriate medical treatment. Trust yourself and your body. If you feel like you need medical treatment, you should seek medical treatment. Sometimes, being “Minnesota-strong” at the expense of necessary medical consultation or treatment can end up hurting you in the long run, so if you need medical attention, be sure to seek it.
- Know if your workers’ compensation claim is accepted or denied. There are usually two ways employees are informed whether or not their claim is accepted or denied:
- You should receive a Notice of Insurer’s Primary Liability Determination (NOPLD) from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer. This is a standard form and will have a box checked on it that indicates whether the claim is accepted or denied.
- If you seek medical treatment and the workers’ compensation insurer is denying the claim, your medical provider may inform you that the insurer is not paying. This may (though not necessarily) be an indication that the claim is denied.
- Know when to contact an attorney. It is not always necessary to have an attorney if you suffer a work injury and receive workers’ compensation benefits. Many work injuries are accepted and treatment and other benefits are paid without any problems. However, you should consider contacting an attorney if:
- Your claim is denied
- You think your claim is denied
- You are required/asked to attend an Independent Medical Examination (IME)
- You think you are not getting all the benefits to which you are entitled
Hopefully, you never suffer an injury at work. However, please be aware that you have rights as an injured worker, and be sure to protect those rights.