Tag Archives: work injury

Quit My Job

What Happens to my Work Comp if I Quit my Job?

First and most importantly, do not quit your job until you fully understand the negative impact it could have on your workers’ compensation claim! You should seek a local Minnesota worker’s compensation lawyer immediately to get advice.

There are a number of reasons why injured workers want to quit or resign from their jobs after an injury. You might sense hostility between you, your employer, or maybe even your co-workers because of the injury. Perhaps you are physically unable to work or your employer doesn’t have the light duty work your doctor recommends.

Another issue we see frequently is that injured workers on work restrictions by their doctor still struggle to work. Your doctor may tell you that you can work, but you cannot do certain tasks. Most often injured workers are given restrictions on lifting limits, moving into specific positions, or doing repetitive movements. This can make the day-to-day experience at work tedious and frustrating.

So, What Happens if I Just Quit?

If you are thinking about quitting your job, you may assume that workers’ compensation will pay your lost wages. After all, the injury is why you are quitting, right? Do not act until you know the potential consequences.

Quitting your job can have very serious impacts on your workers’ compensation case, and it can often make or break whether you are able to get wage loss benefits.

Unfortunately, there is not an easy checklist to help you determine how your case will be impacted. The individual facts of your situation will be what makes the final determination on whether it is worth quitting your job and seeking another.

Just remember to get advice BEFORE quitting. Don’t underestimate how important of a decision this is. While some areas of the workman’s comp system can be navigated by the injured worker, there are certain issues that are very complex and are best addressed after seeking counsel from an attorney. Determining how quitting your job will impact your workers’ comp case is particularly difficult and is one of those issues that is well worth speaking to a work comp lawyer about.

What to Do Now?

My advice is to speak to a worker’s compensation attorney before you do anything to terminate your employment relationship. Look for an attorney who specializes in work comp, and someone who is local.

As always, our attorneys have extensive experience in handling workman’s compensation claims and are available to discuss your case. To speak with a Minnesota attorney on the workers’ compensation team at Heimerl & Lammers, contact us at 612.294.2200.

Injured at Work

A Quick Guide to Minnesota Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is complex and detailed, and you are definitely not alone if you feel a bit lost in the process. Clients usually come to us with a lot of questions about the basics of workman’s compensation and what they should expect. Because there is so much to learn in this area of law (and because it is always changing), it can be hard for employees to find the answers they are looking for.

Work Comp Basics: What Is Workman’s Compensation & What Can It Do for Me?

Most people have already heard of workers’ compensation (aka workman’s compensation) at some point or another. If you were injured on the job, you are probably wondering exactly how it works and whether you will be covered. Each injured employee’s situation has to be considered individually because there are many nuances that can impact eligibility, but here is a general overview of what could be available to you if you are an injured worker.

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a system that can provide injured employees with all of the following:

  • Relief from medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Other costs associated with work injuries

Simply put, if you were injured while working for your employer, you should not be responsible for the costs and expenses associated with your injury.

Additionally, workman’s compensation is an “exclusive remedy.” This means that an injured employee can generally only “sue” their employer through the workers’ compensation system. The law generally does not allow an injured employee to sue his or her employer for personal injury. It must go through the workers’ compensation system.

How Do Injured Employees Get Compensated?

In Minnesota, employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance is used when an employee is injured on the job. Workman’s compensation insurance is entirely different from your personal health insurance. In fact, if your private health insurance determines that you had a work injury, it may refuse to pay your medical bills because it considers them your employer and its insurer’s responsibility.

If you are an employee injured on the job, workers’ compensation provides multiple methods of compensation. Here is a quick overview:

  • Wage-Loss, or Wage Replacement Benefits. Wage loss or wage replacement benefits are payments made to you if you lose all or part of your income because of a workplace injury. For instance, you may be completely unable to work after your injury or you may have work restrictions from your doctor, which requires you to take a lesser paying job. Workman’s comp should cover a portion of your lost wages in both situations.
  • Medical Benefits. These are the benefits that most people think of first when they are injured on the job: the ER visit, surgery, medication, hospital bills, etc. Workers’ compensation should cover the medical expenses required because of your workplace injury, including short and longer-term care.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits. If you are an injured employee who cannot go back to your old job because of your injury, vocational rehabilitation benefits are going to help you. Vocational rehab benefits are services that aim to get you back to work. This often includes working with a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant (“QRC”) – a consultant who helps you manage your medical appointments and may help you find work that fits within your restrictions. This includes job counseling and may even include new job training.
  • Permanent Disability Benefits. Worker’s compensation benefits also include compensation for permanent injuries. While the loss of physical function can never be truly “repaid,” permanent disability benefits try to monetarily compensate you for any permanent functional loss of your body.

Plan of Action: What Can Workers’ Compensation Do For Me?

All of the above benefits may be available to you depending on your injury and circumstances. Remember that this is just a general overview, so there are additional benefits and restrictions to benefits that are not discussed here. Our other blog posts discuss some of these issues more in-depth.

Minneapolis Work Comp Lawyer

If this overview has brought concerns to your attention about your workers’ compensation claim or you believe you are not receiving the workers comp benefits you should be receiving, we encourage you to speak with a Minnesota attorney as soon as possible. Our Minneapolis workers’ compensation attorneys have extensive experience in handling workman’s compensation claims and are available to discuss your case. To speak with an attorney on the workers’ compensation team at Heimerl & Lammers, contact us at 612.294.2200.

Statute of Limitations on a Work Injury in Minnesota 3 Must-Know Facts

4 Steps to Take After You’re Injured on the Job

The steps you take after you are injured on-the-job are important to your overall success in obtaining workers’ compensation benefits. Even more important, the steps you take after a work injury may also impact your long-term health.

1. Take Care of Yourself

Don’t forget about taking care of your body. You should get necessary medical treatment as soon as possible. Go to the emergency room if necessary.  Tell your doctor what your symptoms are and how the injury occurred. After your visit, follow your doctor’s recommendations.

Keep in mind that you (generally) have the right to see your own doctor even if your employer would like you to see one of their choosing. Seek a worker’s compensation lawyer to find out about exceptions to this rule.

2. Talk to Your Boss

Tell your supervisor about your injury as soon as possible. Do not wait to give them notice of your injury until you have determined how serious your injury is. All injuries should be reported to management.

Under Minnesota worker’s compensation law, your employer is entitled to notice that you were injured. This gives your employer a fair chance to examine the injury scene, do an investigation, and take any other required actions. When you tell your employer about your injury, it also gives them the opportunity to fix any safety issues that may have contributed to the work injury.

Because of your employer’s right to notice of the injury, it is important that you report your injury to your supervisor as soon as you can. No injury is too small. In fact, even if you do not think you will need to seek medical attention, you should report the injury anyway.

Make sure your employer fills out a form called a First Report of Injury. You can see a copy of this form at the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry’s website.

3. Get Medical Documentation

If your doctor has given you restrictions or taken you off of work, ask your doctor for documentation and provide this documentation to your employer.

4. Call a Work Comp Lawyer

Most injured employees wonder if and when they should get a workman’s compensation lawyer. After you have taken care of your medical needs and informed your employer of your injury, you should stop to consider this important factor.

After reporting your injury, your employer and its work comp insurer will look into your claim and determine if they will accept or deny it. An attorney may be helpful on your case regardless of whether or not your claim is accepted. Your work comp lawyer can keep the insurer “on their toes” and make sure they do not take advantage of you.

To determine if an attorney can help your case, call a Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyer for a free consultation. Most workman’s compensation lawyers work on a contingency fee bases, meaning you generally pay no upfront costs. As always, our team of Minneapolis work comp attorneys are available for a free consultation at 612-294-2200.

Dangerous Jobs

The 10 Most Dangerous Jobs in America

Workplace injuries can happen to anyone, but there are some industries that are inherently more dangerous than others. Employees who work with heavy equipment or are tasked with intense manual labor often suffer workplace injuries, but which industry is the most dangerous?  Below we look at the 10 most dangerous jobs in America and explain what puts these workers at such high risks.

Fishermen

Deep sea fishermen expose themselves to intense risks every day.  Not only are they exposed to heavy equipment and sharp hooks, but one big wave can send them over the side of the boat.  They also lack the ability to get to a medical facility to treat injuries if they are far out at sea.

Logging Workers

Logging workers suffer numerous injuries in their line of work as they are constantly moving heavy logs.  The top injury for workers across any industry is overexertion, and overexertion injuries occur when someone lifts, twists or moves in an awkward way.  Loggers often suffer overexertion injuries when moving logs, but they are also subject to limb injuries if they are involved in the cutting process.

Flight Engineers and Pilots

Much like the above jobs, flight engineers work with heavy machinery on a daily basis.  Both flight engineers and pilots subject themselves to danger when testing large equipment.  Pilots also run the risk of being in an airplane crash.

Farmers and Ranchers

Farmers work with huge machinery year round while tending their crops and animals, and they often try to fix their broken equipment on their own.  Accidents with wheat threshers or combines are not uncommon.  They also are subject to overexertion injuries.

Mining Machine Operators

Mining machine operators also work with heavy equipment, but they are exposed to a different set of deadly forces.  Machine operators work with hazardous chemicals, some of which are highly flammable.  Fires or overexposure to toxic chemicals can occur if precautions aren’t taken.

Roofers

Roofers put themselves in danger every time they go to work.  Roofers work at high heights and one wrong step can send them tumbling.  They are also exposed to high temperatures during the summer, which can lead to heat stroke and exhaustion.  Neither is ideal, especially when you’re 50+ feet in the air.

Garbage Collector

Sanitation workers have a variety of conditions that makes their job unsafe.  They work with heavy compactors that can crush limbs if they get caught in a machine, and constant lifting and twisting can lead to to overexertion injuries.  Oftentimes garbage collectors ride on the side or the back of a moving vehicle, which can be extremely dangerous if they slip or lose their grip.

Truck Drivers

Truck drivers often drive long hours in some of the worst weather conditions.  They drive through the night to get materials from one place to another, and this puts them in danger of fatigue.  If they were to fall asleep at the wheel, a deadly accident can occur.

Industrial Machine Workers

Industrial machine technicians work with heavy equipment during the installation and repair process.   Oftentimes they are tasked with installing heavy equipment and removing the old, defunct unit.  They also come in contact with electrical equipment, which can cause burns or death.

Police Officers

Police officers put themselves in danger nearly every day.  Whether it’s apprehending a suspect with a gun or engaging in a high speed pursuit, there are a wide variety of risks for every officer.

Work Comp Tips

Minnesota Work Comp Tips to Remember

If you are have been injured on the job, or are suffering from a disease caused by your workplace conditions, then you are most likely looking into workplace compensation. Workplace compensation will provide you with financial relief for your medical expenses and lost wages when you need to take time off work to recover from an injury or illness on the job. It sounds simple enough right? However, in most cases, it is not. Workplace compensation claims are actually incredibly tricky due to the unethical behavior of insurance companies. Below we have listed some tips to help you get the compensation you deserve when dealing with Minnesota workers comp claims. Keep in mind that a MN workers comp lawyer can also provide you with assistance to overcoming the common obstacles surrounding workers compensation claims.

Injured at the Workplace?

Many companies will require their employees to fill out workers compensation sheets for everything, from a slip and fall to a paper cut. This may seem tedious but you never know when an injury from work could affect you down the road. A minor slip and fall could result in extreme back pain or problems a few days later. It is important to report any injury, no matter what.

Filing for Workers Compensation

Filing for workers compensation involves a lot of rules, regulations and paperwork. Many employees are stressed enough as is without the mounding piles of paperwork and the restrictions from the insurance company. When it comes to filing for workers compensation, the best tip we can give you is this – with the right legal advice, you are ensuring you are getting the workers comp you deserve. Getting help from a Minnesota worker’s comp attorney will ensure that you get the claim right the first time around. It will also reduce your risk of making any mistakes or being denied altogether. Furthermore, you can be confident that you are getting the amount you deserve. Some things are best left to the experts.

Medical Benefits and Out of Pocket Reimbursements

While on workers compensation, you may notice that you are paying a lot of the bills yourself. Furthermore, there will be additional expenses incurred that are not originally covered by the insurance company. You can still claim these back through out of pocket reimbursements. Here are some tips to make this process as smooth as possible

  • Keep all your receipts for any out of pocket expenses such as prescriptions. Store all receipts in a file and make copies just in case they fade
  • Keep track of all mileage used going to medical appointments
  • Double check that the doctor and the insurance company are corresponding and that the paperwork is being sent to the insurer
  • Provide your employer with regular updates about your progress, your medical treatments and your restrictions at work.

Our Minnesota workers compensation lawyers can assist you with any medical claims and legal complications that may arise in the above situations.  If you are currently battling with workers compensation, contact the Law Firm of Heimerl & Lammers for a free consultation.