What To Do If You Get Hurt At Work
No one plans on getting hurt at work, but sometimes accidents and injuries cannot be avoided. Many people are in shock when an injury first happens, and most are unsure of the Workers’ Compensation Claim Process in Minnesota.
After you’ve been hurt at work, you may not know what steps to take to get the medical treatment you need and cover your injury-related expenses. Each situation is unique, but there are steps which need to take place right away. Depending on the circumstances and severity of your injury, these steps are crucial and should be taken as soon as possible. Under Minnesota law, employers have responsibilities they must fulfill, and you have steps you should take to protect your rights after being injured on the job.
Our Minnesota workers’ compensation attorneys help injured workers across the state, and guide them through the confusing and often frustrating time after a work-related injury. We’re available to answer your questions. Calls are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-888-343-5375, or simply fill out our free online form. It costs nothing to ask us your questions and get free answers, so call now.
6 Steps to Take When You Get Hurt at Work
Taking the following steps after getting hurt at work can help you get the care and compensation you need.
- Seek medical attention.
Your first priority should be taking care of your health. If your workplace has a designated healthcare provider, you can seek medical attention with that provider. However, you always have the right to choose your own doctor when receiving medical treatment. Be sure to tell your therapist or doctor that you were injured at work. This will help them fill out the appropriate paperwork.Medical treatment is very important after you have a work injury. Even if you are afraid of getting fired for filing workers compensation or are worried about incurring medical bills, do not hesitate to go to the doctor. If you do not get medical treatment, it can prejudice your case down the road. You need to tell the medical provider right away that this was a work injury for three reasons:
- To ensure the bills will be sent to the worker’s compensation insurer and not to you.
- To establish support in the medical records for how your injury happened.
- To document any work restrictions related to your work injury.
Worker’s compensation cases are won and lost depending on the evidence in the medical records. That’s why it’s so important to get treatment as soon as possible.
The biggest concern that injured workers have is usually “how am I going to pay the medical bills?” If you have health insurance, and the workers compensation insurer denies your claim, you can put the treatment through your own insurance until we are able to settle the claim or take them to court and make the workers compensation insurance company pay.
If your claim is denied at hearing, your personal insurance would have had to pay the bills anyway. If you do not have health insurance, get it immediately! If you cannot afford health insurance, contact an attorney right away as you will need your attorney’s guidance in getting your medical bills paid.
- Report your injury to your employer.
As soon as possible after the accident, inform your supervisor or manager that you were injured. Not contacting your employer or supervisor in a timely fashion can impact your right to receive worker’s compensation benefits. Some employers have specific policies on how to report a work injury.
You should educate yourself on what your employer’s policy is in advance so that you are not caught off guard when something does happen. In order to avoid adverse employment action, such as getting fired, written up or demoted, make sure you are also following your employer’s policy for reporting the injury. If you do not have a copy of your employment manual, request a copy from your employer.Regardless of your employer’s policy for reporting an injury, a First Report of Injury (FROI) form needs to be completed by your supervisor or employer and you should receive a copy. Your employer is required to file the First Report of Injury Form within 10 days. If you don’t receive a copy of the form within 10 days, contact a workers’ compensation attorney at Fields Law Firm who can help protect your rights.
If your employer refuses to do complete the First Report of Injury form, you can complete one yourself. The purpose of doing a First Report of Injury is starting the claim process and to provide the information to the insurance agency. You will also need to have the insurance agency information to complete the form accurately. If you are having trouble getting this information from your employer, an attorney can also help you complete the form.
The First Report of Injury needs to be filed with the Minnesota State Department of Labor and Industry for any injury that may lead to missed time from work. Medical only claims that are paid by the employer/insurer do not need to be filed with the State. If you are unsure if you will have missed time from work in the future, it should be filed with the State.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions.
Do your best to keep all doctor’s appointments and follow your healthcare providers’ treatment plans and instructions. Not only will this protect your health and speed your recovery, but records of your medical treatment can help prove the severity of your injury.
- Keep accurate records.
Keep copies of any workers’ comp-related documentation, forms, and letters. Be sure to write down the date of your injury, your worker identification number (WID), and other relevant data, such as contact information for your doctors. You should also keep track of your mileage and parking fees traveling to and from your healthcare providers, vocational rehabilitation, and job searches. Keep copies of all medical bills, prescriptions, and other treatment-related expenses.
- Communicate with your employer.
Update your employer regularly with the status of your recovery, any work restrictions you might have, and your plans to return to work. Keep notes on any phone conversations you have with your employer, including the date, who you talked to, and what you talked about.
- Consult a Minnesota Workers’ Compensation attorney.
Workers who are hurt while working may be eligible to receive compensation from multiple sources for many different types of expenses. But determining eligibility for these programs and keeping track of filing deadlines can be complex. An experienced attorney can take the burden of wading through red tape off your shoulders by calculating your total lost wages, identifying the benefits you may be eligible to receive, filing paperwork accurately and on time, and much more.
If you have any questions at all about the process or how best to proceed, you should contact an attorney right away. The attorneys at Fields Law Firm can provide guidance for you on how best to proceed, how to deal with complicated insurance issues and questions, whether or not you need a workers’ comp attorney at this time, or advise you when an attorney would need to get involved.
As one of the largest and most respected work injury law firms in the state of Minnesota, Fields Law can help you at any stage of the workers’ compensation process. Call us today and get free, step-by-step advice on what to do after getting hurt at work. We want to help.