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How to Get Workers Compensation Benefits for a Minor Child

by Steve Fields | January 23rd, 2017

Just as work injuries can occur in all types of professions, injured workers come in all shapes, sizes, and ages – including children under the age of 18.

The definition of “employee” under the Minnesota workers’ compensation act specifically includes “minors”. This means that children who are injured on the job are entitled to the same benefits as other injured workers. However, there are special protections given to minors that are not given to other injured workers.

For instance, if a minor injured on the job is deemed permanently and totally disabled, the amount of money that they will receive in wage loss benefits is not calculated the same way that it would be for an adult worker. The wage loss benefits are calculated at a level high enough to produce the maximum compensation rate.

How Fields Law Can Help
A seventeen year-old high school student from Minnesota was injured at her part-time job at a cleaning company. She slipped and hit her head on a sink in a break room. As a result of the accident, she experienced migraines, dizziness, and tinnitus. She was forced to delay graduation by a year and she had to stop working altogether as a result of her injuries.

Her parents contacted Fields Law for help with a workers compensation claim. The attorneys at Fields Law obtained our client’s medical records from five different clinics to show the full extent of her injuries. Fields Law attorneys then filed suit to recover medical, wage loss and rehabilitation benefits from the employer’s workers compensation insurance. During preparation for trial proceedings, Fields attorneys negotiated a generous lump-sum settlement for our client. Our client was overjoyed to have her medical bills covered by the settlement, and was relieved to be able to continue treatments on her way to recovery.

The reason that minors are protected this way is because generally, minors receive lower wages or work fewer hours than other workers. If the minor gets injured and cannot return to work their entire adult life, it would be unfair for their wage loss benefits to be based on the low wage that the individual earned as a minor. This protection also serves to discourage employers from hiring inexperienced, underage workers to perform dangerous work.

In addition, The Minnesota Child Labor Standards Act prohibits employment of minors in certain occupations during certain hours of the day. If a minor is injured while working during a time of day or in an occupation that they prohibited from, they might think that they are prevented from receiving benefits. Fortunately, that is not the case. Children employed illegally under The Minnesota Child Labor Standards Act are still entitled to benefits under the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Statute if they suffer a work injury.

In some instances, a guardian or conservator must be appointed for a minor receiving a substantial sum of money in workers’ compensation benefits. Generally a parent will serve as a minor’s guardian.

If your child was injured at work and you have questions about filing a claim for workers’ compensation on their behalf, contact Fields Law today at 1-888-343-5375 or fill out a free request form. We can help you understand your legal rights and ensure your child receives the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve, both now and in the future.