Helpful Hints for Injured Workers
If you’ve been involved in a work-related accident in Minnesota, it can be hard to know what to do. We have here a few tips to help you move forward after a work injury.
Hint #1: Timing Is Critical
“Should I call an ambulance?” If you have to ask the question, the answer is “yes.” It’s always best to get quality medical care after a work injury. All too often, workers put off getting medical help because they believe that they are tough enough to handle it alone, because they dislike seeing doctors, or because they are worried about the high cost of treatment. But many medical conditions get worse without medical care. If you wait, you may miss the opportunity to fix the problem before things become more complicated.
Along with medical treatment, timing is critical in legal matters related to on-the-job injuries. Minnesota law puts strict time limitations on reporting and filing workers’ compensation claims. Make sure management knows about your injury as soon as possible. If your injury or illness developed over time, report it as soon as you come to believe that your job was the cause.
Seeking legal help is also time-sensitive. While it is never too late to seek a lawyer’s help, you may lose certain legal options the longer you wait. Here at Brazil Law Group, we encourage injured workers to contact us as soon as they think they may need help.
Hint #2: Keep Records of Everything
When you’ve been injured at work, it is a good idea to keep copies of all documents in a safe place. Your workers’ compensation claim may go smoothly, or you may run into trouble. Should you run into issues and require legal help, copies of all documents can help your lawyer figure out the best way to start fighting for you.
If you are unsure of what to document, start with this list:
- All of your insurance information, including the name of your workers’ compensation insurance company, their contact information and your claim number
- All letters that the insurance company or your employer sends you
- A list of the healthcare providers who have seen you or who are treating you
- Notes of when certain things happen such as when you see changes in your symptoms, begin treatment or stop treatment
Hint #3: Communication Is Key
When it comes to workers’ compensation claims, communication is key. It is critical to tell your employer about the injury or illness right away. It’s also critical to communicate clearly about all your symptoms with the healthcare providers who treat you. When you see a doctor about your injury or illness, make sure that you tell him or her that the injury is work-related.
Communication is also important to your lawyer. At our law firm, we communicate clearly with clients from the moment we start representing them until matters are resolved. This clear communication starts with discussing the circumstances surrounding your work injury and your workers’ compensation claim.
Hint #4: Know Your Options
Under Minnesota’s workers’ compensation insurance laws, you can’t sue your employer for injuries or illnesses you sustained while on the job. But you may have other options. One of these is pursuing what is called a third-party liability claim—suing another person or company who caused your injury. This may be an option for you if, for instance, defective equipment or the negligence of a subcontractor or vendor was involved. To know for sure, talk with an experienced Minnesota workers’ comp attorney about your situation.