When you suffer an on-the-job injury, your first responsibility is to ensure you get medical attention if it is necessary. Once you have obtained the necessary medical care, you should file a report with your immediate supervisor. Make sure you keep a record of who you reported the incident to and the date of the report; this could be important if your employer fails to file the required report with their insurance company.
The First Report of Injury (FROI)
The Department of Labor and Industry has stringent requirements for reporting injuries. Any serious or fatal Minnesota work injuries must be reported by phone within 48 hours of the occurrence. Generally, employers must file the FROI within 10 days of an injury being reported; the exception being self-insured employers who have 14 days to file the report. Employees are not required to fill out or submit this report, it is the responsibility of the employer. The employee is however entitled to a copy of the report.
Seeking Medical Attention
When you are being treated for a work injury, it is important to notify the healthcare provider you are being treated for a work-related injury. Chances are your healthcare provider will need basic information including when and how the injury occurred as well as your employer information. Remember, your health insurance may not cover the cost of your care; all care however should be reimbursed by your employer’s workers compensation insurer. Your doctor should fill out a Report of Work Ability (RWA) form which should be given to your employer and the worker’s compensation insurer. This form may impact your ability to get wage benefits so it is important to provide it as soon as possible.
After an Injury is Reported
Once the employer has reported an injury to their insurance company, claims must be paid or denied within 14 day. The 14-day period is calculated based on (a) the date of the injury or (b) the date the employer became aware of the injury, whichever is later. In all cases, if your claim has been denied, you have the right to appeal and this is when you should consider reaching out to a worker’s compensation attorney in Minnesota.
If Claims are Not Denied
In some instances, insurance companies will begin paying on your claim nearly immediately; your wage-loss benefits must typically be started within 14 days. Once benefits have started, the insurer must issue you a Notice of Intention to Discontinue Benefits (NOID) before they can stop those benefits. These benefits cannot be stopped without cause; should they be discontinued or they are discontinued without notice, you can work with your attorney to help you appeal which must be done within 40 days of the expected date of your payment.
Medical benefits must be paid for all work-related injury medical care including lab work, x-rays and other diagnostic tests, doctor visits and any prescription drugs you are prescribed. Once the insurance company has paid any part of your claim, the insurer has accepted liability and they must pay for all legitimate medical expenses. Should any bills remain unpaid, you should contact the insurer immediately; if the bills remain unpaid, discuss the matter with your worker’s compensation attorney.
Preparing to Return to Work
If you are physically unable to return to the same work you did before your injury, you are entitled to vocational rehabilitation services to help you prepare for a new role. The vocational rehabilitation services may include retraining as well as assistance preparing to find a job and job placement services. Keep in mind, your employer cannot fire you after an injury because you were unable to work for any period of time; it is not allowed by Minnesota statutes. However, your employer may not have a role available for you to fill that meets any modified needs after an injury which is why rehabilitation services may be a necessity.
Keeping track of the events surrounding your injury, making sure you report an injury in a timely manner as well as keeping a record of discussions you have with your employer and any insurance adjusters is important. This information may be even more important if your claim is denied, payments stop or if the insurer refuses to make any type of payments regarding medical care or rehabilitation costs. Contact Chesley, Harvey & Carpenter at if you have suffered a Minnesota work injury and you are facing difficulties with any aspect of the worker’s compensation process. We’re here to make sure you get the benefits you are entitled to under Minnesota law.
Contact A Mankato Workers' Compensation Lawyer Today
Contact the law office of Chesley, Harvey & Carpenter today at (507) 625-3000 for a free case review. We are located in Mankato, Minnesota.