A million different questions may go through your head after being injured at work. Dealing with the injury itself presents stress on top of making sure you are ok, treating your injuries, and figuring out what to do next. For those who have sustained a workplace injury, it’s good to understand what options you have and how workers’ compensation works.
Here are some questions you may be wondering about.
Q: How do I know if I should apply for workers’ compensation?
A: You can collect workers’ compensation for any injury that happens because of your job or while doing something for your employer. Even if an injury isn’t directly caused by your job, injuries at your workplace may be eligible for compensation too. You can also be compensated for previous conditions that are worsened by your job.
Usually this applies to physical injuries, but workers’ compensation may also cover mental injuries, such as depression or anxiety caused by or worsened by your workplace.
So when should you seek workers’ compensation? Any time you are injured because of your job or at your workplace, you should consider filing. You can get a free consultation from a local attorney about your situation and for advice on what to do next.
Q: What costs are covered by workers’ comp?
A: In Minnesota, all employers are required by law to have workers’ compensation insurance. This covers medical bills for employees who sustain workplace injuries. You should never have to pay for treatment for a workplace injury.
However, this insurance is not the same as the workers’ compensation claim that you file for an injury. The compensation you can receive may cover everything from medical benefits to wage loss to compensation for permanent disability and dependency.
Q: What injuries qualify for workers’ comp?
A: Any injury sustained at the workplace or because of your job can qualify. Some examples of injuries that could qualify are:
• Slip and falls
• Vehicle accidents
• Overexertion, usually from lifting, pushing, carrying, etc.
• Struck by or damaged by equipment and objects
• Strains and sprains from repetitive activity
• Back pain from overexertion, etc.
Q: Could my employer retaliate against me for filing for workers’comp?
A: No. It is illegal for your employer to fire you, demote you, harass you, or retaliate against you in any other form if you file for workers’ comp.
If your employer illegally retaliates, ask an attorney about your situation and how you are protected.
Q: What if I can’t perform my job anymore after my injury?
A: This is a concern for many people. In Minnesota, employers have to put reasonable effort into either accommodating the person who was injured at work or looking for a position that they are able to fill. While there is no law that they must absolutely find a position for you, they are not allowed to discriminate against you or refuse to rehire you because you filed for workers’ comp.
They must assess reasonable accommodations that would be made for anyone in your previous position and offer you what any other disabled employee in that position would receive. They also cannot discriminate because of your injury if you apply for a different position within the company.
Your workers’ compensation may also include vocational rehabilitation, which would assist you in finding another job.