Work is hard, and we all have bills to pay. Anything that does stop us from working costs us money and time we would be using to make money.
Yet, as terrible as accidents can be, according to a study by the National Safety Council in 2020, the U.S. experienced a workplace injury roughly every 7 seconds. That’s 540 work injuries per hour and around 7 million injuries a year, each with the potential to stop working Americans in their tracks.
Unfortunately, many workers affected aren’t sure what to do or how to handle themselves when faced with these devastatingly difficult and alarmingly common situations. So in this article, we will be discussing workplace injury claim tips and deadlines for you to know!
Why are Workplace Injury Claim Deadlines Important?
It is imperative to report ANY workplace injuries to your Employer as soon as possible as the reports are a requirement for Workers’ Compensation Benefits, which are essential to ease any stress your workplace injury may have caused.
In some states, the deadline is just a few days, and some even require you to see an approved Doctor to protect Workers’ Compensation status. While the State of California allows 30 days to report injuries to the Employer and 1 (one) year to file a Workers Compensation Claim, the State of Minnesota requires you to report injuries as soon as possible. It allows six years to file Workers’ compensation or three years if filed by the Employer.
While Workers’ Compensation may sound like a good enough reason to promptly report your injury, it is also very common for insurance companies to deny employee workplace injury claims if filed too late. Some offer forgiveness up to a point, but rather than risk losing help when you need it most, and typically it is best to handle it as quickly as possible.
5 Facts You Need To Know About Workers’ Comp
After informing your Employer of any injuries, you will need to file the Compensation Claim with your state workers comp agency.
While you’re Employer may have already taken care of this step in some states, other states have particular agencies to help with specific jobs (e.g., the Union Construction Workers’ Compensation Program or the Federal Employee’s Comp Program).
Fact #1: Processing Delays
The longer you wait to do any of this, the more reason Employers and Insurance Companies have to deny your claim, and thus, the harder you will need to fight to get the compensation you are due. The entire process can end up being an ordeal at the best of times, with “processing delays” ending in offers much less than Employees are owed.
Fact #2: “No-Fault” System
Despite what you may have heard or believe, Workers’ Comp operates as a “No-Fault” system, which means that no matter who’s to blame, your employer or insurance company is required to pay benefits. This extra layer of protection is vital in ensuring benefits get to the people who need them as quickly as possible.
Fact #3: Moderate Injuries
File claims even for seemingly moderate injuries. If it heals on its own, the claim will close with no issues. However, if it gets worse over time, as is common with back injuries, the claim will cover any benefits needed for the injury after-the-fact, like missed wages and medical treatment.
Fact #4: Lost Wages & Medical Expenses
Workers’ compensation generally covers a portion of lost wages but full coverage of medical expenses. Occasionally an employer or insurance company will claim that, despite not being completely healed, you have reached maximum medical improvement. This is an attempt to cut off payment to medical expenses, which is sadly very common.
Fact #5: Attorneys Are Paramount
A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer or Personal Injury Attorney are paramount in making sure you get your just compensation. A very common misconception is that your employer or insurance company will ensure FULL workers’ comp benefits, but they typically have an incentive to delay, reduce or downright deny your claim. An experienced attorney will not only explain but also advise and protect your rights; they usually only get paid if you win your claim.
Talk to Sundquist Law Firm
We’ve discussed how common workplace injuries are and how important it is that they be handled correctly. It’s also important to remember that millions of people every year face this same struggle and you’re not in this alone.
With a survey estimating Minnesota having close to 73,000 OSHA-recorded non-fatal workplace injury or illnesses in 2019, it is important to know who is looking out for the working American.
Sundquist Law can help. We’re happy to help you fill out forms, prepare your evidence, and make your claim. If you have been injured on the job and need assistance getting your worker’s comp benefits, then contact Sundquist Law in Saint Paul, Minnesota — The Union Members Law Firm.