When you’ve been injured on the job, the last thing you want to worry about is navigating the complicated legal process to get the compensation you deserve. That’s where Nelson Personal Injury, LLC comes in.
Our team of Minnesota work injury lawyers has the knowledge and experience necessary to help you fight for your rights and get the best possible outcome for your case.
From the initial consultation to settlement negotiations or trials, our team is dedicated to advocating for you every step of the way.
Minnesota Work Accident Statistics
According to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, in 2020, there were 76 work-related fatalities in the state. The most common causes of these fatalities were transportation incidents, followed by falls, slips, trips, and then contact with objects and equipment.
In addition to fatalities, Minnesota had over 24,000 nonfatal work-related injuries and illnesses in 2019, with the highest rates occurring in the construction and manufacturing industries.
These statistics highlight the high number of worker injuries and fatalities across all industries in the state and the importance of workers’ compensation benefits for injured workers.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Minnesota worker’s compensation laws are set up to provide benefits to those who have been injured while on the job. The worker’s compensation system creates a tradeoff for workers and employers. On the one hand, employees are guaranteed certain benefits for any work-related injury, regardless of who was at fault for causing the accident, but the benefits available to the employee are limited to those that are provided by the Minnesota worker’s compensation laws. On the other hand, employers, are liable for nearly every workplace accident, regardless of how it occurs, but their liability is limited.
In a sense, Minnesota’s worker’s compensation system has created a no-fault system where workers are entitled to certain benefits if they are injured on the job.
Under workers’ compensation laws, eligible employees can receive benefits such as medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and a portion of their lost wages. In exchange for these benefits, the employee gives up the right to sue their employer for negligence related to the injury or illness.
Minnesota Laws for Workers’ Compensation
Minnesota has a set of laws governing workers’ compensation, outlined in the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Act. Here are some key points of the law:
- Coverage: Most employers in Minnesota must carry workers’ compensation insurance or self-insure. This includes all public employers and private employers with at least one employee.
- Benefits: Eligible employees are entitled to benefits such as medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and a portion of their lost wages while they cannot work due to their injury or illness.
- Notification: Employees injured on the job should report their injury to their employer as soon as possible and follow the appropriate procedures to file a workers’ compensation claim. The employer is required to report the injury to their workers’ compensation insurer within 10 days.
- Dispute Resolution: If a dispute arises between the employee, employer, or insurer, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry offers dispute resolution services. This can include mediation, arbitration, or a formal hearing.
- Time Limits: There are specific time limits for filing a workers’ compensation claim in Minnesota. Generally, employees have three years from the date of the injury or two years from the date of the last workers’ compensation payment to file a claim.
- Retaliation: Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who file workers’ compensation claims or participate in workers’ compensation proceedings.
Both employers and employees need to understand the laws surrounding workers’ compensation in Minnesota to ensure that injured workers receive the benefits they are entitled to and employers are in compliance with the law.
Common Workers’ Compensation Claims in Minnesota
Workers’ compensation claims in Minnesota can arise from a wide range of work-related injuries and illnesses. Some of the most common types of claims we see include the following:
- Sprains and Strains: These are the most common types of work-related injuries in Minnesota, often caused by overexertion, lifting heavy objects, or repetitive motions.
- Falls: Slip and fall accidents are common causes of work-related injuries, especially in industries like construction and healthcare.
- Cuts and Lacerations: Workers in industries like manufacturing, construction, and food service are at risk for cuts and lacerations from machines, sharp tools, and more.
- Burns: Employees in industries like construction and manufacturing may be at risk for burns from chemicals, fires, or explosions.
- Car Accidents: Workers who drive as part of their job, such as delivery drivers or truck drivers, are at risk for car accidents that can lead to injuries or fatalities.
- Occupational Diseases: Workers in certain industries, such as mining or construction, may be at risk for developing occupational diseases like silicosis or asbestos-related illnesses.
- Hearing Loss: Employees in industries with high noise exposure, such as manufacturing and construction, may experience hearing loss over time.
- Repetitive Motion Injuries: These injuries are caused by performing the same motion repeatedly, such as typing or using a mouse, and can lead to conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Eye Injuries: Employees in industries like construction, manufacturing, and healthcare may be at risk for eye injuries from flying debris, chemicals, or other hazards.
- Mental Health Issues: Employees who experience traumatic events on the job, such as first responders, may be at risk for mental health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Respiratory Problems: Workers in industries like mining, construction, and manufacturing may be at risk for respiratory problems from exposure to dust, chemicals, or other hazardous substances.
It’s important for employees to report any work-related injuries or illnesses to their employer as soon as possible and to follow the appropriate procedures for filing a workers’ compensation claim. This can help ensure that they receive the benefits they are entitled to under Minnesota law.
Steps to Take if You Are Injured On the Job
If you are injured at work, it’s important to take the following steps:
Report the Injury
Notify your employer as soon as possible, preferably when the injury occurs. If you wait too long to report the injury, it may be more difficult to prove it was work-related.
Seek Medical Attention
Get medical treatment for your injury as soon as possible. If it’s an emergency, go to the nearest emergency room or urgent care. If it’s not an emergency, make an appointment with your doctor or a healthcare provider approved by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.
File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Follow appropriate procedures for filing a workers’ compensation claim with your employer or insurance provider. Your employer should provide you with the necessary paperwork and information.
Keep copies of all paperwork related to your injury, including medical bills, doctor’s notes, and workers’ compensation forms.
Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
Follow your doctor’s instructions for treatment and recovery. If you cannot work, ensure you provide documentation to your employer.
Communicate with Your Employer
Keep your employer informed of your progress and any changes in your ability to work. Talk to your employer or insurance provider if you need accommodations or have questions about your workers’ compensation benefits.
Remember, it’s important to report your injury and file a workers’ compensation claim even if you don’t think it is serious. Sometimes injuries can worsen over time, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
What if Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied?
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you must understand that you still have options. Here’s what you can do:
- Understand the Reasons for the Denial: Your claim may be denied for several reasons, such as missing deadlines, lack of evidence that the injury was work-related, or a dispute over the extent of your injuries. It’s important to understand the denial’s reason so you can address it.
- Consult an Attorney: Consult an attorney specializing in workers’ compensation claims. They can review your case, explain your rights and options, and help you navigate the appeals process.
- File an Appeal: If your claim is denied, you can file an appeal. In Minnesota, this is done by filing a Petition to Vacate, Modify, or Set Aside an Order with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.
- Attend a Hearing: After filing your appeal, you may be required to attend a hearing with a workers’ compensation judge. At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to present evidence and argue your case.
- Consider Mediation or Settlement: In some cases, mediation or settlement negotiations can resolve disputes between the injured worker and their employer or the workers’ compensation insurance company.
Remember, workers’ compensation laws can be complex, and the appeals process can be difficult. If you are considering filing an appeal or need assistance with your claim, it’s important to consult with our Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyers, who can help guide you through the process.
Is Workers Compensation Really The Sole Remedy For Those Injured On the Job?
In most circumstances, if you are injured at work, your sole remedy is through the worker’s compensation system. However, in certain situations, in addition to a worker’s compensation claim, an injured employee may also have the right to pursue another potential claim. One of these situations is if a third party, separate and apart from the employer, is at fault for causing the injury. This type of claim is what is called a third-party liability claim.
For example, if a worker is driving for their job, and another party runs a red light and hits the worker, the worker will have a worker’s compensation claim, but would also have a third-party liability claim against the party who ran the red light and hit the worker. Another example would be if a worker is making a delivery to a home, and the homeowner fails to adequately maintain their sidewalk, and the worker trips and falls and gets injured. The worker would have a worker’s compensation claim, but would also have a potential third-party liability claim against the homeowner.
What Damages Are Recoverable In A Third-Party Liability Claim?
If an injured worker has a third-party liability claim, they can recover the following types of damages from the at-fault party:
- Past and future medical expenses;
- Past and future wage loss; and
- Past and future pain, suffering, and emotional distress.
If you recover damages from a third party for your injuries, your workers compensation carrier may have a subrogation claim, or right to get paid back, from your recovery.
What Is A Workers Compensation Subrogation Claim?
If you have a third-party liability claim against another party stemming from your work injury, Minnesota law gives the worker’s compensation insurance company a right to get paid back if you get a recovery from the at fault third party. This right to get paid back is called a subrogation claim.
How Much Is My Third-Party Liability Case Worth?
Every third-party liability case is different, and what the settlement value of any given case is will depend on a number of factors, including, but not limited to:
- The type of accident;
- Was the accident clearly the fault of another party;
- What are the nature and extent of your injuries, i.e. is it a surgical condition, do you have scarring, etc.?
- How much you have incurred in medical expenses?
- Will you need future medical treatment?
- How much have you incurred in wage loss?
- Are you able to return to work?
- Are your injuries permanent?
- How have your injuries affected your life?
- The amount of the worker’s compensation company’s subrogation claim;
- The number of insurance coverage available;
An experienced Minnesota injury lawyer will gather and analyze the above factors when giving an assessment on the possible settlement value of your work accident case.
Let Our Minnesota Work Injury Lawyers Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve
If you’ve been injured in Minnesota and are struggling to get the compensation you deserve, let our experienced work injury lawyers help. At our firm, we understand the challenges injured workers face and are committed to helping them navigate the legal process and fight for their rights.
Our attorneys deeply understand Minnesota laws and are dedicated to providing our clients with the personalized attention and representation they deserve.
We also understand the financial strain that work-related injuries can cause, so we offer our services on a contingency fee basis. We don’t get paid unless we win your case, so you can focus on your recovery without worrying about upfront costs or legal fees.
Don’t wait to get the help you need. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.