As a construction worker in St. Paul, you know that every day that you set foot on a job site, you risk an injury. You could fall into an uncovered hole or off of incorrectly assembled scaffolding. You might suffer electrocution or you could be hit in the head by a falling object. If you suffer a workplace injury, do you know what to do in terms of filing a workers’ compensation claim?
Most employers must have workers’ compensation coverage by law. The government requires it in order to protect workers just like you that might suffer an injury on the job. The following is a brief overview of workers’ compensation laws in Minnesota.
If you do not act within the various deadlines, you might receive an automatic denial of your workers’ compensation claim. In order to receive maximum benefits, you have to notify your employer within 14 days of a work-related accident. You also have three years from the date of the injury to file your workers’ compensation claim.
Some of the benefits you might receive include coverage for medical expenses, vocational retraining, and/or wage replacement. For instance, workers’ compensation should cover all of the medical expenses that directly relate to your injury. If your injury is severe enough to keep you from returning to your previous job, you could receive training in a new line of work. In addition, you would also receive a percentage of your regular wages until you are able to return to work.
If the insurer denies your workers’ compensation claim, there is a process you can use to file an appeal. The first thing to do is to call the insurer about the situation. It might be that the denial was simply the result of a clerical error and a quick phone call could clear up the matter. If that does not work, then you will have to follow the state’s Alternative Dispute Resolution process, which usually involves working with a specialist at the Department of Labor and Industry. Your final option is to file an Employee’s Claim Petition and request a hearing.
If you have suffered a workplace injury, it is important to understand how workers’ compensation can help you and what you need to do to file a claim. By learning as much as you can about the process, you will have a greater chance of receiving the benefits you deserve.