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Have You Been Injured On The Job? Contact Us For A Free Consultation. We’ll Take It From There.

Woodbury Legal Blog

We offer a range of options for injured construction workers

As anyone in the Minneapolis and Saint Paul area who has worked construction knows, there are many ways to get hurt while on a construction site doing work. For instance, oftentimes, construction zones involving scaling scaffolding to great heights or working below ground in a deep trench. Objects can fall, trenches can collapse and a worker can herself lose balance and take a tumble from a great height. Sometimes, the problem lies with a defective or dangerous tool or machine, while at other times equipment collapses, causing falls and other serious injuries.

One must also not forget that construction zones, particularly along a highway, are crowded with cars and other motor vehicles and drivers can of course get in to accidents. Even white collar workers who are employed by construction firms are not immune from a job-related car accident or even a fall or other injury.

What if I get hurt at my employer's recent party?

Many workers in the greater Twin Cities area may have attended a recent holiday party, or just an end-of-the-year event, in recent days. While hopefully everyone managed to stay safe at these events, there is always a chance an employee can get injured at a social event like the annual holiday party. Of course, this applies to other company outings that take place at other times of the year as well.

While one might not realize it, workers' compensation benefits could be available to an employee who gets hurt at an employer-sponsored office event. The reason is that benefits cover not only accidents that happen while on the company's premises and while employees are actively performing their job functions but also at just about any work-related activity.

Electric shock a danger of defective power tools

Hand-held power tools are commonplace at most construction sites in Minnesota. They help workers accomplish their jobs efficiently and, oftentimes, even more safely than had the workers relied on hand tools.

However, these tools do come with risks of their own. One of these risks is the risk of electrical shock. A severe electrical shock can cause a serious injury or even death by electrocution. Moreover, even a relatively mild shock can stun a worker long enough to lose his or her balance and fall from a high place or be unable to get out of the way of a dangerous condition.

Always see a doctor after suffering a blow to the head at work

Workers in different fields and types of workplaces may suffer from blows to the head while on the job, whether on the assembly line at a plant or the records room in an office park. Even if the incident does not initially seem very serious, it is important for any worker who receives a blow to the head to seek professional medical care as soon as they can. Even minor head injuries can result in harm to the brain, which may cause symptoms that significantly change the way that a victim processes information and communicates with others.

A minor brain injury is often much more dangerous than victims realize. This is because its effects are not always easily identifiable. If the victim never receives medical care after the accident, they may forget about the incident entirely and never make the connection between their symptoms and the injury. If the symptoms weren't so destructive, this may not be a major concern, but the symptoms are often very destructive to both the victim and those around them. In some cases, workers who suffer head injuries may destroy their professional and personal relationships before they realize they have a serious injury at all.

What role does MNOSHA play in worker compensation cases?

Rather than relying on the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Minnesota uses its own state agency to oversee the safety of workplaces in the greater Twin Cities area as well as the rest of the state. The agency is called the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or MNOSHA.

Like its federal counterpart, MNOSHA enforces a series of rules that apply in some respect to all types of business conducted in this state. Some of these rules are also aimed toward specific industries and specific circumstances. MNOSHA, for instance, plays a significant role in setting safety standards for the construction sites throughout this state.

Homebuilding firm implicated in worker trafficking scheme

Although its leadership has been implicated in a worker trafficking scheme, a company that handled subcontracting work for home projects in the area seems to continue to enjoy the favor of the Twin Cities area's largest home-builder. It recently came to light that this home-builder was affiliated with the impugned company, a company whose owner was recently arrested and accused of labor trafficking. For those who are unaware, labor trafficking can refer to the practice of using undocumented immigrant labor for construction projects, and then using their status as a threat to keep them from demanding their rights as workers.

For its part, the homebuilder dodged responsibility, saying that the company in question was actually retained by one of the homebuilder's subcontractors, meaning, in effect, that the company is simply too far down the chain of responsibility for the homebuilder to be blamed.

Types of disability payments: permanent total disability

Previous posts here have discussed the different types of disability benefits that victims of workplace accidents in Minnesota can receive through the state's Workers' Compensation program. To this point, this blog has talked about temporary total disability payments and permanent partial disability payments. The first type of benefit pays a worker who, for a period of time, cannot return to work at all. The second type of benefit pays a worker who may be able to go back to work eventually, but who will have some sort of permanent handicap on account of the injury.

Unfortunately, many residents of the Twin Cities area probably know of at least one person who suffered a workplace injury so extensive that they could not return to work at all. In these sorts of cases, an injured worker can receive permanent total disability, or "PTD," payments. To qualify for these benefits, a doctor must certify that the worker will remain disabled even after undergoing a course of medical treatment.

Workers compensation benefit: permanent partial disability

A recent post on this blog talked about temporary total disability benefits, or TTD, which are the type of benefits an injured Minnesota worker gets when he or she is hurt on the job and needs to take a few weeks or months off to recover. While arguable, TTD is perhaps the easiest benefit to understand.

Another benefit workers commonly get awarded during the workers' compensation process is permanent partial disability, or PPD. Unlike TTD, workers do not get this benefit at the time of their injury.

Third-party liability claims for injured highway workers

A previous post on this blog mentioned that injured construction workers, particularly those who work on or alongside Minnesota's roads and highways, may be able to seek compensation from sources other than workers' compensation.

This can come as a great relief for highway workers who get seriously hurt by careless people who are driving through construction zones. After all, many times, the injuries of these workers are severe and can leave them unable to work, or even function normally, for the rest of their lives.

Types of disability payments: temporary total disability

As this blog has explained before, injured workers in the greater Twin Cities area will ordinarily be able to get help through Minnesota's workers' compensation system. Primarily, these benefits cover medical expenses and lost wages following an accident.

Coverage for lost wages, which within the workers' compensation system is referred to as disability, is divided in two ways. For one, a worker can be either partially disabled or totally disabled. The disability can also be either temporary or permanent.

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