On-the-job injuries aren’t just painful. They are often financially devastating. The Minnesota workers’ compensation system is supposed to help you through this difficult period of time.
That is, the insurance will help you if you can get through the process of obtaining the benefits you’re due. It isn’t always easy. That’s why you need to act quickly to protect your claim. There are steps you should take as soon as possible to protect your ability to file a claim.
1. Notify your employer about the incident.
With only a few exceptions, you need to report your injury within 14 days of the accident that caused it. Otherwise, you can lose important benefits. Give your employer verbal notice as quickly as you can and follow it up in writing.
2. Get medical attention promptly.
Insurance companies get suspicious when workers don’t seek medical care for their injuries right away. That’s a “red flag” that can make them question whether or not your injury is real or somehow unrelated to work.
3. Pay attention to your witnesses.
More than likely, some of your co-workers were present when your injury happened. Make sure that you note who was there and have their contact information ready in case you need them to vouch for you.
4. Keep detailed records.
Start a file and keep all of your receipts and the notes from your doctor visits. You should also keep receipts for any out-of-pocket costs you have, such as durable medical equipment purchases or other costs. You also need to keep a record of all communications with the insurance company and your employer regarding your claim. A notebook can help you even keep track of your phone conversations.
Finally, know when it’s time to get some help with your workers’ compensation claim. If the insurance company is dragging their feet, your employer is denying that you were injured at work or your claim is denied for some reason, it may be wise to visit an attorney.