One day you are hard at work, and the next, you find yourself injured, unable to complete your job. You probably have many questions about the workers compensation claim process and how this injury may impact your life and the ability to support yourself or your family.
According to the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the claim process and litigation.
1. Will workers' compensation cover my injury?
Any condition that is caused, aggravated or accelerated by your job activities is considered a work-related injury. Some are traumatic; others are gradual injuries or some workers experience occupational diseases.
2. If my claim is approved, what benefits might I receive?
You could be compensated for the loss of wages due to your injury, medical expenses, vocational rehabilitation and retraining. If you experienced the loss of use of part of your body, you may be eligible for additional compensation.
3. Can I see my own doctor?
In some cases, yes, you can be treated by your own doctor. However, in certain scenarios, an employer can require you to see a designated provider. Those include cases involving managed care plans and those with a collective bargaining agreement.
4. What if my workers' compensation claim is denied?
First, the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry recommends calling the insurance claims adjuster. If a call doesn't resolve the problem, you can ask to speak with an Alternative Dispute Resolution Specialist at the department. Or, it may be time to hire an experienced attorney to help you decide whether to appeal the denial and move through the dispute process.
5. What is an intervenor?
A doctor, insurance company, government agency or anyone else that would seek to be compensated for a benefit they have paid on your behalf could be an intervenor. The state department recommends giving your attorney information about all medical providers that have treated you for the work-related injury. You should also provide any other health insurance you or your spouse has that may have paid for any of the medical treatment you received for this injury. Whether your claim is decided through a settlement or in front of judge, you and your attorney should notify any potential intevenors so that your claim is not delayed.
If you are offered a settlement in your worker's compensation claim, it will be your decision whether to accept or move forward with a hearing. While the state agency has useful basic information about the process, they cannot give legal advice. It is best to get in touch with an experienced workers' compensation attorney to ensure someone is fighting for your best interests.