Workers’ Compensation: Your Source for Recovery
Workers’ compensation, also known as “workers’ comp” or “work comp,” is a no-fault benefit system developed to assist employees who become sick or injured on the job.
There are various kinds of workers’ compensation benefits, but an employee usually has two main concerns after a work injury. One: How am I going to get paid if I cannot work? Two: Who is going to pay my medical bills? Through payment of wage-loss benefits and medical benefits, workers’ compensation is designed to answer exactly these two questions for injured workers.
There are other more peripheral but important workers’ compensation benefits, as well. Benefits like vocational rehabilitation, retraining, and permanent partial disability help fill in gaps – both financial and logistical – when injury knocks you out of work. The benefits are designed, in theory, to help you heal and return to the workforce. Like unemployment benefits, workers’ compensation has systems in place that help you return to work, not to check out of it.
The qualifications and payment structures for workers’ compensation are controlled by state law, the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Act. As with any law, it is subject to interpretation. The Workers’ Compensation Act is somewhat obscure, complex, and, in parts, undecided on the issues. Insurance carriers tend to take advantage of these legal intricacies to the disadvantage of injured workers. And that can delay your return to maximal health and, ultimately, to the workforce.
Say you are injured on the job and now you are missing time. It would be ideal if the insurance carrier automatically replaced your unpaid wages and covered all of your medical expenses, no questions asked. Ideal, yes, but not quite realistic. Sometimes, rarely, this can happen: An insurance carrier will sometimes step up to the plate and take care of everything it should after you suffer a work injury. But the likelier outcome – and your dealings with the insurance carrier – usually looks nothing like this. Insurance companies make their profits by denying benefits, so they tend to deny workers’ benefits whenever and wherever they think they can.
This is what makes workers’ compensation so frustrating for injured employees. The complexity in the law gives insurance companies – with all their financial resources, claim adjusters, and attorneys – an inherent advantage over the Average Joe or Jane when it comes to administering a workers’ compensation claim.
This is also exactly why, if you are hurt at work and faced with filing a workers’ compensation claim, it is essential to consult a knowledgeable attorney about your case. Certainly, you can try to navigate a claim on your own, but then you will never know if you are maximizing all of your benefits. Often, insurers pay incorrect benefit amounts, or they prematurely discontinue benefits. When this happens, experienced counsel from an attorney who knows how to properly assert your rights and knows the law is the only way to make sure you receive everything you are entitled to. This is what insurance companies do, so it makes sense for workers to do the same.
For better or worse, workers’ compensation is often your main recovery source when you suffer a work injury – and it can be exceedingly helpful in a time of need. Employees tend to avoid bringing workers’ compensation claims for fear of retaliation or stigma on the job. This is a very common and valid concern, but it denies you, the injured worker, the relief that is available and to which you are entitled under the law.
At a minimum, a no-obligation initial consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation is your first step toward understanding your options. Contact JD Schroeder Law today for your free workers’ compensation consultation. There is no fee unless we recover benefits for you, so it pays to get ahead of the game!
Common Work-Comp Injuries:
- Amputation and loss of use
- Back and neck
- Burn and electrocution
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS / RSD)
- Consequential psychological / emotional
- Knee, leg, ankle and foot
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Repetitive stress
- Shoulder and elbow
- Spinal cord
- Vision and hearing loss
- Wrongful death / fatalities
- Any injury arising from work