Injured at Work? Know Your Rights!
An on-the-job injury brings with it many unknowns. How will you pay for the medical care you require? How will you support your family while you recover? What happens if you cannot return to the same job you had before?
Here we outline your basic rights after you suffer injuries due to a workplace accident or if a doctor diagnoses you with a work-related illness. Read these rights. Memorize them. When necessary, demand them. And seek legal representation from a workers’ compensation lawyer if you find you need help.
Your Rights After a Workplace Accident
Minnesota’s workers’ compensation laws provide many rights to employees who suffer injuries due to a workplace accident. These workers’ compensation laws also protect employees who become ill due to work-related activities.
- You have the right to receive medical care. If you were hurt or you are sick and you need medical help, you have the right to get it. Your employer’s workers’ comp policy will pay for your care.
- You have the right to choose your own doctor. You do not have to see a doctor that your employer or employer’s insurer names. Choose someone you trust to help you recover.
- You have the right to receive wage-loss benefits. If your work injury or illness keeps you from working, you have the right to receive wage reimbursements, up to a certain amount.
- You have the right to receive additional benefits. If you suffer permanent loss of the use of a body part due to your injury or illness, you have the right to receive compensation for that loss. Family members who have lost loved ones due to work-related activities may also seek death benefits.
- You have the right to appeal denial of benefits. If your employer’s insurer denies your claim for benefits, you can request an appeal. The appeals process is not always straightforward. You increase your odds of success by working with an experienced attorney.
- You have the right to return to your job. Your employer cannot fire you or demote you due to your injury or illness. When your doctor clears you to go back to work, your same position should be waiting for you.
- You have the right to obtain vocational rehabilitation services. If you can no longer perform the same job as before your injury or illness, you can access job rehabilitation services to find a better position with your current employer or a new position elsewhere.
Learn How to Access Your Rights
You have obligations you must meet to become eligible for these workers’ comp benefits. Learn about the steps you must take after a workplace accident, visit the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry’s Workers’ Compensation website or reach out to your work comp attorney.