Workers’ compensation is a complicated enough process before you start dealing in half-truths and misconceptions. Today, we hope to help set the record straight. Below, we take a look at four common misconceptions about the workers’ compensation process in Minnesota, and we work to dispel these myths.
You can only pursue an injury claim if the accident wasn’t your fault
Now, you can’t intentionally injure yourself and file for workers’ compensation, but you certainly are within your rights to file for compensation if you accidently caused the work injury. For example, if you’re working up on a ladder and you try to reach for an electrical socket instead of moving the ladder, and you lose your balance and fall, you can seek injury compensation even though you are directly responsible for your injuries.
It’s not worth it to file a claim because you may get fired for filing
It is against the law for an employer to fire an employee for filing for workers’ compensation. If you believe you are being unfairly targeted by your employer because you filed for injury compensation, even if it’s just a restriction in hours and not a direct termination, speak to a workers’ compensation lawyer because you may have a valid legal claim.
If a prior job contributed to the injury, you can’t get compensation
You are entitled to compensation even if a previous job contributed to the onset of the new injury at your current job. For example, let’s say you worked manual labor in a factory for 20 years. After the factory closed, you began working construction, where you herniated a disc in your back. A medical evaluation reveals that you had degenerative disc disease due in part to your years at the factory, and that put you at risk for disc herniation. Even though your work at a previous job contributed to the eventual injury at your current job, you can file for workers’ compensation through your current company.
You can’t seek compensation because you weren’t technically on the clock at the time of the injury
Even if you’re not technically “punched in,” you may be able to seek injury compensation if the injury occurred during the completion of work-related duties. For example, if you slipped and fell in the break room, or you got in a car accident while running an errand for your boss, that would be considered an injury that occurred during your work duties. It’s worth noting that in the vast majority of cases, simply driving to or from work is not considered to be part of your work duties.
If you have any questions about the above myths, or you want to clear up any other workers’ compensation-related questions you might have, be sure to reach out to Dean Margolis and his team today.
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