If you are injured at work, you may be wondering if you have the ability to file a workers’ compensation claim. While the elements you need to prove are much simpler than a personal injury case, simply being injured on company property doesn’t mean you’re automatically eligible for benefits. In today’s blog, we take a look at what needs to occur for you to have a valid workers’ compensation claim in Minnesota.
Elements Of A Work Comp Case
At the most very basic level, the following must be true in order for you to be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim in Minnesota:
- The employee suffered a personal injury or occupational disease.
- The injury or occupational disease arose out of employment.
- The injury of occupational disease occurred during the course of employment.
In other words, if you are a protected employee, which most people are unless you’re self-employed or a volunteer, and you are injured during the course of your work duties, you should be able to file an injury claim. It’s worth noting that although your commute technically arises out of your employment and you would not be performing your commute but for your employment, your drive to and from the office is not typically covered by workers’ compensation in the event of an injury. However if you slip in the company parking lot on your way into the building or you stumble down the stairs as you’re leaving the job for the day, you could be eligible for compensation.
Need For Compensation Must Exist
One other element that we want to touch on is the existence of compensable damages in the wake of a work accident. For example, if you don’t incur any expenses or you miss less than three days of work with your injuries, you’re not going to be able to file for compensation since you didn’t incur any expenses as a result of your injury, and because you didn’t miss at least three days of work, which is the current waiting period in Minnesota in order to collect wage loss benefits.
Now if you only miss one day of work, but you had to leave because of a work injury to receive eight stitches in your hand, you would be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim to reimburse you for the medical expenses you incurred, even though you didn’t miss three days of work. You are attempting to collect damages for medical expenses, not wage loss, so as long as you have eligible medical expenses, you can file a valid claim.
Most people either incur medical expenses and miss at least three days of work, or they incur medical expenses but return before wage loss benefits would start. It’s rare for an individual to attempt to file for wage loss benefits while not having any medical expenses, because the insurance company is going to want documented proof as to the nature of your injuries, and that comes as a result of an evaluation by a medical professional, which leads to medical-related expenses.
So if you have been hurt on the job and you’re hoping to collect compensation for medical costs you’ve incurred or because you’ve missed more than three days of work and you’re eligible for wage loss benefits, pick up the phone and give Dean and the team at Margolis Law Firm a call today. We can ensure you get a fair deal from your company’s workers’ compensation provider so that you can focus your energy on your health and returning to work in a safe capacity. To set up a consultation with a lawyer from our firm, contact us today at (952) 230-2700.