Since employers in Minnesota are obligated to pay for workers’ compensation insurance, most workplace injuries are compensable. However, not all work-related injuries are caused by a single accident that can be reported right away.
How do you seek compensation for workplace injuries that became worse over time? And what about occupational diseases that were the result of years of exposure to unhealthy work conditions?
Inform your employer and seek medical treatment as soon as possible
In an ideal world, you will immediately tell your employer about your injury. The sooner you report a work-related injury, the less complicated your workers’ comp claim will be. It’s also crucial to begin seeking medical treatment for your injury as quickly as possible, not only for your recovery, but also because this will provide you with evidence.
Review the time limits for reporting work injuries
There are deadlines for reporting workplace injuries in Minnesota, and you should review them so that you understand whether your employer will be able to deny your claim. While injuries reported within 14 days cannot be denied, anything beyond that may be denied for various reasons.
If you report an injury more than 180 days after an accident, you may still have a chance of receiving workers’ comp benefits. However, you must be able to prove that you did not give notice to your employer because you were physically or mentally incapacitated.
Coverage for occupational diseases
If you are seeking workers’ compensation payments for occupational diseases that were cumulative, the requirements and reporting deadlines are not as straightforward. A lawyer or OSHA representative may be able to provide you with information about whether your illness qualifies for workers’ comp benefits. In some cases, people with occupational diseases can pursue compensation years after they were exposed to hazardous work conditions.