Imagine you get into a severe accident while performing your primary job duties. This can be anything from an auto accident to a major injury resulting in fractures or loss of body parties. Injuries on these occasions are obvious. Your employer simply has to look at the vehicle damage or survey the scene of a major work injury to know they need to take action on your behalf. In claims with such as these, the employer is obligated to act. They are aware of a work injury and, oftentimes, take immediate action to notify their workers’ compensation insurance company.
Afterward, the professionals that work at the insurance company can take over the management of your work injury claim. At this point, the insurer is subject to time limitations that serve to push your claim forward so you can receive wage loss and other benefits that you need to recuperate.
Clearly, this system works fairly well when a major injury occurs. But what happens when an injury is not so obvious?
Some injuries are minor. Others don’t manifest all at once. Some injuries start minor and become more severe later on. Often, you think you may be able to “tough it out” or that it isn’t worth “bothering” your employer. This could be a mistake.
Though an injury may be minor, Minnesota state law does not create any such distinctions. An injury is an injury. Tell your employer that it happened. Minnesota statute 176.141 tells us that you may have as little as 14 days to give notice to your employer that you were hurt at work. In 14 days, you can go from a seemingly insignificant injury to a major health problem that affects every aspect of your life.
Tell your employer that you are hurt. It doesn’t matter how minor the injury is. If you tell your employer about it, it becomes their responsibility to act on it. Don’t get stuck holding the bag when your “tweaked muscle” turns into time off work with no pay.
Of course, there can be some complications created by speaking openly to your employer about a work injury. It is an unfortunate fact that some employers retaliate against employees that report work injuries. Retaliation is illegal and you can be compensated for it. However, it can take a long time to obtain a recovery, at which point you may have been forced to go without income for several months.
If you find yourself questioning whether you need to report a work injury to your employer, you need to speak to an attorney and do so quickly to avoid missing any deadlines. Aaron Ferguson Law has multiple attorneys experienced in workers’ compensations claims who will be happy to weigh your options with you and have a frank discussion about your individual circumstances. Call 651-493-0426 today to schedule a free consultation.