Workers’ Compensation FAQ
When you have suffered an on-the-job injury or have been diagnosed with an occupational disease, you will undoubtedly have many questions about what comes next. Below are some of the frequently asked questions we have encountered in our decades of legal practice. It is important to remember that everyone’s situation is unique and nothing can replace the advice that you receive when meeting face-to-face with a lawyer. To schedule a consultation at the law firm of James Michael Gallagher, Attorney at Law, call us at 612-503-9663.
What qualifies as a work-related injury? Broadly speaking, any injury that occurs while performing a job-related duty may be considered a work-related injury. This seems obvious when, for example, a worker falls from a ladder and breaks a bone. However, injuries can also develop over time. For example, carpal tunnel syndrome from performing repetitive motions may not make its symptoms known for years. “Work-related injury” is defined broadly enough to include occupational diseases. For example, lung problems or other issues that may occur after years of exposure to toxic chemicals in the workplace.
I was being careless at work and was hurt. Can I still collect workers’ compensation? In general, yes. Workers’ comp is designed to remove fault from the equation when determining eligibility. If, for example, you were injured after crossing a floor that you knew was slippery, you are still likely to be eligible to collect workers’ compensation.
Can I collect workers’ comp and sue my employer for injuries sustained in the workplace accident? Generally, no. As mentioned above, the workers’ compensation system is designed to be faultless. While an employee may be largely at fault for an accident, he or she may still be eligible for workers’ comp. The same principle applies to employers. A workers’ compensation claim is usually the only claim that can be made against an employer even if they are primarily to blame for an accident. If a third party, such as the manufacturer of a faulty or defective tool, shares some blame, it may be possible to sue the third party.
Will I collect the full amount of my wages through workers’ comp? No. In general, workers’ compensation payments amount to approximately two-thirds of your wages and are capped after a certain period of time, depending on your injury. If you find that your workers’ compensation has run out, but you are still unable to return to work, you should consider applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.
Can my employer make me return to work if I don’t feel ready? Typically, you may not return to work until your doctor has cleared you to do so. However, if your employer offers you work that falls within the restrictions set forth by your physician, you may have to return to your job. If you are uncomfortable with doing so, you should speak with your doctor.
Contact Us With Your Questions About Workers’ Comp In Minnesota
Our attorney is a former workers’ compensation judge with more than 35 years of legal experience. For answers to questions about your specific case, schedule a free consultation by calling our law office in Bloomington at 612-503-9663. You may also contact us online.