So, you were injured on the job, filed an injury report and the claim has been denied by the work comp insurance company. What do you do next?
Simple. You should contact an attorney in your area who has experience in Minnesota work comp claims. Why wouldn’t you? Most attorneys will not charge you to discuss the claim, answer your questions or even meet to review the facts and determine whether you have a case. If you are in northern Minnesota and call us, I can promise you for certain that we won’t charge you for any of these things – ever.
There are a number of reasons the insurance company might give for denying your injury claim, including:
- The injury didn’t happen at work or in the course and scope of your employment;
- You waited too long to report the injury or file a claim;
- Your medical or physical problems are the result of a pre-existing problem;
- You were not an “employee” as defined by the work comp laws in Minnesota;
- There is no medical proof or support for your claimed injury;
- Your injury was the result of your own intoxication;
There are many other defenses to a work comp claim but these are some common examples. Sometimes the defense is valid and you don’t have a claim, but many other times the defense is bogus. The insurance industry counts on the fact that a certain percentage of people will not pursue a claim after it has been denied. Many people simply do not want to hire a lawyer or “make waves” with their employer. Other people assume that if the claim is denied, the insurance company must be correct and there is no claim to pursue. Or, it might just seem easier to let your health insurance company pay the medical bills and continue to work in pain every day.
None of these are good options if you truly believe that you were hurt on the job. Choosing to walk away from a potential work injury claim is simply a bad idea. It benefits the insurance company by saving them money. It hurts you if you have a legitimate claim that should be paid by work comp, not only now, but if you continue to have problems down the road with your current or a new employer. It only gets more difficult to prove a claim the longer you wait.
At the very least, it’s a good idea to consult with an attorney to see if you have a claim. Over the past 29 years handling work comp claims, I have spoken with hundreds, if not thousands, of people in your situation. Their claim has been denied and they are intimidated by the insurance company or afraid to fight back. Or, they are afraid that hiring a lawyer will cost them a lot of money that they don’t have. Sometimes my honest opinion is that there is no claim. More often than not, however, people I speak with have legitimate claims that are definitely worth pursuing.
The insurance company has lawyers and experienced claims adjusters handling their cases. They are well aware that many of the claims they deny are probably legitimate claims but the people will not pursue them. They win, you lose.
If you have been injured on the job, or if you have a medical condition or disability which you believe was caused or aggravated by your work activities, immediately file a report of injury with your employer. If the claim is then denied or if you have any questions or concerns, contact us for an absolutely free consultation to discuss your rights and options. You will always get our honest assessment and opinion about any possible claims. If you decide to hire us, we only get paid if we win the case or recover benefits for you.
If you would like more information about how we get paid in a work comp case, or when you should consider hiring a lawyer, please see these earlier posts:
We hope that you have found this information helpful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can be of assistance or answer any questions for you. Attorney Steve Bradt has been representing injured workers all across northeastern Minnesota for nearly 30 years. If you’ve been injured, we can help.