If you were injured in an accident at your workplace, you may be eligible to receive disability benefits to assist you in paying your bills and replacing the income you lose due to your inability to work. There are, of course, some hurdles you must pass in order to qualify, but a permanent disability from a work injury is something that is generally covered by workers’ compensation benefits.
If you were injured at work, you should consult an attorney who practices in the area of workers’ compensation. Here are a few things that you will need to consider.
Where were you? Workers’ compensation benefits are generally available to people who were injured in an accident at the workplace. If you were at home, in a public area, or some other place besides your workplace, you may not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Of course there are always exceptions–such as if you were at another location on the orders of your employer–so it is worth your time to talk with a workers’ compensation attorney about your situation.
What were you doing? While it is not necessarily required that the injury was received as a result of performing your duties as an employee, there are some activities that will disqualify you from getting benefits. If you were engaging in negligent misconduct, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or breaking the company rules set in place to prevent injuries, you could be disqualified from disability payments.
Do you have any hope of recovering? If you were injured but are expected to recover fully, you probably won’t be able to get permanent disability payments. You may be able to recover something by a different means, but permanent disability payments are reserved for those who are permanently disabled, meaning that you will never be able to work at the same job again due to your injuries.
How long has it been since the accident? Some people apply for permanent disability payments too early after an accident. You should not apply until you have reached the point in your recovery where any further improvement is not likely. This point will differ from person to person–and from injury to injury–and may be as soon as a few months after the injury or as long as a few years after the fact. Having an experienced attorney evaluate your case can help you determine when is the best time to apply for benefits.
Some things that do not prevent you from recovering. There are a number of matters that will not prevent you from getting permanent disability payments. They are worth mentioning here because some people wrongly believe that the existence of these factors will prevent any recovery, and they never take the matter to an attorney.
One thing that is usually irrelevant is whether your employer was negligent. Of course, if your employer was negligent and you were harmed as a result, that gives rise to a cause of action in and of itself, but as far as your workers’ compensation benefits go, it is not required that you show that your employer was negligent.
Another factor that does not change the evaluation is whether the injury was the result of a single catastrophic incident or an accumulation of numerous minor ones. Either way, if you are unable to work because of injuries received at work, you may be eligible for permanent disability payments.
Let us help you! The world of workers’ compensation is a complex one. In order to protect your rights and maximize your chances of a favorable outcome, you should talk to a lawyer about your situation. Contact us today and let us help you put your life back together.
Contact A Mankato Workers' Compensation Lawyer Today
Contact the law office of Chesley, Harvey & Carpenter today at (507) 625-3000 for a free case review. We are located in Mankato, Minnesota.