North Dakota, with precious few exceptions, requires all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
When you are injured on the job, you are entitled to receive those benefits. Workers’ compensation will pay for the entirety of your medical expenses and a percentage of your lost wages while you recover.
But the process of applying can often be daunting, and employers sometimes retaliate against employees who have been injured on the job. Sometimes the employer’s own insurance company denies claims made against it.
For that reason, having an attorney on your side who is adept at managing these claims is important to securing coverage during your period of recovery.
Here is what to do if you are injured at work in North Dakota.
Report the Injury Immediately
If you suffered a serious injury on the job, then chances are someone will notice and call an ambulance.
But sometimes, injuries are not so cut and dry. There may be instances when you suffer what you think is a minor injury and you don’t seek treatment right away. You’d prefer to tough it out.
Many times, you will discover later that the injury is serious enough to require medical attention, but you didn’t report it until a day or two after the injury happened. You may be able to file a claim, but the insurance company will be much more suspicious about that claim.
Go to a Doctor as Soon as Possible
It’s also important to see a doctor immediately. The pain may be manageable, but that is not necessarily a good guideline to determine how injured you are.
In addition, insurance companies are very suspicious of claims in which the claimant did not seek out medical help immediately. Seeing a doctor is important. If they tell you that you’re okay, that’s great too.
File a Claim
Under North Dakota law, it is the employer’s responsibility to file the claim with the North Dakota Workforce Safety and Insurance within seven days of your report.
If the insurance company signs off on the claim, you will receive compensation for your medical expenses and two-thirds of your weekly wages plus $15 for each dependent child. These are also subject to state minimums and maximums which are updated each year.
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You Probably Cannot Sue Your Employer
Unless someone at the workplace intentionally causes your injury, there is no way to sue an employer who carries workers’ compensation coverage.
That is the tradeoff for the workers’ compensation fund that ensures North Dakota employees are covered. This is true even if the employer’s own negligence caused, at least in part, your injuries.
If, however, your injuries are caused by a third party while you are at work, you would be able to sue that third party in order to recover damages from that company. Your employer would be off the hook.
What Happens if My Claim Is Denied?
Sometimes, otherwise valid claims are denied for reasons like “lack of evidence.” This is especially true when the injury resulted as the effect of many years of working. In these cases, it helps to have a successful workers’ compensation injury attorney manage your claim.
If you are unsure of what to do when injured at work, it is in your best interests to contact our office today. The North Dakota work injury attorneys at Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C. have helped numerous North Dakota workers resolve workers’ compensation claims in their favor.
Give us a call or contact us online for more information.