The basic rule is that when you realize your injury is related to work AND you believe that it will cause you to lose time from work you have 180 days to advise your Employer of the injury.
A work injury can be of three types, Gillette, Specific or Occupational Disease. I go three these types of injury in my blog in more detail but to review a Gillette injury occurs over weeks, months or even years until you are eventually disabled; a specific injury are injuries that occur instantly like dropping a hammer on your toe; occupational injuries are often the most complex and can be either specific or Gillette in nature and are usually due to exposures of chemicals or diseases in the work place.
ALL of these dates have exceptions that allow you to provide Notice AFTER 180 days following the development of symptoms. The date of injury is not a straightforward black and white issue. There are thousands of cases dealing with the issue of “culmination of injury”. The Court will typically look for a way to allow a compensable injury as long as you provided reasonable notice of your injury. There are exceptions for occupational diseases or trivial injuries where you may suspect work contributed to the injury but you aren’t sure and your doctor hasn’t definitively linked the injury to work activities. It is important to keep in mind that a physicians job is to assist you in treating your injury and whether it is work related or not is often far down on his/her list of important questions to ask during your brief encounters.
If you believe you may have sustained a work related injury OR your work activities have substantially aggravated a non-work related disability or medical condition you may be entitled to workers compensation benefits. Don’t come to that decision alone. Talk with an attorney whose practice is LIMITED to workers compensation and representing injured or disabled workers. At Minnesota Disability and Atkinson Law Offices I get calls every week from general personal injury attorneys asking questions about Minnesota Workers Compensation Rules. If a personal injury attorney doesn’t have an answer, you shouldn’t expect yourself to have the answer either.
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