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Injuries are only part of injured firefighter's ills

Minnesota workers who suffer financially due to medical bills deriving from workplace accidents are entitled under state statutes to receive workers' compensation benefits for their damages. Yet, as a recently reported case involving a volunteer Melrose firefighter might demonstrate, the totality of damages potentially suffered in a workplace accident can reduce workers' intellectual faculties and overall disposition so much that they are left in poor standing to successfully pursue a claim for workers' compensation coverage.

In April, the Melrose firefighter, now 50, responded tan emergency page regarding a barnyard fire in the nearby Freeport Fire Department's province, and by the time he arrived, it was already in full blaze. Removing sheets of metal blocking his path to the fire, the Melrose firefighter hardly noticed when the burning barn started to collapse, right on top of him, authorities said. Despite blunt injuries to his head and being lost in an infernal and collapsing environment, the man negotiated on his hands and knees a path out of the disaster, authorities reported.

Already coping with a preexisting case of diabetes, the volunteer firefighter began to suffer severe headaches not long after he was released from the hospital to commence a home-bound recovery program. Moreover, he says that also began to experience signs of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from the event. The man claims that he subsequently filed an insurance claim for these conditions and was denied, the insurer purportedly stating that the headaches were related to his preexisting diabetes. The man alleges that the insurer also refused to pay for mental disorder treatment.

In case like this, rejected claimants often turn to a workers' compensation lawyer for help. Workers who fear that their rights are being stepped on with impunity due to their own reduced capacities and ignorance of the law may may take comfort under the lawyer's legal vigilance.

Source: La Crosse Tribune, "St. Cloud man struggles with work-related injuries", Kirsti Marohn, December 20, 2014

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