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Practices in managing workers' compensation cases

A workplace injury can become costly for both employers and employees in Minnesota. Cost containment is a priority for companies as they consider medical costs ranging from emergency room visits to the ongoing need for pain medications. Similarly, workers may face challenges in their financial lives after an accident on the job because of lost wages. Workers' compensation benefits cover only a percentage of an employee's lost wages, leaving a shortfall. In attempting to avoid these costs, there may be situations in which either an employer or an employee resists reporting an incident. However, studies indicate that one of the most important factors in keeping injury-related costs down is reporting a claim promptly, preferably within the first 24 hours.

In some cases, issues such as aches and pains may be dismissed until they worsen, at which point problems such as repetitive stress injuries could require much more serious intervention. In a case of a serious injury, meanwhile, immediate attention might be necessary even if it is costly. As potential work-related injuries arise, intervention by a triage nurse could provide the guidance needed to minimize unnecessary medical expenses while still ensuring that legitimate needs are handled.

Many employers worry about mounting claims costs when workers are out on workers' compensation benefits. In some cases, they might use surveillance and investigation techniques to ensure that a worker is not taking advantage of the system when actually well enough to return to the job. Costs can be better controlled when workers are encouraged in their healing process and are enabled to return to work as soon as possible.

A worker whose complaints of a possible repetitive stress injury have been ignored may find that it is necessary to seek support from an outside advocate. A workers' compensation attorney may be able to help such a party in obtaining appropriate treatment and benefits.

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