Workers Compensation in North Dakota

You aren’t alone if you wonder how workers comp works. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides wage and medical benefits to people who have become ill or injured while at work. The extent of workers’ comp coverage an employer is required to carry is governed by North Dakota state law. Thus, in trying to figure out how workers comp works, it helps to understand the laws on the books in the state where the business operates. If the injury or illness a worker sustains is eligible for compensation, the insurance carrier should help ease the financial burden the illness or injury created on the worker. Learn some of the basic principles of North Dakota workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.

Workers Compensation Statistics in North Dakota?

North Dakota does not report information about nonfatal workplace injuries to the federal government, but the states does provide data for fatal incidents. By taking the national averages and comparing them against this data. We can provide a reasonable understanding of how the state stacks up against the other forty-nine. Based on a chart from the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, North Dakota had the third-highest rate of fatal injuries in 2019. Most of those incidents came from transportation, utilities, construction, and agriculture-related organizations. The Midwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety published a report that estimates there were 21,042 claims from 2004-2008 from a pool of 330,000 workers. A minimum of 6.4% of employees in the state experience a workplace injury every year. Of course, assuming that the state followed that trend for the last decade.

How Does Workers Comp Work in North Dakota?

There is a standard practice to follow when going through the North Dakota workers’ compensation process. Unfortunately, it begins with you getting sick or injured on the job. The circumstances surrounding the incident that led to the injury are especially crucial. The injury had to occur during the course of your regular work duties. It could also occur while you were performing a special task at the request of your boss. 

North Dakota mandates that businesses buy workers comp insurance if they hire employees to work there. Even if a worker comes from outside the state to work in Bismarck, carrying a policy is required. Exceptions to this rule exist for farm laborers, domestic household professionals, and real estate brokers. The North Dakota Workforce Safety & Insurance agency handles claims and pays 66% of a personal average weekly salary for the last year. Beneficiaries also receive medical, personal expenses, lost wages, return to work services, and death benefits.

The steps you take immediately following a workplace incident in North Dakota are critical for purposes of filing a claim for compensation. Follow the following steps to preserve your rights and learn how workers comp works.

Get Medical Attention

After you get injured or feel ill, the first step is to see a doctor. Don’t delay receiving help from a North Dakota healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines in the workers’ compensation process.

Even if you believe that your injury is minor, get a proper medical report detailing the extent of the damage and how it occurred. This is the first step in the workers’ compensation claim process. Absent a medical report, your employer cannot file a claim with the insurance carrier.

When dealing with a job-related illness, the symptoms and diagnosis may not happen right away. You may find yourself attending regular checkups and testing for weeks or months before a doctor finally associates your illness with your job. All of your medical records will become the foundation from which the workers’ comp carrier will launch its investigation. Your doctor may make the determination that the illness is the result of your work conditions or aggravated by them. Once they do, see your human resources representative to file a workers’ compensation claim.

File a First Report of Injury

Once you have a medical diagnosis relating your illness or injury to your job, you must file a claim with your employer. This is the next important phase of how North Dakota workers comp works.

North Dakota gives employees injured on the job two years after an injury to apply for workers’ compensation. Any legal attempts to procure benefits after that time will most likely end with a denial. Seek medical attention right away after discovering the injury, and notify your employer within seven days. The organization you work for, medical providers, or yourself, can submit a First Report of Injury form online. If your employer tries to intimidate you into not filing a claim, remind them that North Dakota’s Workforce Safety & Insurance agency provides a financial incentive for reporting accidents early.

The first report of an on the job injury or illness will provide the workers’ compensation insurance carrier with the details of the events leading up to the injury. In this report, you will provide your physical injuries, the medical treatment you received and the facilities that provided it. It’s always a good idea to submit a copy of the doctor’s report  with the report of injury.

Your employer should furnish you with information about the claims process. The adjuster or insurance carrier representative may want to speak to you at some point about the incident and any possible witnesses to the event. North Dakota law requires a five-day waiting period before paying you for workers’ compensation. If your disability lasts longer than five days, the state will also reimburse you for that time.

Why You Should Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

In learning how North Dakota workers comp works, many people believe that the injury claims process is straightforward. While this may be the case in some instances, in others, it may be more of a hassle. For instance, your employer may question whether you were hurt on the clock or on your own time. The company may also start to question the extent of your injury. There may even arise pay disputes and long-term care dictated by the doctor. Don’t question how workers comp works and risk losing your claim. Hire a North Dakota workers’ comp lawyer and ensure you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.

Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer in North Dakota

Your health and wellbeing need to come first. If you are hurt while working or find out an illness you are suffering is the result of your job, you will want to seek compensation. Since the workers’ compensation claims process may be tricky, you should consider getting a local attorney well versed in how to deal with it. We can even help you connect with an attorney across North Dakota state lines. They can guide you while you continue to learn how workers comp works.

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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