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Workers' Compensation Laws Every Employee Needs to Know

By law, all employers throughout the United States are required to provide fair compensation if an employee is injured while on the job. In North Dakota, the workers’ compensation laws are particularly generous and require that most employers supply their employees with no-fault coverage. This means that any injury sustained at work, regardless of who is at fault, is covered through workers’ compensation. If you were injured at work and need to file a workers’ compensation claim to obtain benefits, discover the workers’ compensation laws every employee needs to know.

Who is Covered?

Under North Dakota law, most employers are required to carry insurance coverage for their employees, though some are exempt. Exemptions include most domestic workers, agricultural workers, railroad workers, and members of the clergy. However, most employees should be covered whether they work full-time, part-time, seasonally, or occasionally, as long as the employer provides coverage.

What Injuries Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?

Any injury or illness that is a direct result of a job performed at work is covered under workers’ compensation insurance. This includes wrongful death, in which case the worker’s family will receive benefits.

Injuries must occur while performing normal job duties and may include, but are not limited to:

  • Cuts or abrasions
  • Burns
  • Amputations
  • Concussions
  • Back or neck injuries
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Heart attack or stroke, if it occurs at work
  • Hernia
  • Diseases caused by toxins or chemicals at work
  • Illnesses caused by asbestos exposure
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

While some mental illnesses may be covered if it can be proven the condition or injury was directly caused by work, mental injury coverage is typically very limited.

What Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

According to state law, workers who qualify will receive indemnity benefits, medical treatment, and vocational rehabilitation. The medical treatment you receive under your benefits must be from a list of providers authorized by the North Dakota Workforce Safety & Insurance. The indemnity payments are essentially a form of compensation for wages. The wages provided via workers’ benefits will include two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wages and will be subject to a state-imposed maximum.

What Are the Time Constraints?

All claims must be submitted in a timely manner. Typically, employees must notify their employers of their injury or illness within 7 days, and the claim must be filed within 1 year of the injury. In cases of wrongful death, the claim should be filed within 2 years. However, some time limits may vary, so it is crucial that injured employees act as quickly as possible to ensure they receive benefits.

If your claim for worker’s compensation benefits is denied, you may be able to submit a request for consideration or take further action. After a denial of benefits, a worker has 30 days to submit a request for reconsideration through the Workforce Safety & Insurance. If you still do not obtain benefits after filing for reconsideration, you may request a hearing, where your attorney can advocate on your behalf, submitting evidence of your injury or illness.

Our firm understands how difficult and concerning it can be to suffer an injury at work, which is why we want to help you obtain the financial and medical support you need. At Marquard & Associates, we can help you through each step of the process, from filing a claim to obtaining benefits.

Contact Marquard & Associates for a case evaluation today!