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HVAC technicians face various risks on the job that can cause injuries and leave them unable to work.

If the technician is employed by a HVAC company and their injury occurs during their employment, they can file a workers’ compensation claim to receive benefits to help them stay afloat while they cannot work.

Injured HVAC technicians can only file a lawsuit against their employer for losses caused by their injury in limited circumstances. In most cases, the worker must file a workers’ compensation claim instead.

In a workers’ compensation claim, the worker does not need to prove the employer’s negligence to receive benefits. They only need to show that their injury or illness was by an accident arising out of and in the course of employment.

A qualified St. Paul workers’ compensation lawyer can determine if you qualify to file a claim and help you prepare a case to demonstrate the extent of your losses.

How to Get Workers’ Comp Insurance as a HVAC Technician

Minnesota requires all employers to purchase workers’ compensation insurance to cover their employees’ work-related injuries or secure approval from the Minnesota Department of Commerce to become self-insured.

An employer can self-insure by using their assets to insure against workers’ compensation obligations.

An employer seeking to self-insure must provide proof of financial ability to pay compensation. Workers’ compensation coverage applies to full-time and part-time employees. It does not apply to the following:

  • Independent contractors,
  • Sole proprietors,
  • Partners in business and farm operations,
  • Executive officers of closely held corporations,
  • Managers of limited liability companies,
  • Executive officers of family farm corporations, and
  • Household workers who earn less than $1,000 in three months.

Minnesota employers must post a notice in a conspicuous place informing employees of their workers’ compensation coverage, their rights and obligations, available assistance if injured at work, and the claims process.

How Much Is Workers’ Comp Insurance?

Individual employees are not required to purchase workers’ comp insurance. Instead, the burden lies on their employer to obtain workers’ compensation coverage.

The monthly cost of workers’ compensation insurance for employers depends on several factors such as:

  • Work industry,
  • Coverage limits,
  • Payroll,
  • Business location,
  • Number of employees, and
  • History of workers’ comp claims.

Jobs in high-risk industries typically face higher insurance costs than businesses in low-risk industries.

What Does Workers’ Comp Insurance for HVAC Cover?

Workers’ compensation insurance covers any injury or death caused by an accident arising out of and in the course of employment, regardless of anyone’s negligence. Specifically, the following injuries or illnesses can give rise to a workers’ compensation claim:

  • Traumatic injuries,
  • Gradual onset injuries,
  • Occupational diseases,
  • Conditions caused or aggravated by employment activities, and
  • Physical injury caused by mental stimuli.

HVAC technicians can sustain a variety of different injuries and illnesses on the job. HVAC technicians can sustain injuries like broken bones, muscle strains, and burns through the course of their employment.

Many HVAC assignments require a ladder to access, maintain, or install the cooling system, creating the possibility of suffering fall injuries. Technicians can also risk electrocution from malfunctioning machinery or parts and wiring within the HVAC.

Available Workers’ Comp Benefits

Injured employees can receive the following:

  • Medical benefits,
  • Wage replacement benefits, the value of which depends on the extent of the employee’s incapacity,
  • Vocational rehabilitation benefits, and
  • Death benefits.

Medical benefits include any reasonable and necessary medical treatment or supplies to cure or relieve the effects of a work-related injury or illness. Types of treatment covered by workers’ comp insurance include:

  • Psychological treatment,
  • Chiropractic treatment,
  • Podiatric treatment,
  • Surgical treatment, and 
  • Hospital treatment.

The employer is also required to repair or replace artificial limbs, glasses, dentures, hearing aids, canes, crutches, or wheelchairs damaged because of their injury-causing accident.

The employer must provide vocational rehabilitation to help an injured employee return to a job that gives them the same economic status as without the injury. Rehabilitation expenses include the reasonable costs of:

  • Evaluating, preparing, and implementing a rehabilitation plan,
  • Tuition,
  • Books,
  • Travel and custodial care during the interview process,
  • Relocation, and
  • Retraining.

Injuries that are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance include:

  • Claims for mental injury caused by mental stress, other than PTSD for injuries that occurred on or after October 1, 2013;
  • Intentional injury caused by a fellow employee or third person;
  • Intentional self-inflicted injuries;
  • Injuries caused by the employee’s intoxication;
  • Injuries caused by an employee’s willful negligence.

A qualified lawyer can help determine whether your workplace injuries are covered by workers’ compensation insurance.

Process of Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim

The workers’ compensation benefits process begins when an employee gives their employer written notice of their workplace injury or illness. The employee must report the injury within 14 days of the injury.

After receiving the report, the employer submits a First Report of Injury form (FROI) to the Minnesota Division of Workers’ Compensation (MDWC) and its insurer. Then, the insurer determines whether to accept or deny the claim.

If the claim is accepted, the insurer will start paying wage-loss benefits within 14 days of when your employer knew or was informed of your injury. 

Contact Arechigo & Stokka to Discuss Workers’ Comp Insurance for HVAC Technicians in St. Paul, Minnesota

Dealing with the aftermath of a HVAC injury can place a great deal of stress on you and your loved ones.

Let our experienced St. Paul workers’ compensation lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka worry about your claim while you focus on recovering from your injuries or illness. A member of our team can help you by:

  • Calculating the value of your losses as a result of your workplace accident,
  • Preparing a strategy to demonstrate the extent of your losses,
  • Contacting potential eyewitnesses to testify about your injuries, and
  • Negotiating with the opposing party to reach a favorable settlement agreement.

When you hire a seasoned workers’ compensation attorney, we will walk you through each step of the claim process and answer any questions that arise along the way.

Our team has decades of experience helping employees with their workers’ compensation claims. Contact Arechigo & Stokka today to talk to an attorney about your case.

Author Photo Joshua R. Stokka

Josh has been representing injured workers for over 10 years. Josh was born and raised in Fargo, North Dakota, and attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology. Mr. Stokka alson received his law degree from the Hamline University School of Law. During law school, Josh clerked at a Minnesota law firm specializing in personal injury and workers’ compensation. Prior to practicing in the area of workers’ compensation, Josh clerked for a judge in the 7th Judicial District in Minnesota. This valuable experience gave him insight into how judges think, do their jobs behind the scene, and how to frame a case in order to obtain a favorable result.  Now, he focuses 100% of his practice on defending injured workers in Minnesota.

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