When you first see the inner workings of a large warehouse, it can sometimes seem pretty crazy. There are so many things going on at once that it looks like an active beehive. There are so many moving parts, such as conveyor belts transferring products, forklifts of all shapes and sizes carrying huge stacks of boxes, trucks unloading and loading, and people walking everywhere. With so much going on, a warehouse can be a dangerous place. With hundreds of warehouses in Minnesota employing tens of thousands of workers, there are many work-related warehouse injuries every year. These injuries can be quite significant, causing workers lost time from work, permanent disability, or even death. If you have suffered a serious warehouse injury, you need skilled and knowledgeable Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyers fighting for your rights and the benefits you deserve. Truck Loading Dock Accidents Loading dock accidents in warehouses are quite common. The loading dock is usually the only place in the warehouse that is open to the weather and elements. This can be a recipe for disaster, especially during inclement weather. Slips and falls on wet, frozen, and slick dock areas are a common warehouse accident. These falls can cause knee injuries, broken arms, back injuries, and shoulder rotator cuff tears. Another area of concern with loading docks is when workers are run over by tractor-trailers or backed over when the semi-truck drivers are backing into the bay areas. It’s a very loud working environment and difficult for a dock worker to hear the truck approaching, especially when the 18-wheeler’s engine is 70 feet away. Falling Product In many warehouses, products are shelved high in the air, sometimes as high as a three-story building. In a large distribution warehouse, for example, there could be several hundred thousand products stored in and shipped from the building every day. With all these stacked boxes, there is always the risk of falling product. One of the major causes of traumatic brain warehouse injuries is when improperly stacked boxes and products fall onto unsuspecting warehouse workers. Forklift Accidents Despite the Minnesota state and federal requirement for robust training of forklift drivers, forklift accidents are a common occurrence in the warehouse industry. Most warehouses use different types of forklifts that are different sizes and can perform different tasks. Some forklifts can weigh the same as a large passenger truck. That is why a forklift hits or runs over a warehouse worker, it could cause serious injuries. Lack of Safety Barriers One way to keep people from walking into areas that are unsafe is to physically prevent them. Sometimes rules and warning signs are not enough to keep people from going into dangerous areas of the warehouse. Warehouse workers are busy and may not pay attention to a warning sign. More physical barriers mean less warehouse injuries. If there is a ledge or the end of a loading dock or an intersection where there is a lot of forklift traffic, those areas should be blocked off from easy access. Exposure to Dangerous Chemicals Chemical exposure is one type of warehouse injury that can cause significant injuries to a workers’ lungs. Depending on what type of products are being stored in the warehouse, extra precaution and care should be used in the handling and storage of chemicals and substances. Lack of Proper Training As with any type of job, better-trained employees are usually the safest. This notion is very important in preventing warehouse accidents. In some cases, warehouse employers rush through employee training, especially with safety protocols, just to get the worker on the warehouse floor and perform work as quickly as possible. Lax training will eventually increase warehouse accidents and injuries. For example, merely teaching someone how to properly lift heavy boxes can prevent a significant number of back injuries. Common Warehouse Injuries These are the most common warehouse injuries we see in our Minnesota workers’ compensation practice: Crush injuries in the feet and legs due to being run over by forklifts; Lower back injuries like pulled muscles and herniated discs from improper lifting techniques; Traumatic brain injuries (TBI), such as concussions, closed head injuries, and fractured skulls from falling objects; Amputations, shoulder dislocations, and torn rotator cuff injuries due to dangerous and unguarded machines like conveyor systems and sorting machines; Extremity injuries from slips and falls; COPD and other lung injuries from chemical exposure; and Hearing loss due to excessive warehouse noise. Many of these injuries are easily preventable with simple safety protocols and proper employee training. The Minnesota Warehouse Injury Lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka Are Here to Help with Your St. Paul Workers’ Compensation Claim If you have suffered from a Minnesota warehouse injury, you are entitled to have your medical bills and lost wages paid. Warehouse accidents can cause very serious injuries and lead to disabilities that may persist for many years or even be permanent. You need an experienced St. Paul Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyer on your side fighting for your rights. Our lawyers have successfully handled hundreds of Minnesota workers’ compensation cases. Contact us online or call Arechigo & Stokka at 651-505-5943 for a free consultation to learn more about the services we provide to injured warehouse workers in Minnesota.Read More
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"I reached out to John Arechigo about a case I had and John was outstanding. He made the process very easy for a person who does not know how the process work, and accomplished the goal I wanted. My experience was very positive and I would highly recommend John to anyone who need to have their case looked into or dismiss. Would definitely reach out to John if ever a problem should arise for any future help."- J Thao
"Best Attorney in MN! Thank you to Mr. John Arechigo and everyone at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A for the exceptional job they did with our case. Because of their professional knowledge, dedicated efforts, hard work, and compassion, we got the outcome that we needed. If you ever need an exceptional attorney for any sort of civil forfeiture, John Arechigo of Arechigo & Stokka, PA is the only law firm I would call. We are grateful and thankful for all they have done to help us get our property back."- Monica K
"The legal expertise provided by John was nothing less than exceptional. When a sibling of mine was facing multiple serious felonies and in dire need of top-notch representation, John was the man. In and out of the court room, he's knowledge and professional are second to none. Throughout the case, he restored hope into our family. He delivered as he stated, and now we have our family back together. This man is worth every penny, he gets the job done. "- Safi Khalif
"I have been a client of Arechigo & Stokka for nearly a decade. They provide exceptional legal representation and maintain good working relationships with various judges and prosecuting attorneys in the Twin Cities area. They are well versed in the current laws which are continually changing. This allows them to quickly adapt, if needed, in order to offer the best legal strategy possible for a given case. Arechigo & Stokka treat each case with the utmost importance, work promptly to advocate for their clients’ needs, and communicate openly with each regarding the status of their particular case."- Abigail Peterson
"John Arechigo is an absolute miracle worker. My friends and I have used him multiple times. Extremely knowledgeable and a wizard in the court room. John always answers his phone and will be with you every step of the way through the legal process. Highly recommended!"- Bryan Larson
"John was a true professional. He listened to and understood all of my questions, and he always provided a quick and thorough response. If I ever find myself in another situation where a lawyer is necessary, I will not hesitate for a second to call him!"- Mack Ziemer
"While facing some serious felony level charges that would have potentially put me away for awhile, John's legal expertise proved otherwise. He was very coherent, competent, and consistent in fulfilling his duties throughout the entire process. His constant communication and knowledge about the law kept me at ease, knowing that I had one of the best defense attorneys in MN on my team."- Mubashir Jeilani
"John is professional, extremely knowledgeable and empathetic. He always answered any questions I had in a timely matter and I felt that he was truly invested in my case from start to finish. I would highly recommend him and his firm."- Ted Spiess
From The Blog
Minnesota workers often suffer from neck and back pain caused by work activities. But most of the time, these injuries occur while actually on the employer’s premises. In the past, it was rare to see at-home workers filing a Minnesota workers’ compensation claim. It certainly happened, but not very often. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and so many employees working at home nowadays, there has been a significant increase in the number of at-home work injuries. Many employees want to know if they can pursue a workers’ comp claim when sitting all day at work causes back and neck pain. The answer is, yes. But these cases are difficult to win. The causation evidence has to be rock solid. If you are suffering from neck and back pain from working at home, you need strong representation. You need a law firm that has decades of experience in representing injured Minnesota workers. Are You an Employee or Independent Contractor? One of the first questions that you have to answer is, What is your employment status? If you are a regular employee, your employer’s workers’ comp insurance covers work-related injuries. But if you are an independent contractor, you are not covered for any work-related injuries. It does not matter how serious your injury is. If you are an independent contractor, you can’t get workers’ comp benefits from the company you are performing work for. You would have to get your medical bills paid some other way. Even if your employer claims you are an independent contractor, it is a good idea to speak to a workers’ compensation attorney about your injury. Employers sometimes misclassify employees as independent contractors. An attorney can help you determine whether you might still have a workers’ compensation claim. What Is a Minnesota Work Injury? Almost all Minnesota employees who suffer an injury while working are entitled to workers’ comp benefits. This means that if you are on the clock and suffer injury, you probably have a valid workers’ comp claim. Workers’ comp does not consider a fault. You could have caused the accident yourself by being careless. If so, it’s still covered. The only time it wouldn’t be covered is if you were horsing around or off the clock. It also doesn’t matter whether you work at your employer’s premises or at home. As long as you demonstrate that you are on the clock and work activities caused your injuries, you’ll be covered by workers’ comp insurance. Obviously, though, at-home work injuries are more complicated because usually there are no witnesses to whatever event caused the injury. How Can You Prove an at-Home Work Injury Causing Neck and Back Pain? There are many ways to demonstrate that the neck and back pain you are experiencing is because of work activities at home. It could be an obvious work injury, such as taking a break from work to get a cup of coffee and falling down the stairs. Minnesota courts deemed this factual scenario to be a work-related injury and covered by workers’ comp. At-home work injuries can also develop over time due to repetitive stress on your body. For example, if you are sitting all day at work, back and neck pain could develop as a result. One of the issues that the pandemic has created is workers having to work from home for the first time in large numbers. Your at-home work environment might not be as ergonomically safe as it was at your place of employment. Medical experts state that the human body is not designed to sit still, slumped over a computer screen for eight to ten hours a day. Workers can develop neck and back pain if they aren’t used to sitting a certain way for long periods of time. The difficult part of these cases is establishing through expert medical testimony that the at-home work environment is what caused the neck and back pain. The claimant’s treating medical doctor has to issue an opinion that there was no other potential cause of the injury and that it was caused by work activities or the work environment. Once you meet this burden, you have a fighting chance to win your workers’ compensation claim. But you can’t do it alone. You will want to turn to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer like those at Arechigo & Stokka, who have focused their practice on workers’ comp cases for over a decade. The Minnesota Workers’ Comp Lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka Can Fight for Your St. Paul Workers’ Compensation Benefits This past year-and-a-half has been pretty strange for many Minnesota workers. So many employees had to work from home and still do. If you believe you have suffered from an at-home work injury, you need to have skilled and knowledgeable lawyers fighting for your rights to receive workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits include both the payment of medical bills and lost wages. We have decades of Minnesota workers’ compensation experience in successfully representing hundreds of claimants. Contact us online or call Arechigo & Stokka at 651-505-5943 to learn more about the services we provide to injured workers in Minnesota.Read More
Car accidents involving the use of alcohol and drugs claim the lives of thousands every year. According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, 72 individuals died in Minnesota car accidents involving drunk drivers in 2017. In addition, 2,389 people suffered injuries in alcohol-related car accidents. In an attempt to lower these numbers, Minnesota imposes serious penalties on drivers convicted of driving while impaired. If you’re accused of driving over the legal limit in MN, it is crucial that you hire a Minnesota DWI attorney to defend you against the charges. Otherwise, you could face very harsh penalties. Contact our office today to start with your free consultation. What Is Driving While Impaired? Minnesota Statutes Section 169A.20 prohibits motorists from driving, operating, or being in physical control of any motor vehicle while: Under the influence of alcohol; Under the influence of a controlled substance; Having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or more; Under the influence of an intoxicating substance that the person knows or has reason to know can cause impairment; Under the influence of any combination of two or more intoxicating substances; or Having BAC of 0.04 or more, if the vehicle is a commercial vehicle. While some states refer to these prohibitions as DUI laws, in MN they’re referred to as DWI laws. Additionally, Minnesota motorists commit an additional crime if they refuse to submit to a chemical test of their breath without a warrant, or a blood or urine test if police secured a search warrant. Consequences of DWI Convictions in Minnesota The criminal and administrative penalties for a DWI conviction in Minnesota depend on a number of factors, including: Your prior alcohol-related convictions; Your BAC level at the time of your arrest; and Whether any aggravating factors apply. Though prior DWI convictions enhance the penalties, only DWI convictions from the last 10 years are eligible. The potential penalties available in DUI convictions are described in more detail below. First Offense DWI First-time DWI offenders receive a misdemeanor conviction under Minnesota law. The misdemeanor carries the potential of up to 90 days in jail and a fine of $1,000. Additionally, the state suspends your driver’s license for a period of 90 days. If you plead guilty to DWI, the state reduces the suspension to 30 days. Certain factors can enhance even a first-time DWI conviction. These factors include: BAC at or above 0.16; Having a child in the car; or Both. If you commit these violations, you receive a gross misdemeanor. Gross misdemeanors carry the potential of up to a year in jail and a $3,000 fine. If your BAC was at or above 0.16, the state will suspend your license for one year without an option to shorten the period. Additionally, the state will impound your plates. Second Offense DWI Second-time DWI offenders receive a gross misdemeanor charge. Gross misdemeanors carry the potential of up to a year in jail and a $3,000 fine. Second-time DWI offenses carry a mandatory 30-day jail sentence. A second DWI conviction automatically results in either losing your license for an entire year or getting an ignition interlock restricted driver’s license. The state will also impound your plates. If your BAC was at or above 0.16, or you had a child in the car, the conviction still amounts to a gross misdemeanor. However, the license suspension/ignition interlock restricted license period extends to two years instead of just one. Additionally, the court will impound your plates and attempt to forfeit your vehicle. Third Offense DWI A third DWI qualifies as a gross misdemeanor as well, but convictions result in a 90-day mandatory jail sentence and harsher administrative penalties. After a third DWI, the state will cancel your driver’s license entirely. You can obtain an ignition interlock restricted driver’s license for one year once you enroll in drug/alcohol treatment. Upon completion of treatment, you can reinstate your normal driver’s license after two years. The state will also impound your license plates and forfeit your vehicle at the time of your conviction. Fourth Offense DWI A fourth DWI in a ten-year period qualifies as a felony. A felony DWI carries a mandatory 180 day sin jail and the potential of up to seven years in prison in addition to a fine of up to $14,000. Additionally, the state will cancel your driver’s license entirely. You can obtain an ignition interlock restricted driver’s license for one year once you enroll in drug/alcohol treatment. Upon completion of treatment, you can reinstate your normal driver’s license after two years. The state will also impound your license plates and forfeit your vehicle at the time of your conviction. Accused of Driving Over the Legal Limit in MN? Contact a DUI Attorney Today DWI convictions can result in serious criminal penalties. However, they can impact your life in other ways too. In fact, it can limit your job opportunities and increase the price of your car insurance premium. In some cases, issues exist that hurt the prosecutor’s chance of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. When this occurs, it’s vital that you have a DWI defense attorney on your side to advocate for having your charges lessened or dismissed entirely. Additionally, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can walk you through the process of your criminal case and answer any questions you have along the way. The Criminal Defense Attorney & Workers Compensation Law Offices of Arechigo & Stokka has experience representing criminal defendants facing a wide variety of criminal charges. In fact, Attorney John T. Arechigo dedicates his entire practice to representing individuals charged with criminal violations. Contact us today so we can get started reviewing your case.Read More