Employer Denied Reasonable Accommodation? What Next?

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Congress has passed several laws aimed at fighting discrimination in the workplace. In 1990, Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act to provide protections and accommodations for disabled persons in the workplace. The ADA prohibits employers from denying employment because a person has a disability. Further, the law imposes a duty to accommodate disabled persons in the workplace. Employers must provide reasonable accommodation to allow an employee to complete their job assignments. Reasonable Accommodation Laws in Minnesota Under the ADA, reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or to the normal hiring process to provide equal opportunities in the workplace to people with disabilities. Reasonable accommodations are meant to assist a disabled person in three ways: Providing equal opportunities for people with disabilities in the hiring process; Providing accommodations so a person with a disability can perform their essential job duties; and Ensuring that an employee with a disability can enjoy the same job benefits as their co-workers. Some examples of reasonable accommodations include: Installing a ramp or modifying a restroom; Providing screen reader software; Providing sign language interpreters or closed captioning at meetings; or Changing workplace policies to allow service animals in the workplace. Employees with a disability may request any reasonable accommodations that would assist them in performing their essential job functions.  Requesting Accommodation Employees bear the responsibility to request reasonable accommodations if they have a disability. This request can be made verbally or in writing and does not require specific language or procedures. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations depending on the specific needs of the individual and the nature of the work. Employers must work with the employee who requested accommodation to determine if it is reasonable and necessary for the employee to perform their job.  When Can an Employer Deny a Request for Accommodation? Under certain circumstances, employers may deny requests for accommodation.  If the requests are unreasonable, the employer may refuse to grant the request or may modify the request. Examples of unreasonable requests include: Requests that eliminate an essential function of the job, or Requests that disrupt the company’s ability to make profits. Additionally, employers do not need to grant accommodations that would cause the employer undue hardship. Undue hardships include: Significant costs to the employer, Disruption of the normal course of business, and Significant difficulty. Courts assess undue hardship based on several factors, including: The size of the employer, The employer’s financial resources, The nature of the employer’s business, and The impact of the accommodation on the business. Employers only have to provide accommodations for disabilities of which they are aware. If you have a disability and you need accommodations, you must inform your employer and make a request.  What Should I Do if My Employer Denied My Reasonable Accommodation Request? Your employer may not ignore your request or deny a reasonable request. If your employer ignores or denies your request, you should follow the guidelines below to fight your request denial. Put Your Request in Writing  First, put your request in writing and send it to the head of your company’s human resources department. Although not required by law, this will help ensure your employer understands your request. You can also refer back to your written request if you need to pursue further action. Contact an Attorney If your employer continues to ignore your request, you should speak with a qualified employment discrimination attorney. Your attorney can contact your employer directly and help you demand your accommodation. An attorney also understands the ADA and other anti-discrimination laws and can help you navigate the process. Your lawyer can help ensure your request is reasonable to avoid denial by a court. Finally, your attorney can help ensure your request fully accommodates your needs. The ADA guarantees people with disabilities equal opportunities in the workplace. Your attorney will work to ensure you receive the accommodation to which you’re entitled. File a Claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission If your employer refuses demands and negotiations with your lawyer, you can file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC will assess your claim to determine if your employer has discriminated against you.  If the EEOC does not take action or you are dissatisfied with the outcome, your lawyer can help you file a claim in court. We Are Here to Help If you have a disability, you have a right to equal opportunities in the workplace. We do not tolerate discrimination, and we will fight diligently to protect your interests. The attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka have extensive experience defending our client’s interests and protecting their rights. We put our clients first, and we strive to answer all of your questions and provide you support every step of the way. For a free consultation, call our office at 651-419-5366 or fill out an online form. 

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Do Employers Drug Test for Workers’ Comp?

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Injuries in the workplace happen all the time. When they do, employees normally receive workers’ compensation to cover the cost of their injuries and treatment.  In Minnesota, employers can require that employees injured on the job take a drug test. However, Minnesota designed its workers’ compensation laws to protect injured workers. Even if you fail a drug test, you may still be eligible for workers’ compensation for your on-the-job injuries. Drug Testing Laws for Workers’ Comp in Minnesota Under Minnesota law, employers have the right to require drug testing for employees who suffer an on-the-job injury. However, the statute also requires that the employer have a written drug testing policy. The employer can request a drug test only in accordance with that written policy. If the employee tests positive, he or she also has the right to explain the positive test and the right to request a re-test within a specified time. Do I Have to Take a Drug Test to Receive Workers’ Comp? Minnesota’s workman’s comp state law does not require that employees take a drug test before receiving workers’ compensation.  However, the employer still has the right to require a drug test before paying any workers’ comp benefits. If your employer requires a workers’ comp drug test, you may need to take it before you receive your benefits.  Failing a Drug Test Does Not Mean You Can’t Get Workers’ Comp Even if you fail a workers’ comp drug test, you may still be eligible for benefits. Under Minnesota’s law, if the drugs or alcohol are the proximate cause of the workplace injury, the employer may refuse to pay workers’ compensation benefits. But the burden of proving causation is on the employer.  The employer must provide evidence that: The employee was intoxicated, and The intoxication caused the injury or injuries. Proving causation can be difficult, especially if other dangers existed that contributed to the injuries. For example, a worker slips and falls while carrying a heavy object and breaks his arm. He tests positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. However, evidence shows that another worker carelessly spilled a liquid on the ground and did not clean up the spill or put out a sign warning of a slippery floor. The judge may find that the other worker’s carelessness, and not the drugs, were the proximate cause of the injury.  Bottom line: even if you test positive for drugs or alcohol, you may still be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.  When Should I Contact an Attorney?  If you tested positive for drugs or alcohol following a workplace injury, you should contact a qualified Minnesota workers’ compensation attorney right away. An attorney can increase your chances of recovering your workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ comp cases can be complicated and time-consuming. An attorney understands how to defend your interests and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Your attorney understands which facts and circumstances are important for proving your case.  Your attorney can help you by: Gathering witness statements and police reports; Performing investigations of the workplace and the scene of the accident; Gathering medical records such as hospital reports and drug tests; Negotiating with your employer on your behalf; and  Representing you if your case proceeds to trial. Your attorney will work with you to build a strong case and fight for the best possible outcome.  Contact a Qualified Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today If you suffered a workplace injury, contact the law offices of Arechigo & Stokka today. Our knowledgeable attorneys have extensive experience defending our clients in workers’ compensation cases. We provide hands-on legal services, and our dedicated staff will answer your questions and provide you support every step of the way. We care about our clients and place their interests first. To schedule a free consultation, contact our office at 651-419-5366 or fill out an online form today. 

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What to Know About Lowe’s Workers’ Compensation

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Workers’ compensation is financial compensation for lost wages and medical expenses employers are required to provide to employees that suffer an injury at work. Minnesota law requires Lowe’s to provide workers’ compensation benefits to workers injured during the course of their job either through an insurance policy or from its own financial resources. If you suffered an injury while working at Lowe’s in Minnesota, you should contact a workers’ compensation lawyer today. Am I Entitled to Workers’ Compensation from Lowe’s in MN? You are entitled to workers’ compensation from Lowe’s if you were an employee at the time you suffered a work-related injury. Minnesota law requires employers to provide workers’ compensation benefits to their employees either through an insurance carrier or by obtaining permission for self-insurance from the State of Minnesota. Workers’ compensation benefits you’re entitled to include lost wages, medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, and ongoing disability benefits. A workers’ comp lawyer can help you determine which benefits apply to your case. Types of Accidents at Lowe’s That Can Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Common accidents Lowe’s employees might suffer that can qualify for workers’ comp benefits include: Slipping and falling on the floor; Joint damage from repetitive movement; Back and neck injuries from lifting heavy objects, including loading and unloading trucks; Falling from a ladder when stocking inventory; and Being involved in a truck accident when making deliveries. If you’ve been injured while working at Lowe’s, talk to a workers’ comp lawyer today to find out whether your injury qualifies for benefits. How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim Against Lowe’s In Minnesota, you must notify your supervisor of your injury within 14 days of the accident.  Next, Lowe’s should complete and file a First Report of Injury (FROI) form with its insurance company within 10 days of the date you notified them of your injury. Its insurance company should then file it with the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry within 14 days of the date Lowe’s became aware of your accident. The purpose of this form is to start the claim process and provide information about the accident and your injury. What Should I Do After a Workplace Accident at Lowe’s? After suffering a workplace accident at Lowe’s, you should seek immediate medical care. You should report the accident and your injuries to your supervisor as soon as possible. Additionally, you should check your employee handbook for Lowe’s specific medical providers. Failing to use an in-network provider might disqualify you from receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Next, you should contact a workers’ compensation lawyer. A lawyer can help you determine whether you are eligible for workers’ compensation and ensure you meet all deadlines. A lawyer can maintain all documentation and fight Lowe’s or its insurance company if they deny you benefits when you have a legitimate claim. The attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., have over 10 years of experience representing injured workers. They will handle every aspect of your case with your best interests in mind. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

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Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Guide

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Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Assisting Clients in Minnesota If you are injured on the job in Minnesota and cannot return to work due to the severity of your injury, you may be eligible to file a claim for Minnesota workers’ compensation. Under Minnesota law, most workers who sustain serious injuries or illnesses in the course of their employment are eligible to seek Minnesota work comp benefits. However, there are some exceptions to the rule, and there are very specific guidelines that govern when and how an injured worker must file a claim. Filing a workers’ comp MN claim can be extremely complicated, and there are various reasons that your claim can be denied. With the help of a workers’ compensation MN attorney, you can ensure that you take all necessary steps in the initial process of filing your claim. If you have already filed a claim and are facing a denial of benefits, one of the dedicated attorneys at our firm can assist with your appeal. Do not hesitate to get in touch with the experienced Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka to learn more about how we can assist with your case. [DOWNLOAD] Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Free Guide What is Workers’ Compensation in Minnesota? Workers’ compensation insurance is a type of insurance that most employers in Minnesota are required to carry, and it can provide coverage to employees who sustain illnesses or injuries on the job. When an employee gets hurt at work or as a result of his or her employment, that employee can file a workers’ compensation claim in order to seek benefits. Typically, workers’ compensation coverage can compensate an injured employee for a portion of his or her lost wages, as well as medical coverage for the injuries, suffered on the job. Injuries must be work-related injuries, or arise out of the course of employment, in order to be eligible for coverage. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (MDLI) defines a work-related injury as “any condition that is caused, aggravated, or accelerated by employment activities.” Traumatic injuries, gradual injuries, and occupational diseases all may be covered by workers’ comp. For example, an injury that happens on a job site typically will be covered. If a worker drives a vehicle as part of his or her job duties, then injuries sustained in a traffic crash also may arise out of the worker’s job and may be covered by workers’ comp. However, injuries sustained in a crash on the way to work will not be eligible for workers’ comp MN coverage. MINNESOTA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION REQUIREMENTS FAQ Mandatory Coverage: Who is Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Minnesota? Generally speaking, most employers in Minnesota are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. To be clear, Minnesota has what is known as mandatory coverage when it comes to workers’ comp. As such, most employers who hire other people to perform services are required to buy workers’ compensation coverage or self-insurance. Even employers who only hire minors or non-citizens are required to have workers’ compensation coverage under the mandatory coverage provisions. In some cases, even volunteers are covered by workers’ comp. However, there are some exceptions. While these exceptions are limited mostly to certain small business situations, the following are some examples of employers who may be exempt from purchasing workers’ compensation insurance under Minnesota law: Sole proprietors: If a person is a sole proprietor of a business, that small business owner is not required to have workers’ compensation coverage for herself or for close family members working in the business (such as children, a spouse, or parents). However, it is important to be clear that a sole proprietor is required to have workers’ compensation coverage for other employees. Partnerships: Businesses that are structured as partnerships, similar to sole proprietorships, tend to be exempt from coverage for the partners and for close relatives of the partners who are employees of the business. Executive officers in closely held corporations: In some closely held corporations, an executive officer is exempt from workers’ compensation coverage. However, numerous requirements must be met in order for the executive officer to be exempt. Managers in LLCs: Managers of limited liability companies (LLCs) are, in some situations, exempt from mandatory coverage for workers’ compensation. Other parties may be exempt, and it is important to confirm with an experienced workers’ comp MN lawyer whether coverage is mandatory. Just because a person is exempt does not mean that the person cannot elect to provide workers’ compensation coverage. If an employer is exempt but elects to provide coverage, then any employees who are covered can be eligible to file a claim. Types of Disability Benefits Provided By Workers’ Compensation Workers’ compensation benefits tend to provide compensation for four different types of disability benefits: Temporary total disability: Your injury prevents you from returning to work in any capacity, but you are expected to recover (at least in part) from your injury. Temporary total disability benefits, or TTD benefits, pay two-thirds of an employee’s average weekly wage with a maximum of the 2019 statewide average weekly wage (SAWW) of $1,112.00. Typically, TTD benefits are paid for a maximum of 130 weeks. In some cases where an employee is in a vocational rehabilitation program, TTD benefits can be extended. Temporary partial disability: Your injury prevents you from returning to work in your full capacity, yet you are able to return to work in a part-time or modified capacity. You are also expected to recover from your injuries. Compensation is two-thirds of the difference between your earnings if you were at full capacity and your modified earnings. TPD benefits typically are available for a maximum of 225 weeks. Permanent partial disability: Permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits are designed for injured workers who suffer a permanent disability, but your disability does not prevent you from working entirely. For example, most permanent partial disability benefits involve the loss of function of part of the body. The amount of PPD benefits depends upon the type of permanent...

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Types of Injuries for Work Comp

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MINNESOTA WORK COMP LAWYER  An injured worker can be entitled to Minnesota work comp benefits if an injury is work-related as the result of work duties.  The employee may be injured on the employer’s property, while at another worksite, when traveling on the job, or doing anything that is work-related while “on the clock.”  With the help of an experienced Minnesota workers’ comp attorney, you will receive the help that you need to fill out and file a complete and accurate claim. UNDERSTANDING THE TYPES OF WORKPLACE INJURIES An injury incurred on the job is not considered a valid injury for work comp purposes if it was an injury that occurred due to committing a crime, did not occur while on the clock, was self-inflicted, was due to a pre-existing condition unless worsened by current work, or resulted from the use of alcohol or drugs.  An injury may also not be covered by workers’ comp if it is determined that the injury occurred due to violating company policy. Injuries that are covered under Minnesota work comp typically include physical injuries, including broken bones, head injuries, spinal injuries, amputated limbs, paralysis, eye injuries, burn injuries, repetitive motion injuries (carpal tunnel),  and many others. Illnesses may also be covered if the illness was caused by a hazardous job condition.  For instance, exposure to a toxic substance and exposure to substances that can cause cancer or respiratory illnesses can usually trigger Minnesota work comp benefits. Mental illnesses or traumatic emotional experiences at work are tricky.  These areas have gained some recent momentum under Minnesota work comp.  A person who experiences an event at work that causes emotional trauma resulting in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD could possibly qualify for Minnesota work comp benefits if it is deemed impossible for a person to return to work or a person can only work in a limited capacity because of the traumatic experience. HELPING YOU GET THE COMPENSATION YOU DESERVE When you have experienced any of the aforementioned types of injuries, it is important to notify your employer, your doctor, and your Minnesota workers’ comp attorney.  That way the process toward filing your workers’ comp claim can begin.  Minnesota work comp benefits are designed to help you get through your injury, recover, and return to work. CONTACT A ST. PAUL WORK COMP LAWYER As noted, several types of injuries are excluded from Minnesota work comp benefits. It is not uncommon for an employer or the insurance company to claim a legitimate work comp injury falls under one of the excluded categories and thereby attempt to deny work comp benefits. If you have been injured on the job, our experienced St. Paul workers’ comp attorneys can help you obtain your benefits as soon as possible, as well as remove a great deal of stress from the process. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.  There is no upfront fee if you decide to hire our St. Paul work comp lawyers to help recover your Minnesota work comp benefits.

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Injured At Work In Minnesota– What Should I Do?

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If you are injured at work in Minnesota, the first thing that you must do is report the injury to your employer.   Report the injury to your supervisor.  If you do not have a direct supervisor, report the injury to someone in a management capacity.  Report the injury regardless of the severity.  This is important because sometimes what you believe is a minor injury can develop into a serious injury. Failure to report the injury when it occurs can complicate matters.  If you are injured at work, go home, and then the next morning realize that the injury is much more severe than you realized, the employer may not believe you were injured at work.  Even very severe injuries may not seem severe when they occur.  Report any injury. If needed, go to the emergency room.  After reporting the injury at work, any treatment necessary to treat that injury will be compensated.  Do not worry about the expense at this time.  Tell your doctor you were injured at work.  Your employer may attempt to direct you to a doctor.  You do not have to go to the doctor they tell you to go to.  You may choose your doctor.  If needed you should get a restriction from your doctor.  The restriction can be different depending on the nature of the injury.  It can be a time-per-day restriction, a weight restriction, or anything your doctor deems appropriate. After you receive the restriction, if any, give it to your employer.  Ask your employer to complete a First Report of Injury.  If your employer refuses, fill out the document yourself.   Contact the law firm of Arechigo & Stokka, LLP, for a free consultation at 651-222-6603.

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Injured at Work Going Up or Down Stairs

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STAIR INJURY AT WORK If you were injured at work going up or down stairs, you deserve Minnesota work comp benefits.  The issue is whether this is compensable under the workers’ compensation law.  Generally, an employee who was injured at work going up or down stairs are work injures that are regarded as compensable injuries.   In one case, a delivery driver’s knee went out while descending three flights of stairs.  The doctor’s report indicated the delivery driver was injured at work going up or down stairs because that activity put more stress on the knee than would have occurred on a flat surface.  Consequently, this work injury was held to be compensable under Minnesota workers’ compensation law. In another workers’ compensation case, a woman with preexisting knee problems ran up a set of stairs and her knee buckled.  Despite the preexisting injuries in her knee, the court held that the work activities accelerated or aggravated the preexisting injury and, therefore, it was held to be compensable under the workers’ compensation law. IF YOU WERE INJURED AT WORK GOING UP OR DOWN STAIRS, AT A MINIMUM, SOME LEVEL OF WORK CONNECTION MUST BE ESTABLISHED IN ORDER FOR THE INJURY TO BE COMPENSABLE UNDER MINNESOTA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAW. Whether it is going up and/or down a large number of stairs, work boots that cause a fall and resulting work injury, or going up and down steep stairs at work that is above and beyond what someone may encounter at home, something about the stairs must be tied to work duties. HIRE WEST ST. PAUL’S BEST WORKERS COMP LAWYERS Because more and more employees are injured at work going up or down stairs, workmans comp cases involving resulting injuries from stairs are becoming more common.   If you have a stair injury from work, you need an experienced West St. Paul workers’ compensation lawyer to help prove your case.   If you have any questions, please contact our attorneys for a free consultation.

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How Can Facebook Affect My Employee Benefits?

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Just the other day, a St. Paul work comp client came into my office to discuss his case. I asked him how the church volunteering project went. He looked at me with surprise.  I showed him the pictures, sent to me by the insurance company. They showed him clearing brush, moving rocks, and working around the grounds of the church.   This employee had restrictions that restricted his ability to work AT ALL.  At the time he received full employee benefits allowed under the Minnesota workers’ compensation system while recovering from surgery. My client explained that he really had not worked.  He walked around the grounds while his wife helped the group, visiting with the other parishioners.   Unfortunately, he posted pictures of the day on Facebook.  The insurance company had been monitoring his social media.  If you examined the pictures more carefully it was clear that he was not “working” in any of them.  He was standing in front of the camera in most and doing nothing.  In one he was holding a piece of brush. THE INSURANCE COMPANY USED THIS AS AN EXCUSE TO DENY HIM EMPLOYEE BENEFITS. Although the work comp case eventually settled for a significant amount, the pictures the employee posted on Facebook made it much more difficult to obtain employee benefits.  I now tell all my work comp clients to stay off social media pending resolution of their case.   Innocuous pictures can be used to suggest that an employee is lying about the nature and extent of their injury, which may give the insurance company support to deny Minnesota work comp employee benefits. HIRE SOUTH ST. PAUL’S BEST WORKMAN’S COMP ATTORNEYS If an insurance company is using your social media to deny you work comp employee benefits, your case is not over.   Despite what the insurance company may tell you, our St. Paul work comp employee benefits lawyer will make sure we secure the employee benefits you are entitled to.   Our South St. Paul work comp employee benefits lawyer will explain to a judge, at trial if needed, the truth behind the seemingly damaging pictures.   If you need to speak with a Minnesota work comp attorney about obtaining your Minnesota workers compensation employee benefits, please contact our St. Paul work comp employee benefits lawyer at 651-222-6603, for a free consultation.

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What Are Workers Comp Attorney Fees in St. Paul?

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St Paul, Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Attorney Fees Become Governed By Statute This means that unlike in, for example, a personal injury case, where the attorney has some discretion over what to charge for a fee, the Minnesota legislature heavily regulates what a Minnesota work comp attorney can charge.   There are several different types of workers’ compensation lawyer fees: Contingency Fee  This is one of the main methods for payment of Minnesota workers’ compensation attorney fees.   Minnesota Statute § 176.081, subd. 1(a) permits these fees.   For injuries from 1995 to October 2013, this section permitted a Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyer a fee of 25% of the first $4,000 and 20% of the next $60,000 of compensation awarded to the injured employee so long as the fees are calculated on genuinely disputed claims or portions of claims.   All fees for legal services pertaining to the same injury are cumulative and may not exceed $13,000. Fees for obtaining disputed medical or rehabilitation benefits are included in the $13,000 limit. In October 2013, the statute was amended to state that a fee for legal services of 20% of the first $130,000 of compensation awarded to the employee is the maximum permissible fee. We’ll take care of everything else. Submit the short form below to setup a consultation. Irwin/Roraff Fees   The statute went under modification in 1995 to provide that the $13,000 limit on work comp attorney fees was the maximum possible fee for all legal services related to the same injury, including attorney fees paid for by the employer/insurer.   In Irwin v. Surdyk’s Liquor, the Minnesota Supreme Court held that the limitations on attorney fees in the 1995 amendments to the Minnesota Statute were unconstitutional in that they impinged upon the court’s inherent power to oversee attorneys and attorney fees. Fees in Excess of Maximum  Under Irwin, to get a fee more than the statutory limit, the court set forth a list of factors to consider the compensation judge in the determination of Minnesota workers’ compensation attorney fees: The amount involved Time and expense necessary to prepare for trial The responsibility assumed by counsel The expertise of counsel The difficulty of the issues The nature of the proof involved The results obtained Fees on Intervenor Recoveries  These are usually companies that have provided medical treatment or wage replacement benefits such as a short term disability plan. Minnesota Statute § 176.361, permits any “person” who has an interest in any matter before the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals, Commissioner or compensation judge, such that the person may either gain or lose by an order or decision, to file an application or motion to intervene.   Issues arise whether and to what extent an intervenor must contribute to the attorney fees or costs incurred in establishing the injured employee’s entitlement to Minnesota workers’ compensation benefits that result in a recovery for the intervenor.   The main case involved in this issue is Edquist v. Browning-Ferris. The St. Paul Statutory Scheme for MN Workers’ Comp Fees The Statutory Scheme That Outlines Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Attorney Fees Is to the Benefit of Injured Workers: A Minnesota work comp lawyer only entitles to make a claim for workers’ compensation attorney fees on genuine disputes. This means that if you hire a work comp lawyer at the beginning of your claim, and the employer/insurer does not dispute anything (wage loss, medical, etc.), the work comp attorney cannot make a claim for fees.   Also, many attorney fees become paid for by an employer/insurer.   For example, if an injured worker’s doctor requests to perform an MRI, the insurer denies payment, and the Minnesota work comp lawyer succeeds in getting the MRI paid for, those fees become paid for by the insurer/employer. Because of this, it is important for an injured employee to obtain a Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyer at the beginning of the case for a few reasons.   One, many different time deadlines exist that you must adhere to and failure to adhere to them can adversely affect the case.   Second, if a dispute does arise our MN work comp attorney has all the information and can make a quick decision and take quick action on the case. Our lawyers will review your work comp case to make sure you are getting all the benefits you deserve.   Our Minneapolis/St. Paul’s work comp lawyers will take the time to explain how workers’ compensation attorney fees factor into your case so you can make appropriate decisions regarding your work comp case. [WATCH] Tips For Making Sure Your MN Workers’ Compensation Claim is Paid Since they’re trying to save money, insurance companies don’t like to pay out claims. Because of this, they’ll try to come up with reasons to deny or undervalue them. If you were injured at work, try your best to not give the insurance company any reason to deny your claim. Here are some tips to avoid getting your workers’ compensation benefits wrongfully denied. First, report the injury as soon as possible. State workers’ compensation laws often require you to report work injuries within 30 days. Second, gather the names of potential witnesses. If anyone witnessed your injury, get their names and contact information so they can verify your story. Third, get medical treatment immediately. Most insurance companies assume that if you don’t seek medical attention, then you weren’t really injured. Fourth, explain how you got hurt. Give details to your medical provider and the insurer about how the injury happened. We recommend having an attorney with you whenever you contact the insurance company. Fifth, fill out your employer’s accident report form. If you do not fill out an accident report with the company’s insurer, they may try to deny your claim. Sixth, sign a limited medical authorization for the insurer. This allows insurers to have copies of your medical records relating to your work injury. Seventh, attend all your doctor’s appointments. If you skip doctor’s appointments, the insurer may try to terminate your benefits. For more information about workers’ compensation claims,...

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How Long Can You Collect Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

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Workers’ compensation benefits provide a lifeline to injured workers and their families. Workers’ comp not only covers medical bills to treat a workers’ injuries, but can also provide wage loss benefits when the worker cannot return to his or her old job. One question we receive is “How long can you receive workers’ compensation benefits?” This is a perfectly valid question, especially if you have been so injured that you are not earning as much as you did before. Many workers are rightfully afraid that their benefits will run out. Wage Loss Benefits Minnesota’s workers’ compensation system provides for four types of wage loss benefits that can replace some or all of the income you have lost because of an injury. Temporary total disability: the worker cannot return to work temporarily because of an injury. Temporary partial disability: the worker has temporary physical restrictions due to the injury that keeps him or her from making the same amount as before the accident. Permanent partial disability: the worker has lost the use of a body part, such as a hand or foot. Permanent total disability: the worker cannot return to work at all because of a disability. Remember that wage loss benefits only replace a portion of your lost wages, so even under the best circumstances, injured workers lose money. Duration of Temporary Disability Benefits Temporary wage loss benefits don’t last forever. Instead, the following limits apply: Temporary total disability: maximum of 130 weeks Temporary partial disability: maximum of 225 weeks Workers should talk with their doctor about their expected recovery time and what they need to do to reach maximum medical improvement. If you have a partial disability, you can hopefully pick up new skills so that you can transition to a new job. Duration of Permanent Total Disability Workers with the most severe injuries will be out of the workplace possibly forever and can draw permanent total disability benefits until retirement. (If you have a permanent partial disability, you might receive payment in a lump sum.) Under the law, the age of retirement is presumed to be age 67. Of course, a worker can try to rebut this presumption by proving to a judge that he or she would have continued working past age 67. In reality, though, this is very hard to do, and most people who are totally disabled see their benefits end at age 67. Get all the Benefits You Are Entitled To It should come as no surprise that many employers and insurers try to force injured workers back into work, or they try to cut off benefits early. You might need an attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve. At Arechigo & Stokka, we have helped countless injured workers maximize the amount of compensation they can receive. Doing so affords them peace of mind, as they know their expenses and their loved ones will be taken care of. Contact us today. We offer a free, no-risk compensation where we can learn more about your accident and injuries.

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