What to Do If Workers’ Comp Overpays You

    | Read Time: 3 minutes

Workers’ compensation insurance provides medical benefits and wages to workers who suffer a work-related injury or illness. Minnesota requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Failing to maintain workers’ compensation coverage results in steep fines for employers and, in some cases, a lawsuit. In 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported over 63,000 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in private industry employment in Minnesota alone. In fact, Minnesota workers suffered injuries and illnesses at a significantly higher rate than the national average. Qualifying for Workers’ Compensation Benefits Workers’ compensation provides the following benefits to ill or injured employees: Costs of medical care, including treatment, equipment, supplies, and transportation to and from appointments; Lost wages; Vocational rehabilitation, including training, education, and support if you need to transition to a new occupation; and Death benefits. Minnesota workers labeled as “employees” rather than “independent contractors” are authorized to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Additionally, the employee bears the burden of proving that their illness or injury was caused by work-related factors. Finally, be sure to notify your employer within 14 days of a workplace accident, or you could lose your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. Receiving Workers’ Comp Benefits The amount of compensation paid to injured or ill workers depends on the level of disability the worker suffers.  Temporary Disability Temporary disability benefits are available on a temporary basis to individuals expected to recover from their work-related illness or injury.  A temporary total disability (TTD) is a temporary disability that prevents individuals from working in any capacity for some period of time as a result of their illness or injury. TTD benefits pay two-thirds of an employee’s average weekly wage with a maximum of the 2021 statewide average weekly wage (SAWW) of $1,232. Employees can collect TTD benefits for up to 130 weeks in most circumstances. An ill or injured individual with a temporary partial disability (TPD) is able to work in a part-time or modified capacity despite their injury. TPD benefits include two-thirds of the difference between your earnings at full capacity and your modified earnings. The state provides TPD benefits for a maximum of 275 weeks. Permanent Disability A permanent disability occurs when an individual is not expected to fully recover from their work-related illness or injury.  Permanent total disability (PTD) involves injuries/illnesses that are permanent and so severe that they prevent a worker from ever obtaining gainful employment for the remainder of his or her lifetime. PTD benefits pay two-thirds of an employee’s average weekly wage with a maximum of the 2021 SAWW of $1,232. Workers with a permanent total disability receive PTD benefits until they reach retirement age, which Minnesota presumes to be age 72 for injuries after October 2018.  . Permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits aim to compensate injured workers for permanent loss or impairment of a bodily function. These benefits are typically not dependent on loss of wages or the individual’s ability to work. To qualify for PPD, Minnesota requires the injured worker to show that the permanency of the injury is causally related to the injury itself. The amount of PPD benefits depends on the type and severity of permanent disability suffered by the injured worker. What If I Receive Workers’ Compensation Overpayment? Workers suffering from severe work-related injuries or illnesses could receive a substantial award of workers’ compensation benefits to cover the cost of their medical costs and rehabilitation, not to mention their lost wages. But what happens if a workers’ comp overpayment lands in your bank account unexpectedly?  Receiving benefits beyond what you are entitled to may seem like a good problem to have. However, if not remedied, a workers’ compensation overpayment creates multiple issues for the injured worker. Minnesota law allows individuals who receive workers’ compensation to keep the overpayments as long as the individual who received the overpayment did so in good faith. That means that the individual cannot purposely attempt to defraud the insurance company. While the workers’ comp overpayment does not have to be returned to the insurance company, the insurance company can adjust future payments to recoup the overpayment by reducing future workers’ compensation checks by no more than 20%. If you believe an insurance company issued a workers’ compensation overpayment to you, contact a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible to determine what steps you should take next. Hiring a Workers’ Comp Attorney in the Event of Overpayment Since its founding in 2007, the Criminal Defense and Workers’ Compensation Law Office of Arechigo & Stokka has committed its practice to direct, personalized representation coupled with the determination to understand the intricacies of each individual case. We have helped countless injured workers maximize their recovery and navigate the complicated workers’ compensation claims process. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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Equipment Malfunction at Work: What to Know

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As an employee, your employer must provide you with a safe work environment. In some situations, a careless manufacturer puts workers at risk. Every day, equipment malfunctions place many individuals at risk for severe machine injuries. If injured due to an equipment malfunction, it is crucial to promptly speak to a personal injury attorney and discuss your rights. You may have a right to seek workers’ compensation benefits for your injuries.  What Is the Most Common Injury Caused by Working Machines Unsafely? Various injuries may result from equipment malfunction at work. Some of these accidents may result in severe and permanent injuries affecting your ability to work in the future. Some common machine injuries caused by equipment malfunction include the following: Crush Hazards. When two heavy objects move toward each other, they create a crush hazard. In some accidents caused by this type of machinery, the machine injuries occur when a body part comes into contact with the moving parts. Shear Hazards. Shearing machines cut and punch heavy-duty materials. Many workers suffer severe injuries when a body part comes into contact with the blade or other part of the shearing machine. Nip Hazards. Conveyor belts represent a common type of machine causing nip hazards. When one or more rotating parts come into contact with a body part, this may result in devastating injuries.  People operating heavy machinery suffer severe injuries every year, including amputation, lacerations, abrasions, and crushing injuries. Fatalities may also occur as a result of equipment malfunction. Many machine injuries render workers unable to work and provide for their families. An experienced personal injury attorney works to obtain the benefits you deserve, so you may continue to provide for your family. Additionally, these benefits enable you to focus on your recovery, so you can get back to work. What Is Workers’ Compensation?  Workers’ compensation provides workers with multiple benefits when rendered unable to work due to injury or illness. These benefits include the following.  Wage-Loss Benefits Wage-loss benefits serve to compensate an injured worker for lost income due to a work-related injury. These benefits typically pay a percentage of a worker’s total wage without tax consequences. Many also refer to these benefits as disability benefits. The severity of your injuries determines what benefits you receive and for how long. Medical Benefits  Medical benefits simply serve to reimburse a person for medical bills expended due to their work-related injury. Medical benefits include coverage for the following expenses: Medications,  Nursing home care,  Hospitalizations, and Medical equipment. The medical benefits available depend on the length of care required due to your injuries. Vocational Rehabilitation Vocational rehabilitation includes work retraining, employment services, career counseling, and tuition for work-related continued education. You may be able to claim these benefits in situations where your injuries prevent you from returning to your previous employment.  Permanent Disability Benefits  Permanent partial and permanent total disability benefits serve to pay for the loss of your future earning ability due to your work-related injury. These may also benefit a person suffering the permanent loss or use of a body part. Benefit payments are based on a disability rating assigned to you by your doctor. Disputes arising as a result of permanent disability benefits commonly occur. Therefore, retaining a qualified personal injury attorney can help ensure you receive the benefits needed to assist you in moving on with your life.  Every workers’ compensation case includes a unique set of facts. However, many people receive a denial of their workers’ compensation claims. Without these benefits, you and your family may be left without support. Even in cases where your employer and workers’ compensation insurance company admit liability due to your machinery injuries, you may not receive the benefits you require. Disputes may arise over your entitlement to medical care, wage loss benefits, rehabilitation benefits, or permanent benefits.   Contact Us After a severe and traumatic injury due to an equipment malfunction, it is vital to contact a personal injury attorney. For over twenty years, the attorneys at Arechigo and Stokka have strived to provide the highest caliber legal representation to clients in their time of need. We work to understand each client’s circumstances and analyze the unique facts surrounding their case. Over the years, our firm has earned the trust of hundreds of clients. The attorneys at Arechigo and Stokka receive many new clients through past client referrals. Contact us today for a free consultation! Let us get to work to assist you in receiving benefits after an equipment malfunction.

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St. Paul MN Workers Comp Attorney Fees

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[WATCH] Tips For Making Sure Your MN Workers’ Compensation Claim is Paid Transcription: 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, contact Arechigo & Stokka today. We’ve helped hundreds of workers throughout Minnesota get the benefits they deserve. 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 Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyer fees which we’ll explain below. Minnesota Workers’ Comp 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. Denied a Workers’ Compensation Claim? Call us today for a free and confidential case analysis. You can reach us at 651-222-6603, we are ready to help. 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 MN Workers’ Compensation 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 and rates 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 workers’ comp attorney has all the information and can make a quick decision and...

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Can My Employer Contact My Doctor Without My Consent?

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Suffering from any sort of injury can put a serious damper on your life. Injuries can bring medical bills, psychological trauma, missed wages, and a number of other unsavory things with them. Workplace injuries are no exception. Luckily, in most situations, if you injure yourself at work, your employer is liable to cover any damages you suffer. Employers in the United States have a special type of insurance called workers’ compensation (often referred to as “workers’ comp”) that covers workplace injuries specifically. In fact, workers’ comp insurance is compulsory in the US. Sometimes, employers are not as forthcoming in some workers’ compensation claim processes as they are in others. After all, the more injuries that their workers’ comp insurance has to cover, the greater their insurance premiums become. As a result, if you suffer an injury at work that is not a visible emergency, your employer may not believe you. Even with a doctor’s note, employers sometimes don’t believe that you have an injury or think you are exaggerating your injury. This often happens when you discover your injury outside of work. In this situation, how do you proceed? Generally, your medical records are private, but your employer has to verify the injury somehow. Can your employer call your doctor? Can any employer call a doctor to verify a note? Read on for guidance on workers’ compensation, privacy, and your employer from the award-winning workers’ compensation team at Arechigo & Stokka. How Does HIPAA Apply to Workers’ Compensation? As noted, for the most part, our medical records are private. They are covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). The HIPAA contains privacy rules that apply to certain types of individuals and legal entities. Those entities, which include medical care providers and insurers, possess confidential medical records. The aforementioned entities are only allowed to disclose medical records, without your authorization, to certain parties in specific circumstances. One of the circumstances explicitly mentioned on the CDC website is workers’ compensation.  Can My Employer Call My Doctor Directly? Generally, your employer should not contact your doctor directly. In a perfect world, your employer would find a note from your doctor enough evidence of an injury. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Your employer may still feel the need to contact your doctor, even without your authorization. The situations where a workers’ compensation insurer, state administrator, employer, or other entity involved in workers’ compensation systems can contact your doctor without authorization are as follows: As authorized by and to the extent necessary to comply with laws relating to workers’ compensation; If such a disclosure is required by any other state or federal law; To obtain payment for any health care provided to the injured or ill worker. As you can see, these situations may very well apply to your employer and their insurer when they need to verify an injury for purposes of workers’ compensation. So yes, your employer or their insurer can sometimes directly contact your doctor without your authorization. You can always directly authorize your employer to contact your doctor. If that is what you choose to do, you will need to give your doctor the name of the person you are authorizing to contact them. Can My Employer Call My Doctor and Access the Entirety of My Medical Records? No. The information that an entity covered by the HIPAA privacy rules can disclose in the aforementioned situations is limited. The HIPAA requires that covered entities only disclose the minimum medical information necessary to accomplish the workers’ compensation purposes. This includes the minimum amount of information necessary for payment purposes. Thus, your employer should have access to very specific, minimal information contained in your medical record. A HIPAA violation would occur if your employer were to access the entirety of your medical records.  Does My Employer Have to Follow My Doctor’s Orders? Yes, your employer absolutely has to follow your doctor’s orders. It is critical that your employer do so. Not only can your employer face fines otherwise, but your injury may worsen and they may end up with a lawsuit on their hands. After your initial treatment, your doctor will put together a recovery plan for your injury. The recovery plan will include what sort of work, if any, that you are authorized to do while recovering. If your employer can accommodate you at a different position in the workplace, they should do so. If your injury worsens or you become unable to do the new job you were given, it is critical that you contact your doctor as soon as possible to update your work authorization and recovery plan. For Help With Your Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Claim For help with any aspect of your Minnesota workers’ compensation claim, go with Arechigo & Stokka—the small firm that gets big results. There is no room for error in your claim, so there is no substitute for experience. Our workers’ compensation team has decades of experience helping injured individuals recover as quickly as possible and maximize their workers’ compensation benefits in the process. If you suffered an injury at work, don’t wait to get legal help. Reach out to us at Arechigo & Stokka for a free consultation regarding your workers’ compensation claim today.

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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 or call (651) 222-6603 to speak 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...

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What to Know if You Were Hurt as a United Parcel Service (UPS) Employee in Minnesota

    | Read Time: 2 minutes

UPS employees have busy jobs, which often lead to work accidents. Fortunately, UPS workers’ compensation is available for UPS employees injured while on the job. It is important to become familiar with UPS workers’ comp and what it can mean for you. What Is Workers’ Compensation? Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance for employees, including those working for UPS. If you suffer an injury while acting in the scope of employment, you can file a UPS workers’ comp claim. Workers’ compensation helps cover expenses and financial losses from your workplace injury. If you’ve been injured while working for UPS, do not hesitate to contact a workers’ compensation attorney to help ensure you get the benefits you deserve. Types of UPS Workers’ Compensation Benefits Available After a work accident, you can file a workers’ comp claim to receive benefits. The benefits available in Minnesota for workers’ compensation include: Medical expenses, Lost wages, Disability benefits, and Rehabilitation benefits. If you are unsure of what benefits you are entitled to, contact a workers’ compensation attorney. Common UPS Work Injuries Working for UPS can be very hectic and stressful. Therefore, accidents while on the job are common. Some of the most common injuries for UPS employees include: Head and neck injuries, Knee and hip injuries, Back and spinal cord injuries, Shoulder injuries, Fractures or broken bones, and Lacerations. Depending on the type of accident, workplace injuries can range in severity. If you’ve been injured on the job, be sure to file a UPS workman’s comp claim.  What to Do Following a UPS Workplace Injury The steps you take after a work accident are crucial. Following these steps can help you get the benefits you deserve from UPS workers’ comp. Get Medical Care After a work accident, put your health first. If the resulting injuries are severe, call 911 right away. Otherwise, be sure to visit your primary care physician. Notify the doctor that the reason for your visit is UPS workers’ comp. The doctor will complete a Report of Work Ability form detailing your physical injuries and limitations. Your employer and insurer should receive copies of these forms. Report Your Accident Reporting your accident to your immediate supervisor or manager is part of the UPS injury policy. Employers must file a First Report of Injury (FROI) form. Failing to report your accident may prevent you from receiving UPS workers’ compensation benefits.  Talk to a Workers’ Compensation Attorney UPS workers’ compensation settlements can differ depending on your circumstances. However, in some cases, you may not be receiving the workers’ comp benefits you deserve, or you may be denied altogether. Discuss your situation with a workers’ compensation attorney. They will get you on the right path to the benefits you need. Contact a Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today The Criminal Defense Attorney and Workers’ Compensation Law Offices of Arechigo & Stokka has been serving injured clients since 2007. Our firm prides itself on offering the highest quality legal representation while providing clients with the patience and understanding they seek. We are committed to fighting for our clients’ rights. We offer free consultations. Contact us today to get started. 

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What to Do If You Have a Lowe’s Work Accident-Related Injury

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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. Recent Case Settlement THE CASE: Successful in obtaining lifetime medical benefits for a herniated disc in the neck. The insurance company denied the neck injury was work-related and said it was a minor sprain. Their hired doctor backed them up, and the client was denied all benefits. After they offered a small sum of money to settle the case, we decided to take the case to trial. The judge determined that the herniation was work-related. The judge ordered that the insurance company pay for all outstanding medical bills, wage loss, and any medical bills that are reasonably necessary, and causally related to the herniation for the rest of his life. CASE RESULT: Our client injured herself several years ago while lifting heavy boxes. She reported the injury to her employer. The employer promised to pay her medical bills personally if she did not report it to the insurance company. Several months later, the employer decided that he did not want to pay her bills anymore. Our client, who was still in pain, kept treating and her medical bills mounted. She eventually was forced to inform the workers’ compensation insurance company of the injury. The insurance company promptly denied the claim because she did not report the injury in a timely manner. After filing our claim and presenting evidence that our client had given timely notice, and their insured had lied to them, the case was settled for a significant sum.

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Do Employers Drug Test for Workers’ Comp?

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Workman’s Comp Drug Testing Policy 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. If you have failed a drug test following a workplace injury, you should contact a Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyer right away. At Arechigo & Stokka, our experienced team will fight for you and make sure you get all the workers’ compensation benefits to which you are entitled. 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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Will I Be Covered by Workers’ Compensation If I Contract COVID-19?

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With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting millions across America, many workers worry about their employment. You may have questions in this uncertain time, such as, will I be covered by workers’ compensation in MN if I contract COVID? Workers’ compensation normally doesn’t cover community-acquired illnesses like colds and flu. However, there are some exceptions for COVID. Here, we explain workers’ compensation MN laws related to COVID.  If you have questions about these laws or want to discuss your situation, contact our experienced workers’ comp MN attorneys at the Criminal Defense Attorney & Workers’ Compensation Law Offices of Arechigo & Stokka. COVID Workers’ Compensation for Frontline Workers Last year, Governor Tim Walz signed H.F. 4537, which expanded Minnesota’s workers’ compensation to include COVID frontline workers. The law protects workers with a presumption that a COVID infection occurred at the workplace, though employers have the opportunity to rebut the presumption. Frontline workers covered by this presumption include: Law enforcement officers; Firefighters; Paramedics and EMTs; Healthcare workers and correction officers working in correctional facilities; and  Healthcare workers and assistants in healthcare, home care, or long-term care facilities with COVID-infected populations.  People providing childcare to these frontline workers can also qualify for the presumption. If you are not entitled to the presumption, you may still be able to claim workers’ compensation for COVID. Doing so will require you to present some evidence that your COVID infection came from your workplace.  How to Claim Workers’ Compensation for COVID To claim workmans’ compensation in MN for COVID, you should take these steps: Notify your employer that you suspect COVID and stay home from work; Get laboratory testing to verify your COVID infection; Quarantine according to health authority guidance; Save medical records and bills related to your COVID diagnosis and treatment; File a workers’ compensation claim related to your illness; and Speak to an attorney if your employer rejects your workers’ compensation claim or threatens to retaliate if you file a claim. Workmans’ comp insurance in MN should pay your medical bills and a reduced wage while you miss work due to COVID. To receive workmans’ comp benefits, you will need to present evidence of your injury and of your inability to work.  Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney About Your COVID Claim If you think you acquired COVID at work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. This new area of workers’ compensation claims can be confusing, and insurers may try to reject your claim. An experienced attorney can help you pursue the compensation you need. To speak to an attorney about your workers’ compensation claim, contact the Criminal Defense Attorney & Workers’ Compensation Law Offices of Arechigo & Stokka. We have decades of experience helping hundreds of clients, but we personalize a legal solution for each client. We offer a free consultation and work on contingency. This means you owe us nothing until we win you money. Contact us today to get started on your COVID workers’ compensation claim.

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Amazon Workers’ Compensation Overview

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If you work for Amazon in Minnesota and are injured at work, you need to know your rights. Do you need to file a workers’ compensation claim through Amazon? Who pays for your medical bills? Can you sue Amazon in court?The experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Law Offices of Arechigo and Stokka will walk you through each step. We also will ensure you get full benefits to compensate you for your Amazon workers’ compensation claim. Why Workers’ Compensation for Amazon Injuries? Like most states, Minnesota has a workers’ compensation law that covers work-related accidents and injuries. This law also makes workers’ compensation the exclusive remedy for workers to recover money when hurt on the job.  Workers’ compensation involves a trade off. Injured workers do not need to prove that their employer caused or was at fault for their work-related injury. In addition, injured employees receive specified benefits based on the type and severity of their injury. Consequently, the workers’ compensation system provides employees with a relatively fast and defined method to recover their medical bills and lost wages.  In exchange, workers are not permitted to sue their employer in court for employment-related injuries. Also, employees are unable to recover certain types of monetary damages, such as pain and suffering awards. Generally, the only way that you can recover money from Amazon for an on-the-job injury is through workers’ compensation. However, Minnesota’s workers’ compensation statute provides limited exceptions that might allow you to sue your employer or a third party. When you consult with us regarding your Amazon workers’ compensation claim, we can advise you on the best way to proceed. What Should an Amazon Employee Do First When Injured on the Job? If you are injured while working for Amazon, your first step is to notify your supervisor and seek medical attention. Whether you work in Amazon’s technology office, fulfillment center, or sortation facility, you need to report all injuries, no matter how minor, to management. Amazon then must complete the First Report of Injury form. Amazon should give you a copy of that completed form as well as the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation System Employee Information Sheet.  What Amazon Workers’ Compensation Benefits Will I Receive? If your illness or injury occurred while working for Amazon, you generally will be able to recover:  Medical expenses—reasonable and necessary medical treatments and supplies; Rehabilitation benefits—vocational rehabilitation services and/or retraining to help you return to work; and Lost wages—temporary or permanent disability benefits to cover a portion of the pay lost due to your work-related injury. If an employee dies while working at Amazon, Minnesota’s workers’ compensation statute will provide a death benefit to the surviving spouse or other dependents. Do I Need A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer? It is important to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer early in the process to protect your rights. Amazon workers’ compensation claims can be stressful, and you may fear retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim. We can help take the fear and frustration out of the process while ensuring you get your rightful workers’ compensation benefits. Contact or call (651) 222-6603 to reach one of the Minnesota workers’ compensation attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka for a free consultation as soon as you are injured at Amazon. We have represented hundreds of injured workers in Minnesota, and you won’t pay a fee unless we recover workers’ compensation benefits for you.

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