Most workers’ comp cases end in a settlement. Workers’ comp, or workers’ compensation, is financial compensation for your lost wages, medical expenses, disability, and other expenses you face as a result of a job-related injury.
Some factors that might affect your settlement value include:
- The severity of your injury,
- Whether you can return to work, and
- Whether evidence exists that contradicts your claim.
If you have been injured as the result of a job-related injury, you should talk to a Minnesota workers’ comp lawyer today.
What Is the Workers’ Comp Process in Minnesota?
The Minnesota workers’ comp process can become complicated and intimidating.
Hiring a lawyer can make the process less stressful for you.
File Your Claim
The first step in the MN workers’ comp process is to file your claim by completing and submitting the appropriate paperwork. We recommend hiring a lawyer to ensure the paperwork is filled out properly.
Next, the insurance company’s lawyer takes your deposition. During a deposition, the lawyer will ask you questions about your claim to gather information. Your deposition is part of the evidence your insurance company will consider when deciding whether to offer a settlement.
Independent Medical Examination
After taking your deposition, your insurance company schedules a medical exam. Your insurance company and employer choose the doctor that will perform the exam. The purpose is to have a third-party doctor to assess whether your injuries are consistent with your statements.
Most of the time, your insurance company will next offer you a settlement. It is usually in the form of a lump sum payment. Your attorney can help you negotiate the final settlement amount.
If your insurance company does not offer you a settlement or if you cannot reach an agreement, the next step is a hearing before a judge. At the hearing, both sides present evidence of why you are or are not entitled to workers’ comp. Unlike with a settlement, the judge will ultimately make the decision.
If the judge denies your workers’ comp claim, you can file an appeal within 30 days of the date of the decision.
Things to Keep in Mind When Considering a Settlement Offer
It is important to wait until you have fully recovered from your injuries to accept a settlement offer.
You want to make sure you don’t accept a settlement that is lower than you deserve because you don’t yet know the total cost of your injuries.
If you accept a settlement that does not cover all of your expenses, it is very difficult to set aside.
However, it is possible to accept a settlement while leaving open the possibility of additional claims if you have more medical expenses or your impairment changes in the future. You just need to be sure to include that language in your settlement agreement.
Additionally, it is important to understand that you won’t receive a settlement offer if your insurance company denies your claim. If applicable, a lawyer could contest the denial by providing additional evidence of your injuries or correcting any errors in the paperwork you’ve submitted.
How Can a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Help You?
The Minnesota workers’ comp lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka, P.C., can help you navigate the complex workers’ comp process.
Working with us can minimize your chances of making a mistake and give you leverage against your employer’s insurance company.
Whether your case settles or goes before a judge, we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today for your free consultation.