Minnesota’s workers’ compensation laws provide benefits to qualifying employees who suffer injuries due to their employment activities.
Unlike personal injury claims, workers’ comp does not require claimants to establish their employer’s negligence to secure benefits.
However, workers must show that their injury is a condition caused, aggravated, or exacerbated by their employment. This does include repetitive stress injuries, occupational illnesses, and certain mental injuries.
Minnesota’s workers’ compensation benefits are crucial in safeguarding employees and employers in the face of occupational injuries or illnesses.
However, these claims require a comprehensive understanding of complex workers’ compensation laws. Therefore, it is vital that you contact an attorney to ensure that you secure the benefits you are entitled to under the law.
Workers’ Compensation Claims in Minnesota
Most Minnesota employers are required by law to have workers’ compensation insurance. This ensures that workers are protected if they suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. There are some limited exceptions to this rule.
There are three primary types of workers’ compensation benefits in Minnesota:
- Medical, and
If you suffer a work-related injury, you must report the incident to your employer as soon as possible. After an employer receives a work-related injury report, they must notify the injury to their insurance company and the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry if it meets specific criteria.
If there’s a disagreement between the worker and the employer or insurance company regarding the benefits, the dispute can be taken to the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals.
Occupational Repetitive Stress Injuries
Occupational repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) are conditions arising from prolonged repetitive actions, forceful exertions, or awkward postures that occur during work activities.
These injuries primarily impact muscles, nerves, tendons, and ligaments, causing injuries such as nerve pain, aching, discomfort, and long-term damage.
While there may be Minnesota workers’ comp coverage for RSIs, these cases tend to be harder to prove than those involving other types of injuries.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Compensation in Minnesota
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is an RSI that impacts the wrist’s median nerve. Workers who engage in repetitive tasks involving their hands, such as continuous typing or assembly line work, often experience these injuries.
Tendonitis Workers’ Compensation in Minnesota
Tendonitis occurs when a tendon becomes irritated or inflamed. This injury often stems from repetitive tasks, sudden injuries, or excessive strain.
Tenosynovitis occurs when the fluid-filled sheath surrounding a tendon becomes inflamed. Workers who engage in continuous typing, repeated motions, or experience excessive force may incur this condition.
While the presence and severity of RSI varies, early symptoms can range from tingling numbness and pain, escalating to reduced mobility.
Unfortunately, RSIs can be debilitating, potentially impacting a worker’s ability to perform tasks. Qualifying workers should consult an attorney to learn about their legal rights for repetitive stress injuries in Minnesota.
Minnesota Workers’ Compensation for Repetitive Stress Injuries
Minnesota’s workers’ compensation program provides financial benefits for employees who experience repetitive stress injuries.
Medical benefits cover all necessary and reasonable medical care and services related to the worker’s injury. Common medical benefits include emergency treatment, hospital stays, doctor visits, surgeries, physical therapy, and medication.
Serious injuries can result in missed work and reduced earning capacity. In these cases, Minnesota’s workers’ comp program provides wage-loss benefits. These benefits typically amount to two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage.
The type of wage-loss benefits, whether temporary total, temporary partial, or permanent, depends on the nature and duration of the worker’s disability.
An experienced attorney can evaluate your case and help you determine which you might be eligible for.
Some injuries might prevent an employee from returning to their previous position. Workers’ comp covers vocational rehabilitation services in these instances, including retraining and job placement assistance.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
If an injury results in permanent functional loss, the worker may be entitled to PPD benefits. Permanent partial disability benefits can be paid concurrently with temporary partial disability and permanent total disability benefits.
However, they are unavailable if an employee receives temporary total disability benefits.
Workers Compensation Disputes
Disagreements often arise over Minnesota workers’ compensation claims. Recent data from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) indicates it received about 6,100 dispute filings in 2022. This was about 500 more than in 2021 and 1,000 more than in 2020.
When this occurs, it is essential that injured workers contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. Some common disputes between the injured employee and the insurer may arise over:
- Whether the employee is entitled to the benefit or service;
- The level and length of disability payments, and
- Whether the injury is work-related.
The DLI carries out certain dispute-resolution proceedings, including Informal intervention, dispute certification, mediation, and administration conferences.
Minnesota’s Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) also performs dispute-resolutions services, including mediation, settlement conferences, administrative conferences, and formal hearings.
In some cases, the parties may engage in other dispute-resolution processes. However, regardless of the dispute process, it is crucial that injured workers work with an attorney.
An attorney can help you understand whether you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits and if any other claim, such as a third-party personal injury claim, may be viable.
Are You Seeking Minnesota Workers’ Compensation for Repetitive Stress Injuries?
If you recently developed an RSI and you believe that it was due to your work, reach out to the dedicated Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka.
Our work injury lawyers are passionate about providing exceptional representation at every stage, meticulously gathering evidence, and preparing your application to minimize the chance of delay or denial.
At Arechigo & Stokka, we have over 20 years of experience pursuing benefits on behalf of injured workers. Over this time, we’ve successfully connected hundreds of clients with the benefits they need to overcome their injuries and get back to work so they can start to move on with their lives.
To learn more and to schedule a free consultation today, give Arechigo & Stokka a call or reach out to us through our online contact form.
Josh has been representing injured workers for over 10 years. Josh was born and raised in Fargo, North Dakota, and attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology. Mr. Stokka alson received his law degree from the Hamline University School of Law. During law school, Josh clerked at a Minnesota law firm specializing in personal injury and workers’ compensation. Prior to practicing in the area of workers’ compensation, Josh clerked for a judge in the 7th Judicial District in Minnesota. This valuable experience gave him insight into how judges think, do their jobs behind the scene, and how to frame a case in order to obtain a favorable result. Now, he focuses 100% of his practice on defending injured workers in Minnesota.