Workers’ Comp Settlements for a Back Injury in Minnesota

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Back injuries can severely disrupt your life and cause long-term health problems. Unfortunately, back injuries frequently occur in the workplace and are commonly reported for workers’ comp claims. Back pain alone costs employers almost $100 billion every year. If you suffered back injuries due to a workplace accident, an experienced workers’ comp attorney can help you secure the compensation you need to cover the costs of your treatment.  Common Workplace Back Injuries Back injuries commonly occur in the workplace, even in jobs requiring little or no physical labor. Back injuries can include damage to your spinal cord, muscle injuries, and damage to the nervous system. Common back injuries in the workplace include: Herniated discs, Muscle strains and sprains, Pinched nerves, Fractured vertebrae, and Degenerative disc disease. Back strains and sprains are common and can occur through even the slightest movements. In fact, many workers who complain of lower back pain spend most of their days sitting. Herniated discs are also common and particularly harmful. Our spinal cords are composed of bones called vertebrae, which are separated and cushioned by discs. These discs absorb shock when we place strain on our spinal cords through physical movements. A herniated disc occurs when the inner portion of the disc pushes out and ruptures the outer disc layer. When this happens, the ruptured disc pushes on the nerves in the spine, producing sometimes intense pain. Herniated discs can occur through a single event or over time through the degeneration of the spinal column. Common Causes of Workplace Back Injuries Back injuries in the workplace can occur through a variety of different events. Some of the most common causes of workplace back injuries include: Improper technique when lifting heavy objects, Sudden movements, Working too fast, and Repetitive motions that strain the back. Improper lifting technique commonly results in workplace back injuries. Lifting heavy objects without properly engaging the leg muscles places undue strain on the spinal cord. This often leads to back injuries such as herniated discs. Herniated disc settlements for workers’ comp may involve large payments to cover the full extent of rehabilitation and medical treatment. Can I Receive Workers’ Compensation for My Back Injury? If you suffer a workplace back injury while performing your job duties, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation coverage normally includes: All medical costs associated with your injury, Lost wages, Disability payments, and Ongoing rehabilitation. Calculating workers’ compensation benefits is complicated. To ensure you receive a fair workers’ comp settlement for your back injury, you should speak with a qualified attorney before signing any agreement.  Can My Employer Deny My Workers’ Compensation Claim? While most workers’ compensation claims are approved, employers can deny their employees workers’ comp benefits. Your employer’s insurance company will assess whether the employer is responsible for paying for your treatment. In some cases, the insurance company may advise the employer to deny the claim. Some common reasons for denial of workers’ comp benefits include: Failing to file a claim in time, The injury did not occur in the workplace, Drugs or alcohol were involved, or The employee contributed to or caused their own injury. Denial of your workers’ comp claim is not the end of the story. An experienced attorney can help you appeal your denial and fight to receive the compensation you deserve. Contact a Qualified Workers’ Comp Attorney Today If you suffered a workplace back injury, you should seek immediate medical attention. Untreated back injuries can lead to long-term health problems. After you receive medical treatment, contact the experienced attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka to help you handle your workers’ compensation settlements for your back injury. Our dedicated staff cares deeply about our clients, and we will always place your interests first. Our team will answer your questions and provide you hands-on legal services every step of the way. For a free consultation, call our office at 651-222-6603 or fill out an online form today. 

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Tips for Hiring the Best Criminal Defense Attorney in MN

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Choosing the best criminal defense attorney in Minnesota can feel overwhelming. With so many law firms to choose from, you may struggle to find the attorney that is right for you. Below are some tips for hiring the best Minnesota criminal defense attorney, so you get the legal counsel you need.  Choose an Attorney with Relevant Experience Criminal defense encompasses a broad category of different legal practices. A lawyer who specializes in one field may not have the relevant experience to provide you the best representation for your specific case. When searching for an attorney or law firm, narrow your choices based on the type of law the attorney practices and where they practice. Ask yourself the following questions: What type of case do I have? What kinds of law does the attorney practice and are they related to my case? How much experience does the attorney have practicing that type of law? Does the attorney have experience taking their cases to trial? Where does the attorney primarily practice law? What were the most recent types of cases the attorney handled? Laws vary significantly depending on each state. You should make sure your attorney has experience practicing law in Minnesota. Attorneys who specialize in Minnesota criminal law have experience and an in-depth understanding of the relevant statutes and court decisions that will apply to your case.  Choose an Attorney Who Is Responsive and Trustworthy The best criminal defense attorneys in Minnesota understand the importance of client communication and building trust. Your attorney should respond quickly and professionally and answer your questions in full. While searching for attorneys, you should reach out to the law firm with questions about their practice. The firm’s responsiveness will tell you a lot about their client communication practices and what to expect if you hire them for your case. A good attorney also strives to create an atmosphere of trust with their clients. You should feel comfortable sharing and communicating openly with your lawyer. Attorneys that lack adequate communication skills will struggle to provide you with quality representation. Search for Attorneys with a Strong Reputation A criminal defense attorney’s reputation will provide you important insights into the quality of their legal practice. A strong professional reputation shows that the lawyer has a history of success as well as the respect of their professional peers. Look for attorneys who receive special recognition from legal professional organizations. You can search an attorney’s professional reputation through databases such as: Your local bar association Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings, and Lawyers.com. You can also search the law firm’s website and check if the firm’s lawyers have received any special recognition, such as a SuperLawyers designation, Attorney of the Year, or other public recognition. In addition to professional reputation, previous client reviews can tell you a lot about an attorney and their legal practice. Most law firm websites contain a section of testimonials from previous clients. Review these and compare them to external review sources, such as Google and Avvo and other customer review websites. Finally, one of the best ways to find a quality lawyer is through word-of-mouth referrals. A recommendation from someone you know and trust can give you confidence that the attorney will give you high-quality legal advice to guide you through each step of the legal process.  Search for Attorneys with a History of Success Reputation and experience are important to your search, but those factors alone may not tell you whether the attorney can achieve a successful outcome. Search for attorneys with a proven history of success. Most law firms will have a section on their website listing their previous successes. While searching, ask yourself the following questions: What was the attorney’s most recent case? What was the type of case? What was the outcome? During an initial consultation, you can also ask your prospective attorney how often they settle a case or go to trial.  Choose an Attorney with a Fair Cost Structure All private attorneys will charge fees for their legal services. However, firms may utilize different fee structures to charge their clients. Most criminal defense attorneys will charge a flat fee to handle your case. Under this fee structure, the attorney will charge a specific amount upfront depending on the nature of the case. When assessing fee structures, ask the following questions: What type of fee structure do you use? How much do you charge? If I’m paying a flat rate, what legal services does the fee cover? Do you offer payment plans? Legal fees can get expensive. Before hiring an attorney, make sure you understand and are comfortable with their fees and fee structure.  Meet with Your Top Choices and Take Notes Once you narrow down your choices, schedule an initial consultation with your top three attorneys.  Come prepared with a list of questions and information about your case. Make sure you take good notes so you can compare each law firm. You can learn a lot about your prospective lawyer through the initial consultation. Try to gauge their personality and demeanor, and make sure they are someone with whom you want to work.  Contact a Qualified Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney Today If you face criminal charges in Minnesota, the lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka are ready to help. Our attorneys have combined decades of experience handling Minnesota criminal defense cases. We care deeply about our clients and always put their interests first. Our committed staff will answer your questions and assist you every step of the way. For a free consultation, call our office at 651-362-4551 or fill out an online form today. 

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Minnesota Domestic Assault

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MINNESOTA STATUTE 609.2242 CONTAINS THE MINNESOTA DOMESTIC ASSAULT LAW. In Minnesota, Domestic Assault can receive a charge as either a Misdemeanor, Gross Misdemeanor, or Felony.   The severity of a assault charge will depend on the offender’s prior criminal history, if any. Domestic Assault in Minnesota is referred to as an “enhanceable” offense.   This means that the more domestic assault convictions a person has, the more severe new charges become.  And, as you can imagine, increased penalties accompany a more severe charge. MN DOMESTIC ASSUALT FAQ A FIRST-TIME CHARGE OF DOMESTIC ASSAULT IN MN TYPICALLY GETS TREATMENT AS A MISDEMEANOR OFFENSE. A person could face a Felony charge of Third Degree Assault if the victim suffered “substantial bodily harm.” A first-time Misdemeanor charge of domestic assault typically results from an act causing fear of immediate bodily harm in a family or household member. Or when intentionally inflicting or attempting to inflict bodily harm upon a family or household member.   The level of harm inflicted will control the severity level of the charge.  If the victim alleges the accused choked, strangled, or otherwise impeded the victim’s airway during an assault, the accused could end up facing a charge of Minnesota Domestic Assault by Strangulation. This is a Felony offense and is separate from a charge of domestic assault. In order to end up facing a charge of Misdemeanor Minnesota Domestic Assault, the alleged victim of the offense must be either a family or household member of the accused’s.   If the victim is not a family or household member, then the accused will most likely end up facing a charge of Fifth Degree Assault (assuming the victim did not suffer substantial bodily harm). If the current charge of Domestic Assault is the accused’s second domestic assault charge – and the accused was convicted of a prior Domestic Assault charge within the previous ten years – then the current offense will be charged as a Gross Misdemeanor offense.   Also, If convicted of a second Domestic Assault charge within a ten year period, the offender will face a minimum of 20 days in jail. The penalties can increase depending on the circumstances of each individual Minnesota Domestic Assault case.  Three MN Domestic Assault convictions in a ten year period will result in a Felony conviction. This will trigger significant penalties. MN DOMESTIC ASSUALT FAQ A MINNESOTA DOMESTIC ASSAULT CONVICTION ALSO TRIGGERS FIREARM RESTRICTIONS. If someone uses a firearm during the commission of the Domestic Assault offense, the court may order that the firearm be forfeited. This means the state would seize the firearm and the offender would no longer own the weapon. Even if a firearm was not used during the assault, an offender may be prohibited from possessing a firearm for up to three years following a Domestic Assault conviction. A MN Domestic Assault charge is a very serious criminal offense, even if it is a first-time Misdemeanor offense.  If charged with Domestic Assault, you need an experienced Minnesota criminal defense lawyer on your side.   Our St. Paul criminal defense attorneys have successfully handled numerous Domestic Assault cases. At Arechigo & Stokka, our aggressive criminal defense lawyers will thoroughly investigate every aspect of your allegations. We take the time and have the experience to prepare a solid defense.   Contact us today if you or someone you know if facing a Minnesota Domestic Assault charge.

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Understanding Minnesota Pre-Existing Conditions in a Workers’ Compensation Claim

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If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident, you’re probably already experiencing the unfortunate effects.  Do you have a pre existing injury and being denied your workers compensation benefits? Read on to understand how a MN workers’ compensation attorney will be able to help you with your case. Beyond the physical pain, there are financial consequences of being unable to work and earn an income to support your household.  Plus, you will also incur medical bills for treatment, including costs related to surgery, physical therapy, pain medications, and others.  When you suffer injuries that make you unable to work in your chosen occupation, you may need to learn new skills.  For medical conditions that render you permanently disabled, you may never be able to work again. Fortunately, Minnesota’s workers’ compensation laws provide you with rights as the victim of a workplace accident.  However, the process of filing a workers’ comp claim can be daunting, especially when your employer’s insurance company denies payment on the grounds that you suffer from a pre-existing injury.  As such, you may believe you’re not eligible to receive workers’ comp benefits, but the system does cover work injuries that aggravate a nonwork-related medical condition.  A Minnesota workers’ compensation attorney can explain the legal issues and assist with the claims process. You can also read on for some important information regarding your rights. We’ll take care of everything else. Submit the short form below to setup a consultation. Why Pre-Existing Injuries Matter in a Minnesota Workers’ Comp Claim There are two key requirements you must meet to be eligible for workers’ comp: You must be a covered employee, as opposed to an independent contractor; and, Your injuries must be the result of a work-related accident, or some other workplace conditions in the case of an occupational disease. When you have a pre-existing injury, workers’ compensation rules can be complicated because of factor #2.  The line between on-the-job and non-work injuries can be blurry.  It’s common for workers’ comp insurers to deny benefits based upon any reason they can find, and a pre-existing medical condition offers a way out of their legal obligation to pay your claim.  Even when there’s scant evidence that you suffered from a condition that was exacerbated by a workplace accident, the insurer will claim that you weren’t hurt in the course of your normal job duties. As it relates to workers’ comp, a pre-existing condition is subject to a legal standard by law in Minnesota. You’re still eligible under the legal system if the work-related accident was a “substantial contributing factor” to your current medical condition.  This means you can still qualify to recover monetary benefits, such as: Your medical bills, covering your current treatment and costs you incur in the future for care; Wage replacement for lost income while you’re out of work; and, Vocational training, if your medical condition – including a pre-existing injury – makes it impossible for you to work in your current position. Your Workers’ Comp Claim and the IME When an insurance company is processing your claim, it may request that you participate in an independent medical exam (IME).  However, even though you’re seeing a doctor, the purpose is not the treatment of your injuries. Plus, the exam is typically anything BUT independent.  The physicians who conduct these exams are paid by the insurer, so their goal is to please the entity that’s paying them.  he IME is an opportunity for the insurance company to discover enough information about your pre-existing condition to justify a denial. Still, an IME is common for other reasons and it’s critical for you to keep the appointment. Failure to participate alone could be grounds for the insurer to reject your claim.  The point of the IME is to determine the nature of a pre-existing injury, and report on whether it’s an aggravation or not related to work. What to Do If You’re Denied Workers’ Comp Benefits for a Pre-Existing Injury As part of their denial of your claim, your employer’s workers’ compensation or work accident insurer will issue a Notice of Primary Liability stating your pre-existing condition as the reason.  At this point, your situation becomes highly complicated because you’ll need to ask the State of Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry to reconsider liability.  Instead of trying to represent yourself in connection with the proceedings, your first order of business should be consulting with a Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyer that has experience in pre-existing conditions.  Your attorney will: Assist in gathering medical records that include details on any pre-existing condition; File the appropriate forms for officials to reconsider your claim; Represent you in connection with any hearings regarding your rights under workers’ compensation laws; and, Take the next steps as necessary to protect your interests. Contact a Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to Discuss Your Claim If you’ve been denied workers’ comp benefits or are required to participate in an IME, please contact the St. Paul, MN Workers’ Compensation Law Offices of Arechigo & Stokka, P.A.  You can call 651-222-6603 or check us out online to set up a no-cost case evaluation.  We’re happy to answer your questions about workers’ comp and pre-existing conditions and provide assistance with the claims process.

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Out of State Workers Compensation

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WORKERS COMPENSATION FOR OUT OF STATE EMPLOYEES Employees based in states outside of Minnesota may be eligible for out of state workers compensation if a physical injury is sustained within the state of Minnesota.  Minnesota broadly extends the jurisdiction of its workers’ compensation law to any out of state employee who physically sustains an injury while working in Minnesota.   If a worker from another state is injured while performing work duties within Minnesota, the injured employee usually must forego a right to their home state’s work comp benefits before accepting Minnesota workers’ compensation benefits. But for many Minnesota workers injured while working in another state, the issue becomes– what type of benefits am I entitled to? THE APPLICATION OF MINNESOTA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAW AND BENEFITS TO INJURIES PHYSICALLY OCCURRING OUTSIDE THE STATE IS SOMEWHAT LIMITED. Except as otherwise provided, injuries occurring outside of Minnesota are not covered.  However, in certain factual scenarios, the injured employee may qualify for out of state workers compensation. EMPLOYEES REGULARLY EMPLOYED WITHIN THE STATE  Minnesota work comp coverage will be afforded to any employee injured outside the state if the employee regularly performs the primary duties of employment in Minnesota and was working for the same employer while injured outside the state.   Minn. Stat. 176.041, subd. 2.  The terms “regularly performs” and “primary duty” is subject to review and interpretation by the court. The specific facts of a case will determine whether out of state workers compensation coverage applies. EMPLOYEES TEMPORALIY OUT OF STATE  Minnesota jurisdiction also exists, and work comp coverage will apply, where the employee is hired in Minnesota, by a Minnesota employer, and is injured while temporarily outside the state.   Minn. Stat. 176.041, subd. 3. All three of these requirements must be present for Minnesota jurisdiction to attach. In this case, the injured employee should be eligible for out of state workers compensation benefits. AGAIN AS WITH MANY LEGAL TERMS, “HIRED IN MINNESOTA,” “MINNESOTA EMPLOYER,” AND “TEMPORARILY EMPLOYED OUTSIDE THE STATE”  CAN BE INTERPRETED BY THE COURT DEPENDING ON THE SPECIFIC FACTS OF A CASE. Call our workers’ compensation lawyers if you sustained an injury outside the state of Minnesota while working for a Minnesota employer.  Our attorneys will review the specific facts of your case and determine whether you qualify for out of state workers compensation benefits.

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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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Criminal Vehicular Manslaughter in Minnesota | How We Can Help

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Most of us rely on our automobiles and use them every day. But driving a car is also dangerous and sometimes can result in serious injury or death. In certain circumstances, a driver whose actions result in another’s death may face criminal charges, even if the person’s death was unintentional. Criminal vehicular homicide or manslaughter is a very serious offense, and a person convicted of such a crime faces the very real prospect of going to prison. If you or someone you know is facing criminal vehicular homicide charges, contact a qualified Minnesota criminal defense attorney right away.  What Is Criminal Vehicular Manslaughter? Under Minnesota law, criminal vehicular manslaughter occurs when a person operates a vehicle in a criminally unsafe manner. A person may face criminal vehicular homicide charges when they: Operate a vehicle in a grossly negligent manner; Drive negligently while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both; Drive negligently while under the influence of another substance they should know can cause impairment; or Leave the scene of an accident they caused. A driver may also face charges if he or she had previously received a ticket for a defective vehicle and the defect caused the other person’s death. Penalties for Criminal Vehicular Homicide in Minnesota  Criminal vehicular homicide is a felony offense in Minnesota.  Criminal penalties include: A prison sentence of up to ten years, A fine of up to $20,000, or A combination of fines and prison. In addition, if you commit criminal vehicular manslaughter while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and the offense occurs within ten years of a prior driving offense, you may face up to fifteen years in prison. Besides criminal sentences, felonies can affect you in several ways long after you complete your prison term and pay your fines. If convicted of a felony, you may suffer other consequences, including: Difficulty finding a job, Trouble finding and qualifying for housing, and Problems obtaining student loans for education expenses. If you are facing criminal vehicular manslaughter charges, it is important to speak with an experienced Minnesota criminal defense attorney. Your attorney understands the law and can help you navigate the legal process and develop a strong legal defense. Defenses to Criminal Vehicular Manslaughter Our criminal vehicular manslaughter defense attorney can help you determine which defenses apply to your case. The prosecution bears the burden of proving your guilt. This means a prosecutor must present sufficient evidence to prove each element of the offense. An experienced lawyer will challenge the sufficiency or the accuracy of the evidence. For example, your attorney may argue that  you were not sufficiently intoxicated during the accident, that your actions were not negligent or did not cause the crash, or that you were not driving the car. Other defenses to criminal vehicular manslaughter may include involuntary intoxication. Minnesota law also specifically states that a person will not face criminal vehicular manslaughter charges if they have a controlled substance in their bodies but used the substance according to the directions on a prescription. How Can a Lawyer Help? Criminal vehicular manslaughter charges are very serious. Establishing a legal defense can be a complex and confusing process. A skilled criminal defense attorney understands the law, court procedures, and how to use available facts to create a strong defense. Your attorney will manage your case and take the pressure off you. Your attorney will: Perform a thorough factual investigation, Gather witness statements, Collect police reports and medical documents, Negotiate with the prosecuting attorney, Research and analyze the relevant laws, and Represent you in court and present a compelling defense at trial. Contact a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney Today The experienced lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., provide top-quality legal representation to our clients throughout Minnesota. We know that facing criminal charges is a scary and life-changing event. We care deeply about our clients and fight tirelessly to defend their interests. We provide hands-on, personalized legal services. Our dedicated team will thoroughly analyze your claim and assist you every step of the way. For a free consultation, call our offices at 651-222-6603 or fill out an online form today. 

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Minnesota Self-Defense Laws | What Are They?

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In Minnesota, if you are facing a threat of imminent bodily harm or injury, in certain circumstances, you have a right to use force to defend yourself. Minnesota self-defense laws describe the conditions in which you can lawfully use force in self-defense. Knowing self-defense laws can help you understand your rights and responsibilities.  Minnesota Self-Defense Laws Self-defense is one of the most commonly used defenses in cases involving assault, battery, or other crimes of violence. To prove self-defense in Minnesota, an accused person must show: The alleged victim was the aggressor, The accused person had a real or perceived fear of harm to their person, The accused person’s belief was reasonable, The accused person did not use aggression or provoke the attack, and There was no reasonable opportunity to retreat or escape. A claim of self-defense has some important limitations. A person’s use of force in self-defense must appear reasonable to a judge or jury. Further, a person may use only the amount of force necessary to prevent the attack or to protect themselves from harm. The amount of force used in self-defense must be proportionate to the threat posed by the victim. Duty to Retreat Before a person can use self-defense outside of their own home, Minnesota law imposes a duty to retreat.  If a person is facing a threat of bodily injury or harm, he or she must first attempt to retreat to a safe location. The concept of retreat includes any attempt to de-escalate or otherwise avoid violent confrontation. However, if retreat is not available or the person cannot do so safely, he or she may then use force or otherwise act in self-defense. In addition, Minnesota allows a person to use deadly force only as a last resort. You may use deadly force outside the home only if there is no reasonable opportunity to retreat and you reasonably believe that you face imminent danger of great bodily harm. A person who uses deadly force in self-defense may still face criminal charges, including murder, if he or she had an opportunity to retreat.  No Stand-Your-Ground Law in Minnesota Stand-your-ground laws remove the duty to retreat. If a state has a stand-your-ground law, a person may use force, including deadly force, without first attempting to retreat from the danger. Unlike many other states, Minnesota does not have a stand-your-ground law. In Minnesota, a person must first attempt to escape a dangerous threat before resorting to force.  Castle Doctrine  Although Minnesota does not have a stand-your-ground law, the state still applies the castle doctrine.  This doctrine removes the duty to retreat if a person is threatened in his or her own home. Minnesota courts have decided that a person should not be required to retreat from his or her own home. Thus, in certain circumstances, you may use force, including deadly force, in self-defense when threatened in your own home. The castle doctrine, like other forms of self-defense, is available only in certain circumstances and is subject to limitations. When to Contact a Lawyer If you are accused of a crime or were involved in a violent confrontation, you should contact a qualified attorney to represent you. Self-defense laws depend on a variety of circumstances and a complex set of rules and legal definitions. Understanding self-defense laws requires experience and familiarity with the criminal justice system. Cases involving self-defense often deal with serious crimes that carry potentially severe consequences. Even if you have a legitimate self-defense claim, if you fail to meet the legal requirements and provide sufficient evidence, you risk losing your case. Hiring a criminal defense attorney will improve your chances of establishing self-defense and winning your case.   Contact a Qualified Criminal Defense Attorney Today If you are facing criminal charges or were involved in a violent confrontation, contact the law firm of Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., today. Our dedicated team has extensive experience defending our clients in criminal cases. We will thoroughly investigate your case, help you understand your legal options, and determine the best course of action. We know how difficult this process can be, and we will support you every step of the way. For a free consultation, call our offices at 651-222-6603 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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