How Do I Maximize My Workers’ Comp Settlement in Minnesota?

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Injuries happen in the workplace every day. Some injuries that appear insignificant can leave you with lasting health problems and require extensive rehabilitation. But it might be difficult to determine the extent of your injuries when you file for workers’ comp through your employer. Below are some workers’ compensation tips to help you maximize your workers’ comp settlement and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.  Keep Track of Your Medical Records and Attend All Scheduled Appointments Even if you believe your injuries don’t require medical attention, you still need to visit a doctor after a workplace injury. You should schedule your doctor’s appointment right away. Insurance companies and employers will use delays in medical treatment to lower your workers’ comp claim by questioning the extent and severity of your injuries. Doctor visits provide important paper trails that will help you prove the cost of your medical treatment and rehabilitation. Your doctor will assess the full range of your injuries and help you calculate the full extent of your medical treatment, including any future treatments and ongoing rehabilitation. Your doctor will provide you with a detailed description of your injuries and the recommended treatment. Additionally, make sure you follow all recommended medical treatments. If you fail to follow your doctor’s advice, your employer or the insurance company can use this information against you. Beware of Insurance Companies Insurance companies will try to minimize the amount they pay for any workers’ comp claim. If an insurance adjuster contacts you after your injury, they will likely promise you immediate payment, but the amount will undervalue the cost of your injuries. Do not accept the initial offer. Instead, wait to negotiate until you receive medical treatment and speak with a qualified workers’ comp attorney. You should also wait to meet with the insurance adjuster until you have legal representation. Often, insurance adjusters will record your meeting and use your answers against you. Your attorney can help guide you through this meeting and protect your interests.  What Should I Do If I Disagree with My Workers’ Comp Payment Amount? Employers and insurance companies normally want to pay as little as possible for workers’ comp claims. Although the amount they offer may cover up-front medical costs, it might not be enough to cover all future medical treatment and other injury-related expenses.  Calculating workers’ comp amounts can be confusing and difficult. An experienced workers’ comp attorney understands these calculations and how to prove the value of your claim. Before agreeing to any workers’ comp payment, you should first consult with an attorney to make sure you get a fair offer.  Contact a Qualified Workers’ Comp Attorney Today If you suffered a workplace injury, you deserve fair compensation. The attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka have extensive experience handling our clients’ workers’ comp claims. We believe you should focus on recovering from your injuries, not on fighting to receive fair compensation. We will work diligently and fight for your interests. Our dedicated staff will answer your questions and provide you with support and guidance throughout the claims process. For a free consultation, call our office at 651-505-5943 or fill out an online form today. 

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What to Know Before a Workers’ Comp Mediation Hearing in St. Paul

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Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. It takes place prior to a hearing in court to try to resolve issues and agree on a settlement. Workers’ comp mediation hearings generally take between two and four hours but can be shorter or longer depending on the facts of your case and the attitude of the parties involved. If you’ve suffered a workplace injury and are considering mediation, a workers’ comp lawyer can help you through the mediation process and negotiate for the settlement you deserve. What Happens at a Workers’ Comp Mediation Hearing? A workers’ comp mediation hearing takes place at either the mediator’s office, one of the attorneys’ offices, or a neutral office. Parties who attend workers’ comp mediation hearings include: You, Your attorney, The mediator, The workers’ compensation insurer’s attorney, and The workers’ compensation insurance adjuster. You may also have your spouse, a close family member or friend attend to support you. After arriving for the mediation, both parties are sent to separate conference rooms. The mediator begins by making an opening statement outlining the goals for the mediation and his or her role in the process. You and your attorney will then have a chance to outline the key points of your case.  After outlining your arguments, the workers’ compensation insurance company will begin by making an offer and you will have the chance to counteroffer. All offers and counteroffers are made to the mediator, who then relays the information to the other party. This process will repeat throughout the mediation until you either agree on a settlement amount or decide you no longer want to continue the mediation. How Should I Prepare for a Workers’ Comp Mediation Hearing? To prepare for your workers’ comp mediation hearing, you should first meet with your attorney. You should discuss the facts of your case and the medical and legal issues involved. It is also important to discuss the arguments you want your attorney to make during the mediation and the strengths and weaknesses of those arguments. Prior to the mediation, your attorney will submit documents so that the mediator understands the facts of the case, the issues involved, and the amount of compensation you wish to receive. You may need to get your attorney certain records, such as medical or employment records, to support the documents submitted by your attorney. On the day of the mediation, you should make sure you are well-rested, arrive on time, dress professionally, and are polite to all parties involved. Do I Need a Workers’ Comp Lawyer? Because most workers’ compensation claims that go to mediation are complex, you should hire a workers’ comp lawyer. A workers’ comp lawyer will help you provide a detailed analysis of your workers’ compensation claim, calculate a reasonable settlement demand, and negotiate for the best possible settlement during the mediation. Our workers’ comp lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., have handled hundreds of Minnesota workers’ comp cases. We will use our experience to negotiate the best possible settlement for you during your workers’ comp mediation.Contact us today with any questions you may have or to schedule your free consultation.

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How to Win a Workers’ Comp Case in St. Paul, MN

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If you suffered a work injury, you are likely concerned about getting the workers’ compensation benefits you need and deserve. The odds of winning a workers’ comp case depend on the facts of your case and whether you took the appropriate steps throughout the claims process. But there is more than one way to win a workers’ comp case. Accepting a reasonable settlement can be a win because you receive compensation for your injuries without the risk of going to trial. If you have suffered an injury at work, you should speak with a Minnesota workers’ comp lawyer today. A lawyer can give you guidance regarding how to win your workers’ compensation case. Steps You Can Take to Win a Workers’ Comp Case To increase your chances of winning your workers’ compensation case, you should consider taking the following steps. File Your Claim Quickly and Accurately First, you should file your claim quickly and accurately. You can accomplish this by reporting your injury to your supervisor right away. In Minnesota, failing to report your injury within 14 days can prevent you from filing a workers’ comp claim. After reporting your injury, you should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you file your claim, the more likely you’ll win your case. Get Prompt Medical Treatment Next, you should seek medical care immediately after the accident. Medical records are important evidence in workers’ comp cases. They include a description of your injuries and statements by medical professionals. It is important to understand that failing to seek immediate medical treatment could hurt your chances of winning a workers’ comp case. Your insurance company may argue that failing to seek immediate medical treatment means you weren’t as severely injured as you said you were. Be Careful of Surveillance and Private Investigators It is also important to be aware that private investigators might follow you if your insurance company believes that you are not being truthful about your injuries. Investigators may try to videotape you performing physical acts that are inconsistent with your injuries. Keep Detailed Records You should also keep detailed records of all other information relating to your workers’ comp claim. Records other than medical records include: Letters from your employer or insurance company; An accident report; and Forms stating your workplace restrictions. Keeping detailed records will help your attorney quickly and accurately file your workers’ comp claim. Do I Need a Workers’ Comp Lawyer? If you have been injured at work, you should strongly consider hiring a workers’ comp lawyer. A lawyer can help you avoid making mistakes in the complicated workers’ compensation claims process, file your claim on time, and increase your chances of receiving a high settlement. A lawyer can also give you leverage when dealing with insurance companies. Our workers’ comp attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., will help you through the workers’ comp claims process. We believe in fighting for the compensation you deserve so that you can focus on recovering from your workplace injury. Contact us today with any questions you may have or to schedule your free consultation.

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Is Sexual Assault a Felony or Misdemeanor in Minnesota?

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Sexual assault, also called criminal sexual conduct in Minnesota, refers to alleged sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the consent of the victim. Allegations can include: Unwanted sexual touching; Forcing the victim to perform unwanted sexual acts; and  Penetration of the victim’s body. Minnesota law splits sexual assault into five degrees depending on the circumstances of the alleged act. First-degree through fourth-degree sexual assault are felonies, while fifth-degree sexual assault is a gross misdemeanor or felony depending on the situation. If you face sexual assault charges in Minnesota, you should contact a sexual assault lawyer as soon as possible. First-Degree Sexual Assault First-degree sexual assault is the most serious form of sexual assault in Minnesota. It involves an allegation of sexual penetration of any person or an allegation of sexual contact with a minor under 13 years old. Some, but not all, of the alleged circumstances that could give rise to a first-degree sexual assault charge include: The victim was under 13 and the accused was more than three years older than the victim; The victim was between 13 and 16, the accused was in a position of authority over the victim, and the accused was more than four years older than the victim; or The accused had a dangerous weapon and used or threatened to use the weapon to force the victim to submit to the act. First-degree sexual assault carries a maximum punishment of 30 years in prison and a $40,000 fine. Second-Degree Sexual Assault Second-degree sexual assault covers alleged sexual contact under at least one of the circumstances also applicable to first-degree sexual assault. It carries a maximum punishment of up to 25 years in prison and a $35,000 fine. Third-Degree Sexual Assault Third-degree sexual assault involves sexual penetration of any person. Some, but not all, of the alleged circumstances that could give rise to a third-degree sexual assault charge include: The victim was under 13 and the accused was no more than three years older than the victim; The victim was between 13 and 16 and the accused was more than two years older than the victim; or The accused knew or had reason to know that the victim was mentally impaired, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless. Third-degree sexual assault carries a punishment of up to 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine. Fourth-Degree Sexual Assault Fourth-degree sexual assault involves sexual contact with another person. Some, but not all, of the alleged circumstances that could give rise to a fourth-degree sexual assault charge include: The victim was under 13 and the accused was no more than three years older than the victim; The victim was between 13 and 16 and the accused was more than four years older than the victim; or The accused used force or coercion to accomplish the sexual contact. It carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Fifth-Degree Sexual Assault Acts that constitute an allegation of fifth-degree sexual assault include: Nonconsensual sexual contact; or Knowingly masturbating or exposing one’s genitals in the presence of a minor under 16 years old. When charged as a gross misdemeanor, it carries a maximum punishment of up to one year in jail and a $3,000 fine. When charged as a felony, it carries a punishment of up to seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine. Can I Get Sexual Assault Charges Dropped or Reduced? Depending on the facts of your case, an attorney might get your sexual assault charges dropped or reduced. However, getting your charges dropped or reduced can be difficult because key defenses do not apply in sexual assault cases. For example, consent is not an available defense to allegations involving minors and some cases involving alleged intoxication. The defense known as “mistake of age” is also generally unavailable in sexual assault charges involving minors. You should speak with a sexual assault lawyer today to get a betters sense of what defenses are available in your individual case. How the Sexual Assault Lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., Can Help You If you face sexual assault charges in Minnesota, our sexual assault lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., will work to get your charges reduced or dismissed. We will thoroughly explain your options to you so that you can make informed decisions throughout your case. We have achieved many positive results for our clients because of our experience in the Minnesota criminal justice system and dedication to our individual clients’ needs. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

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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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