Why Choose Our St. Paul Workers’ Compensation and Work Accident Attorneys?
✓ Joshua Stokka has been representing injured workers in St. Paul for the past 10 years.
✓ Joshua Stokka focuses 100% of his practice for injured workers in St. Paul
✓ Because St. Paul favors injured workers seeking workers’ compensation benefits, you will not be charged an attorney fee unless your workers’ compensation attorney can obtain a reasonable result for your case.
→ Speak with a St. Paul workers’ compensation and work accident lawyer about your case by calling (651) 222-6603 or submit a free and confidential case review form here.
Hi, my name is Joshua Stokka and have been helping injured workers with workers’ compensation claims in Minnesota for over a decade. After my first job during law school working for a workers’ compensation attorney, I decided that this is where I can help workers with their denied workers’ compensation claims.
Some Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyers will not provide the type of service that I can provide.
I always tell my clients to remain in contact with me for any questions regarding their workers’ compensation claim, in any way that is comfortable for them. Either by cell phone, email and I will take your calls on nights and weekends to address any client concerns.
We just need a few brief details about your workers’ compensation case. If you were denied benefits from a work-related accident speak with St. Paul MN workers’ compensation attorney; Josh Stokka. We are here to help.
How Minnesota’s Workers’ Compensation System Works
Workers’ compensation laws in Minnesota are intended to provide financial support to employees who suffer injuries in workplace accidents.
All employers are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance to cover work-related medical conditions, so filing a claim with the insurer is the first step in obtaining monetary benefits.
Once you’ve missed three days of work because of an injury or illness, your employer must submit a report to the insurer.
The company must then either reject your claim or begin issue workers’ compensation payments.
Unlike other personal injury claims, you don’t have to prove that your employer was at fault.
However, the caveat is that your sole remedy for a workplace injury or illness is the workers’ compensation system.
You cannot recover compensation by initiating a personal injury lawsuit, and your benefits do not cover non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
There are three exceptions to workers’ compensation being your exclusive legal option:
Your employer fails to procure workers’ compensation insurance as required by law;
Intentional conduct was the direct cause of your injuries; or,
A third-party was responsible for the workplace accident, such as a contractor, vendor, or business partner of your employer.
If any of these exceptions apply, you can file a lawsuit in civil court to recover both economic and non-economic damages.
It’s important to discuss your circumstances with an MN work comp attorney to determine the best way to proceed.
Recent Case Settlement
THE CASE: Successful in obtaining lifetime medical benefits for a herniated disc in the neck. The insurance company denied the neck injury was work-related and said it was a minor sprain. Their hired doctor backed them up, and the client was denied all benefits.
After they offered a small sum of money to settle the case, we decided to take the case to trial. The judge determined that the herniation was work-related.
The judge ordered that the insurance company pay for all outstanding medical bills, wage loss, and any medical bills that are reasonably necessary, and causally related to the herniation for the rest of his life.
CASE RESULT: Our client injured herself several years ago while lifting heavy boxes. She reported the injury to her employer. The employer promised to pay her medical bills personally if she did not report it to the insurance company.
Several months later, the employer decided that he did not want to pay her bills anymore. Our client, who was still in pain, kept treating and her medical bills mounted.
She eventually was forced to inform the workers’ compensation insurance company of the injury. The insurance company promptly denied the claim because she did not report the injury in a timely manner.
After filing our claim and presenting evidence that our client had given timely notice, and their insured had lied to them, the case was settled for a significant sum.
Benefits are Available for Qualifying Employees
As long as you’re an employee, and you suffer from a work-related medical condition, it’s likely that you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
Even minors and part-time workers are covered by the system, though independent contractors are not eligible to receive benefits.
If your claim is approved by your employer’s insurer, you may be entitled to:
Medical Expenses: You can recover the costs for all medical care that’s reasonable and necessary to treat your ailment, currently and in the future. This coverage includes travel expenses and supplies, such as crutches and other assistive devices.
Lost Wages: You may be able to receive a percentage of the income you lose from being out of work due to disability. Lost wages benefits may be temporary or permanent, and partial or total.
Vocational Support: In a situation where you’re unable to return to your previous occupation, workers’ compensation benefits may include training, education, and vocational services. The goal is to put you in a position to become self-sufficient.
Death Benefits: If an employee dies due to a workplace injury or illness, a surviving spouse and other dependents may be eligible to receive death benefits.
Reasons Your Claim May Be Denied
Even when you believe you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, you may be surprised when the insurance company rejects your claim and refuses to pay.
In some cases, the denial is legitimate, such as where:
You don’t qualify as an employee, perhaps because you’re an independent contractor;
You waited too long to report your injury or illness, as Minnesota law requires you to inform your employer within 14 days;
You didn’t attend an independent medical exam after being requested by your employer;
Your medical condition isn’t related to a workplace accident or conditions; or,
You didn’t provide sufficient medical records and other information to support your claim.
Still, there are other improper reasons an insurer may deny your claim, which is why hiring a Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyer is critical.
For instance, many employers may try to misclassify you as an independent contractor – even when there is a true employer-employee relationship.
Another wrongful denial might be where you were hurt on the job but terminated before you filed your claim.
An insurance company may even contest the severity of your injuries or dispute the fact that your medical condition is a result of workplace conditions.
An Minnesota Workers Compensation Attorney Can Help with Next Steps
You do have options if the insurance company denies your claim.
It’s possible to take the matter to the Workers’ Compensation Division, where you’ll attempt to resolve the issues through alternative dispute resolution or mediation.
The process can be highly complex, as it involves going through a proceeding that’s similar to being in court.
In such a situation, legal representation from a Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyer is essential.
You risk losing out on benefits that are rightfully yours unless you have legal counsel on your side.
Discuss Your Claim with a Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you were hurt at work or suffer from a work-related medical condition, it’s important to work with an experienced MN work comp lawyer who will protect your rights throughout the claims process.