May 2012 Archives

Welcome To Minnesota Disability's Workers' Compensation Blog

Minnesota Disability was founded with the sole goal to represent disabled and injured individuals living in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. When Minnesota Disability represents a client we take charge and prepare all the proper forms, file the necessary papers, obtain the medical and vocational evidence necessary to support your claim, and aggressively pursue a favorable decision as our only objective. We have decades of experience in handling workers compensation cases from the administrative decision level up to the Minnesota Supreme Court. We also represent individuals who may be qualified to receive disability benefits from the United States Social Security Administration. In many of our Social Security cases, our clients never have to go to the Social Security office.

I've Been Injured at Work. Who Pay My Medical Bills?

NOT YOU! If the workers compensation carrier accepts your claim, ALL reasonable and necessary health care treatment related to your work injury must be paid. Unlike most health care plans, there are no deductibles or prepays involved. Fortunately, with few exceptions, you are entitled to choose your own doctor or health care provider to assist you in your recovery.

Do I Need To Attend An Independent Medical Examination?

In most cases the answer is YES! However, you should NEVER, EVER go into an independent medical examination believing you are meeting with a doctor who cares about helping to relieve your pain or discomfort. On a very rare occasion that does occur; I've actually seen it happen. However, assume the examination is ADVERSE and the doctors job is to find a way to medically justify denying you a benefit or treatment you believe is extremely important to you recovery.

The Workers Compensation Insurer Is Paying My Benefits, Do I Really Need An Attorney?

There is the possibility that you don't need an attorney. However, I have NEVER seen an admitted injury case in my private practice where ALL of the benefits due were properly paid to an injured worker and in a timely fashion! So does it happen or can it happen; theoretically I suppose it can.

Is There Help for Unemployed Workers With New or Old Work Comp Injuries?

In the first two months of this year, Minnesota lost 24,000 jobs across a multitude of areas including professional, manufacturing and government. It is important to remember that a lay off does NOT relieve an employer's obligation to continue providing ongoing workers compensation benefits to an injured worker. What many Minnesotans don't realize is that aside from unemployment benefits, they may be entitled to substantial workers compensation benefits for ongoing workers compensation injuries. These benefits could include wage loss benefits AND retraining. Minnesota's Workers' Compensation law permits laid-off workers to receive wage loss benefits, if a work injury affects their ability to find employment after being laid off. This is often not a very difficult burden to establish given this down economy. Unfortunately, injured workers are sometimes the first employees laid off by an employer despite claims otherwise.

Best Minnesota Workers Compensation Attorneys

How do you choose the BEST or TOP Minnesota work comp attorney? As a former defense attorney who formerly represented employers and insurers, every lawyer I encountered had a "reputation" with other lawyers and I would venture to guess with workers compensation judges. Some lawyers had the reputation of settling cases quick but cheap; others signed up clients and did next to nothing for months or years; but there were a few bright stars who I knew would keep me on my toes and get top dollar for their clients. Since opening up my own practice, Minnesota Disability and Atkinson Law Office PA we have earned the reputation for being aggressive and tough lawyers. We use the tricks we learned representing employers and insurers AGAINST them now that we represent only injured workers. Why the did we change? Having been injured at work opened my eyes to the victimization injured Minnesota workers face day in and day out. I can relate as a former defense lawyer, injured worker and as an aggressive attorney who limits our firms practice to representing only injured and disabled workers.

Are Work Comp Settlements A Good Idea?

I have been involved in thousands of workers compensation settlements over the past two decades. Having represented employers and insurers in the past and now that I represent exclusively injured workers I can tell you that both sides enter a settlement for many of the same reasons. The first reason is that on any given day the best case can be won at hearing and just the opposite is true on some occasions. The facts demonstrate that the vast majority of litigated files in Minnesota settle before actually going to hearing. The main reason is as noted above, anything can happen and with a settlement both sides get something they desire; resolution of the claim with a predicted and assured outcome. This is something that doesn't happen at a hearing. There is a winner and a loser and explaining to an injured worker who walked away from a $100,000 settlement offer that as the result of the hearing they get nothing is difficult.

What Is A Notice Of Intent To Discontinue Benefits? Do I Need A Lawyer?

Most injured workers believe there is no need for an attorney after a work injury. After all, their benefits are being paid, a nurse case manager has been helping them schedule their doctor visits, and the adjuster is just so darn nice. What you don't know is that the "friendly" adjuster, "helpful" nurse case manager or "neutral" insurance company QRC have likely been acting to get your benefits cut off behind your back. They send forms to your doctor, call you doctor, have you seen for a "second opinion" by a whore doctor called an independent medical examination or some companies like RTW and State Fund Mutual may even have their paid staff doctors call your doctors to try and convince them that you might not be as injured s you really are. With a report in hand the insurance company will send you a NOID or Notice of Intent to Discontinue your workers compensation benefits. You will fill like you were kicked in the stomach without any warning. It happens EVERY day to injured Minnesota workers.

The Best Workers Compensation Attorneys In Minnesota? You Found Them.

Why do most of our referrals come from past clients? There are many reasons but the main reason is Atkinson Law Office, P.A. and Minnesota Disability will FIGHT to obtain the best outcome possible whether by going to hearing, mediation, or possible settlement of your case. The attorney's at our Minneapolis and St. Paul office have over 50 years combined experience and have taken hundreds of cases to hearing and dozens of cases to the Minnesota Workers Compensation Court of Appeals and Minnesota Supreme Court. We are successful because time and again we recommend to our clients when the best possible outcome is to compromise a case and when the it's the best time to take a case to hearing before a workers compensation judge. Do NOT let your attorney bully you into a settlement that your don't understand, aren't prepared to participate in and simply don't think it's the best possible outcome given the facts and evidence. We have successfully obtained tens of thousands of dollars more for clients after insurance companies have attempted settle their cases without a lawyer. If you have been offered a settlement contact an experienced workers compensation attorney with Atkinson Law Offices and Minnesota Disability today at 651-414-0678 or toll free 800-933-5619. Our phones are answer 24 hours a day every day of the year! We can visit you throughout the entire state of Minnesota, at the hospital or even at your home. All consultations are FREE and we NEVER EVER charge a fee unless we recover benefits for you..