Thursday, May 7, 2009

Minnesota Workers' Compensation: Do I Need a Lawyer?

In short, theoretically, you can handle a disputed workers’ compensation case by yourself, but it probably isn’t wise. Minnesota workers’ compensation law is very complex, based on both specific statutes, and Minnesota court decisions. If you have questions about work comp. in Minnesota, your best source of information is an attorney who practices extensively in the area of workers’ compensation.

If you’ve been hurt at work, typically, your employer will notify their workers’ compensation insurance company, and within a couple weeks, the insurance company will make a determination as to whether to accept or deny your claim.

If your claim has been denied, you should speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, who can file a Claim Petition on your behalf for the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to. If your claim has been denied, you do not have to simply accept the decision. The goal of your employer and their insurance company is to minimize costs, which means that they frequently deny even the most legitimate claims. Insurance companies attempt to deny claims for a wide variety of reasons, but these reasons are not necessarily legitimate. Don’t rely on what your employer or the insurance company tells you about your rights under Minnesota workers’ compensation law. They are not interested in protecting your rights.

Even if the workers’ compensation insurance company accepts your claim and pays your medical expenses and/or wage loss benefits, you’d be wise to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. All too often, workers’ compensation insurers underpay claims, and they rarely provide an injured worker with accurate information about their rights under Minnesota workers’ compensation law. Even if the insurance company is currently paying your benefits, it’s not a matter of “if” they will deny your claim at some point, but “when.” Retaining an attorney before your claim is denied can help expedite the process when a dispute arises. We can also review your claim to see if there are additional benefits available to you.

Sometimes people also avoid speaking with an attorney about their workers’ compensation claim, thinking that hiring a work comp. attorney costs too much. Meuser & Associates represents injured workers on a contingency fee basis, which means that we do not charge an upfront or hourly fee. Our attorney fees are based on the amount we are able to recover on your behalf. Workers’ compensation fees are set by Minnesota statute at 25% of the first $4,000.00 recovered, and 20% on the next $60,000.00 recovered, for a maximum of $13,000.00.

If there is no dispute on your case, there are no attorney fees. So, if you retain us, and the workers' compensation insurance company pays all the benefits you are entitled to, there are no attorney fees.

If your case involves a rehabilitation or medical dispute only, the workers’ compensation insurance company is responsible for our attorney fees if we are successful on your claim. In those types of cases, you pay nothing, and the attorney fees are not deduced from your benefits. If we are not successful in recovering benefits on your behalf, there are no attorney fees.

To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our workers’ compensation lawyers, call Meuser & Associates at 877-746-5680, or click here to send us an email.

Visit Minnesota Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury Law Firm, Meuser & Associates, P.A., at
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