Minnesota Worker's Compensation Center
minnesota workers compensation, mn work comp, work injuries, workers
compensation lawyers and attorneys, workmans compensation claims, work place injuries
Welcome to Minnesota's
Workman's Compensation Center. Here, you will find
Minnesota worker's compensation and work injury lawyers and attorneys to assist you with your worker's compensation claim.
When you retain the services of our lawyers, you retain workers' comp
lawyers who are experienced and dedicated to your cause. You
will only owe attorneys’ fees in a workers' compensation
case when a recovery is a recovery is obtained for you.
Workers' Compensation laws entitle employees to certain benefits when
a personal injury is suffered in an accident arising out of and in the
context of employment. In Minnesota, employers are required to carry
workers' compensation insurance and all workers are covered with few
exceptions. Benefits may include temporary total disability
benefits while you can't work, payment of your medical bills, permanent
partial disability benefits, or total disability benefits.
WHAT IS WORKER'S COMPENSATION?
Workers' compensation benefits are laws that are dedicated to
providing money and medical benefits to an employee who has an injury as
a result of an accident, injury or occupational disease incurred at work.
The laws are specifically designed to protect workers and their
dependents against the hardships from injury or death arising out of the
work environment. The Worker's Compensation laws benefit both the
employee and employer. The employee receives money (usually on a weekly
or biweekly basis) and medical benefits in exchange for forfeiting the
common law right to sue the employer. By contrast, the employer benefits
by receiving immunity from court actions against them by the employee in
exchange for accepting liability that is limited and determined.
WHO PAYS WORKER'S COMPENSATION BENEFITS?
All employers are required by Minnesota Statutes, section 176.181,
subdivision 2, to either purchase workers' compensation insurance to
provide benefits to their employees for work-related injuries or to
obtain approval from the Minnesota Department of Commerce permitting
self-insurance upon proof of the employer's financial ability to do so.
Employers can be self insured. However, in most instances, employers
purchase workers' compensation policies from insurance companies.
Benefits that are paid may include compensation to injured workers
for wage-loss and permanent loss of use of body functions, medical and
vocational rehabilitation costs, and out of pocket medical expenses such
as mileage and prescriptions.
State law sets the benefit levels.
ARE INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS COVERED BY WORKER'S COMPENSATION?
No. This issue comes up quite often in the context of construction
law and in the IT industry where employees are contracted out to third
party employers. Individuals who are independent contractors with
no employees are not covered by workers' compensation insurance unless
the entity contracting with the independent contractor elects to
purchase insurance for that individual or the independent contractor
chooses to purchase coverage for him or herself. The workers'
compensation statute does not contain a definition of "independent
When a question arises as to whether a particular relationship is
that of employer-employee or that of two entities contracting
independently, a five-factor test has developed through case law that
generally allows an employer or employee to make some judgments
concerning the appropriate characterization. This test involves
analyzing the following five factors:
The degree of control one party has the right to exert over another has
become the primary factor to consider. One party's right to control over
another's job duties is an indication that the first is an employer.
Hunter v. Crawford Door Sales 501 NW2d 623 (1993).
- the right to control the means and manner of performance;
- the mode of payment;
- the furnishing of tools and materials;
- control over the premises where the work was done; and
- the right of discharge. Guhlke v. Roberts Truck Lines,
128 N.W.2d 324 (1964)
HOW CAN WORKER PREPARE FOR A WORKER'S COMP. CLAIM?
- Save copies of all worker's compensation claim-related documents, letters, forms,
benefit checks and medical bills, especially the First Report of
- Keep track of your mileage and parking fees for medical visits,
vocational rehabilitation services and job-search visits.
- Save notes of phone conversations.
- Put your name, Social Security number, date of injury, employer
and insurance company on all papers and forms you send to the
Workers’ Compensation Division.
- Keep your employer informed about your recovery and plans to
return to work.
CAN A WORKER BE DENIED WORKERS' COMPENSATION BENEFITS?
Unfortunately, it is fairly common for an insurer
to file a "Notice of Denial." When a Notice of Denial is filed, it means the employer and insurer are
disputing part or all of the worker's compensation claim that has been made.
A workers' compensation insurer must notify the worker in writing within twenty-one (21) days
after receipt of the petition for benefits that a claim denial has occurred. That
Notice of Denial will also set forth the reasons for the denial of benefits. If a denial of benefits does occur,
you should immediately contact an workman's compensation attorney.
It is important to remember that if an insurer does
not provide a notice within 21 days of the Petition for benefits, the
worker may be awarded penalties, interest and attorney's fees.
IS A WORKER ENTITLED TO A WORKERS' COMPENSATION HEARING?
Yes. In fact, there are several types of hearings possible in any worker's
first hearing is generally a pretrial hearing. This is the best chance that you will have to resolve your case without a trial. At a
pretrial hearing, your attorney will discuss the case and possible
settlement options with counsel for the insurer and employer. If the parties are able to resolve the matter, that settlement may be recorded before the court. If they are unable to settle, the matter will be heard before a Workers' Compensation Judge. If the
issues cannot be resolved, the
parties appear before a judge to schedule future court dates.
Similar to other civil cases, there may also be motion hearings.
A motion hearing may be scheduled by any party to address
procedural issues or substantive issues that are in dispute. Typical
Motions may consist of motions to:
- produce discovery;
- to determine the case or parts of the case based on a summary judgment;
- motions for
protective orders; and
- motions to compel production of discovery.
If you are unable to resolve your worker's
compensation issues, you are entitled to a trial before an
administrative law Judge.
Beware, very often, insurance companies will hire
investigators armed with cameras to conduct surveillance on the worker
to determine if the claimed physical limitations are being exceeded in
confidential Worker's Compensation consultation with a lawyer