Woodbury is home to major employers like Assurant, Dean Foods, EcoWaterSystems, Globe University, and Summit Orthopedics, plus many other smaller businesses and retail shopping enterprises.
Sadly, too many Woodbury workers regularly suffer job-related injuries. Many of these injuries will result in a lifetime of disability and medical treatments.
Workers’ compensation is a form of no-fault insurance policy that all employers must provide for their injured employees unless they wish to self-insure. Unfortunately, employers and their insurers often fight valid claims, leaving workers without the benefits they need to provide for themselves and their families.
If you incurred a workplace injury, until you have a chance to call the Woodbury workers’ compensation lawyers at Nicolet Law Office S.C. for an evaluation of your case, read on for more information about how to obtain income-loss, medical, and other benefits through the state’s workers’ compensation program.
About Nicolet Law Office, S.C.
Nicolet Law Office is a truly regional firm known as a premier resource for those facing financial distress following an injury at work. With 15 team members in nine locations throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota, we combine the resources and convenience of a large regional firm with the personalized service that you expect from local attorneys.
We know how to handle complicated workers’ comp cases, and we know that each client is different and deserves a custom-tailored case plan. We know that if you’re injured or facing financial difficulty, you should only have to think about getting better and being there for your family—we take on the legal work for you so that you can do exactly that.
We take care of all the heavy lifting in a worker’s comp claim, so you can focus on your life and your family.
Our Record of Success in Workers’ Comp Claims
The dedicated Woodbury worker’s comp associates at Nicolet Law Office, S.C. boast decades of combined experience representing clients injured in the workplace. We’ve recovered over $34 million in compensation for our clients, and look forward to the chance to see how we can help you and your loved ones.
Some of our past clients include:
- A younger man with back problems endured multiple fusions and surgeries due to his work in heavy manual labor. With our guidance and representation, he was approved for benefits at the hearing level.
- An employee injured at work was denied permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits. We not only got the employee the lost earnings, but also covered his PPD with additional funds to pay for future medical care.
- An employee was denied any permanent partial disability (PPD) for his back injury. We worked with his doctors and a vocational expert to build a strong case for the employee, and we secured him over $50,000 for the injury.
While no attorney can guarantee the results in any particular case, rest assured that the passionate team at Nicolet Law Office, S.C. draws on our deep well of experience to pursue the best possible outcome in every client’s claim. For more examples of our past success, consider some of our past case results.
The Workers’ Compensation Program
Woodbury boasts a workforce of more than 40,000 people between the ages of 18 and 64, with more than half of those workers earning more than $40,000 a year. A bad injury on the job can quickly wipe out all the savings a person at that income can accumulate and leave them destitute.
In Minnesota, the process of compensating injured workers for wage loss and providing other benefits to assist them after they have incurred a workplace injury appears in the Workers’ Compensation Act. It’s complicated, however, and you may want our help with the application or an appeal of any wrongful denials you’ve received.
The Benefits Available
Workers’ comp provides several benefits for injured workers, including:
- All reasonable and necessary medical care related to the injury.
- Wage loss benefits to replace a portion of the wages you have lost due to being too injured to work or having to miss work to attend an injury-related medical appointment.
- Lifetime benefits if your injury causes you to incur permanent total disability.
- Benefits for your family members, such as your spouse or children, if you die as the result of a workplace injury or illness.
- Vocational rehabilitation services that are available to injured workers who can no longer perform job-related tasks that they were expected to perform at work before the injury or illness occurred.
- Travel and mileage expenses for traveling to injury-related medical appointments or vocational rehabilitation.
The four levels of disability for which injured workers in Woodbury can receive wage loss benefits are.
- Temporary partial disability: This designation allows for you to receive two-thirds of the difference between your average income before your injury and your current income. This assistance is provided for individuals who perform some job-related tasks but can’t earn the same amount as before the injury.
- Temporary total disability: Most workers whose injuries are severe enough for medical treatment and more than three days of missed work will have their claim begin as a temporary total disability claim until the permanence of the injury is determined. This type of disability results in benefits that include two-thirds of the injured employee’s average weekly income before the accident occurred until the level of disability changes or the individual’s medical condition improves to the point that he or she can return to work.
- Permanent partial disability: This level of disability generally results in a lump-sum payment for the permanent loss of the use of a body part that does not render the individual totally disabled.
- Permanent total disability: This is the most serious disability designation, as it means that—to a degree of medical certainty—it is not believed that you will ever perform any type of job-related tasks. You will be eligible for two-thirds of the weekly average of what you were earning before the injury occurred.
How to Obtain Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Woodbury
If you are injured on the job or suffer from a work-related illness, ask us for help in taking these steps to obtain workers’ compensation benefits in Woodbury:
- Report your injury to your employer within the statutory timeframe to do so to preserve your right to obtain workers’ comp benefits. You should report your injury even if you do not intend to seek medical treatment or miss work because of it.
- Seek medical treatment. If it is an emergency, seek treatment from the nearest provider. Otherwise, Minnesota allows injured workers to choose their own doctors. Inform your doctor that this is a work-related injury. He or she may ask how the injury occurred and why you believe the injury is work-related. You will also need to provide him or her with the name and contact information of your employer or work supervisor as well as your employer’s insurance provider. Your doctor will complete a Report of Work Ability form for your employer and his or her insurer that details the physical limitations that you have incurred from the injury.
- Within 10 days after receiving the report of your injury, your employer must complete a First Report of Injury form and report the injury to his or her insurance provider. The First Report of Injury must also be submitted to the state’s labor and industry department if the injury causes a loss of more than 10 days of work.
- Your employer may investigate the cause of your injuries and determine if it has any reason to dispute your claim.
- The findings of your employer’s investigation into your injury will be reported to the insurer. If the claim is disputed, you will likely be required to produce evidence or documentation of the injury, so be sure you keep any information or documentation provided to you by your doctor. In cases where there is a disputed claim or belief that someone is receiving benefits they are not eligible for, the insurance company is legally permitted to request an Independent Medical Evaluation (IME). This is a medical evaluation conducted by a physician of the employer or insurer’s choosing who has not been previously involved in your care. The evaluation will include both a series of questions about your work-related accident, the injury you incurred, and the treatments you received, as well as an evaluation to see whether you can perform basic work-related tasks such as lifting, standing, sitting, and remembering. You can also be evaluated on your ability to perform work tasks specifically related to your job.
- Within 14 days of reporting the injury to your employer, you should receive a Notice of Insurer’s Primary Liability Determination. This is the official decision letter about your claim.
- If your claim is approved, you will begin receiving wage-loss benefits.
- If your claim is denied, you should receive an explanation as to why it was denied and be informed of your option to appeal the decision through an administrative hearing. If you have not already spoken to an experienced Woodbury workers’ compensation lawyer, this would be a good time to do so.
Frequently Asked Questions About Obtaining Workers’ Comp Benefits in Woodbury
Suffering a workplace injury is usually a stressful situation. You likely are finding yourself wondering how you will pay your bills if you are too injured to work, or wondering what you are going to do if your claim gets denied. Let us help alleviate some of that confusion. Here are answers to some of the questions our Woodbury clients ask us most often about obtaining benefits through Minnesota’s workers’ compensation program.
Why do I need to report my injury to my employer even if I don’t need medical treatment?
It is a matter of creating a paper trail to document your injury. In all likelihood, you won’t need to file a claim if you aren’t seeking treatment and likely will not miss more than three days of work. However, injuries can sometimes be more serious than initially believed and can come with complications that will require medical treatment.
An example to consider is if you suffered a cut on your thumb during work. It didn’t seem serious at all at the time, so you merely put a bandage on it and went on with your business. Unfortunately, the wound got infected and a week after the injury occurred you needed to be hospitalized for the infection.
In the above scenario, had you reported the injury to your employer as soon as it happened, your employer would be aware of it later and there would be little doubt as to how you acquired an infected wound on your thumb. As it is, your employer will likely wonder why the first time he or she is hearing about your workplace injury is only after it has become a serious issue.
As your employer is generally the first one to investigate the claim and the first with the opportunity to dispute it. You do not want him or her to doubt your claim’s validity. If this happens, give us a call.
Will my employer get in trouble for not carrying Woodbury workers’ compensation insurance?
Your employer can face some stiff penalties for not providing workers’ comp insurance. If they are found to be out of compliance, they can be fined $1,000 per employee for each week in which they do not provide insurance. Once the employer has been notified by the Department of Labor & Industry of the noncompliance, he or she will have 10 days to comply or contest the order. If he or she fails to respond in this timeframe, then he or she loses the right to contest.
Are workers’ comp benefits available to injured Woodbury teenage workers?
Yes. According to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, teen workers are fully entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits if they experience a work-related injury or illness.
It seems like I could get more compensation through a lawsuit against my employer. Can I do that?
Generally, no. The workers’ compensation program provides benefits through the insurance policy in lieu of the injured worker seeking compensation through a lawsuit. In limited circumstances, you may file a lawsuit, such as if your employer was required to provide workers’ compensation or self-insure and did not.
Another time in which a workplace injury can result in a lawsuit is if a third party (someone who is not your employer or your coworker) caused the injury, such as in a transportation accident caused by a speeding motorist during the normal scope of your employment as a delivery driver.
Finally, you can sue the workers’ compensation insurance policy if it wrongfully delays, denies, or reduces your benefits. Call us for help in filing your claim to ensure those things don’t happen, or for help in appealing if they do.
What are the reasons why workers’ compensation would deny a claim in Woodbury?
Workers’ compensation can deny a claim because:
- You failed to promptly report your work-related injury to your employer.
- Your employer disputes the claim for a reason such as the belief that your injury was a pre-existing condition or that it did not occur the way you claimed that it did.
- Your injury was not considered work-related, as it did not occur on company property or within the normal scope of your employment.
- You were found to be impaired by alcohol or drugs at the time the injury occurred.
- There were inconsistencies in your claim or there is reason to believe you are attempting to collect workers’ comp benefits for fraudulent purposes.
- Your injuries were not serious enough to be compensated. If your injury did not result in missed work or the need for medical treatment, you likely will not have a valid claim.
I can’t afford to pay your Woodbury workers’ comp attorney to help me with my claim. What should I do?
You can afford us!
We ensure that anyone who needs legal help when making a claim can receive that help, regardless of their financial status through:
- A free case evaluation: This is a time for you to meet with an attorney who focuses on workers’ compensation issues, explain the details of your case, get answers to your legal questions, and learn more about the options that are available in your situation. This service is provided with no obligation.
- A contingent-fee payment arrangement: What this means is that you are not responsible for paying for your lawyer’s services until there has been a successful outcome to your case.
If you need assistance obtaining workers’ compensation benefits after suffering a workplace illness or injury, our experienced Woodbury workers’ compensation lawyers can help, and it won’t cost you anything.
Call Our Woodbury Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Today
With 15 team members in nine locations throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota, Nicolet Law Office attorneys strive to be more than just legal professionals in the communities we serve. As committed members of the Woodbury community, we ensure that when someone hires Nicolet Law Office, S.C., they aren’t just treated as just another case file: They are family, and we aspire to achieve the best outcome possible.
If you need help obtaining workers’ compensation benefits after suffering a workplace illness or injury, our passionate Woodbury workers’ compensation lawyers can help. For a free case evaluation, contact us online or by calling (651) 815-0017.
724 Bielenberg Drive
Woodbury, MN 55125