Minnesota Worker Compensation Process
The workers compensation process can be a seemingly endless maze of red tape. The experienced Minnesota work comp attorneys at Heimerl & Lammers have years of experience guiding injured workers through the administrative system. Listed below is a brief outline of the process to give you an idea of how a typical workers compensation claim is handled in Minnesota.
The Date of Injury
This will be the controlling date for your entire claim. It can be the date you were actually injured, or in cases of repetitive trauma or occupational diseases, the date you first sought medical treatment.
You should notify your employer the moment you become aware you might have a worker’s compensation claim. Your employer is required by law to fill out a First Report of Injury and file it with the state.
Within 14 days of notice your employer will contact their insurance company and a decision should be made as to whether your claim will be admitted or denied.
Admitted claims are claims in which the insurance company has decided to pay benefits. This does not mean that benefits will be paid forever. It is still wise to seek the advice of an attorney to monitor your claim. You do not have to pay an attorney unless there is an official dispute. An attorney will be able to monitor your claim from the beginning, answer any questions, and help solve any minor problems. It will also give them an opportunity to become familiar with your file so they do not have to play catch up when a dispute does arise.
A dispute is something that requires official paperwork to be filed on your behalf. In general, something that can be cleared up with a letter or a few phone calls does not qualify as a dispute.
You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by contacting an attorney even if your claim is admitted.
If your claim is denied and you still wish to pursue benefits a claim petition must be filed with the state. It is highly advisable that you do not try to handle this on your own. The Minnesota work injury attorneys at H&L can help ensure you do not make any crucial mistakes in filing your petition.
A Typical Timeline
- 3 months. Within the first three months the insurance company will likely want to send you to an independent medical exam and/or take your deposition.
- 6-8 months. Although there is no requirement that either party settle their disputes the court will most likely hold a mandatory settlement conference within approximately 6 months. It is important that someone hurt on the job in Minnesota be represented at a settlement conference by an experienced work comp attorney.
- 12-14 months. If your case does not settle at the settlement conference the case may be certified for hearing and a hearing date will be set within the first 8 to 12 months.
- 60 days after hearing. After the hearing the Judge has up to 60 days to render a decision. The losing party has the right to appeal that decision to the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals.