You've been hurt or have a medical condition that you feel is related to your work or job duties, but you just aren't sure.
YOUR CLAIM HAS BEEN DENIED
The insurance company has denied your claim, for whatever reason. Don't give up without talking to an attorney.
YOU THINK THE INSURANCE COMPANY CALCULATED YOUR WAGES WRONG
In Minnesota, all wage loss benefits paid to you are based upon your "average weekly wage" on the date of injury. Calculating your average weekly wage can be complicated and may include overtime and other compensation. If the insurance company gets this wrong, they may be paying you less than they should.
YOUR BENEFITS HAVE BEEN DISCONTINUED
Your wage loss benefits have been discontinued but you disagree with the reasons given for the discontinuance. Contact an attorney right away, because there are deadlines which apply if you want to get a hearing scheduled quickly.
THERE IS A DISPUTE OVER YOUR WORK RESTRICTIONS
The insurance company may send you to one of their own doctors for an "Independent" Medical Examination (referred to as an IME). Almost always, that doctor will disagree with your treating doctor about everything from diagnosis to treatment and restrictions. The insurance company will frequently use their doctor's IME report to cut off your wage loss and/or medical benefits.
THE INSURANCE COMPANY WON'T PAY A MEDICAL BILL OR APPROVE A MEDICAL PROCEDURE
The insurance company will not agree to authorize, or pay for, surgery, injections, physical therapy, an MRI a second opinion, a change of treating doctor, a referral to a specialist, etc. This can occur for many reasons, but often occurs shortly after you receive the IME report.
A QRC IS ASSIGNED TO YOUR CASE
In many cases, the insurance company must assign you a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant (QRC). This is a person paid by the insurance company to assist you in returning to work. In some cases, you may also be eligible for retraining, paid for by the insurance company, if you are unable to return to your job. The person who serves as the QRC is your choice, not the insurance company's.
Unfortunately, they don't usually explain this to you and most injured workers have no idea where to find a QRC they can trust. Experienced work attorneys generally know a number of QRC's that we work with regularly and can strongly recommend.
THE INSURANCE COMPANY OFFERS YOU A SETTLEMENT
If the insurance company wants to settle your case, make sure to at least consult with an attorney before you do so. An insurance company claims adjuster is far more knowledgeable about workers' compensation than you are. Any work comp settlement in Minnesota must be approved by a workers' compensation judge.
YOU JUST HAVE A FEW QUESTIONS
A Workers' Compensation claim can be a confusing, frightening and frustrating ordeal. Don't be afraid to call an attorney if you have questions. Many attorneys offer free initial consultations and are happy to give you an honest opinion about whether you need a lawyer. At Bradt Law Offices, we talk with people all the time who just have a few questions about their claim. We are always happy to help.