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What is the Process for Obtaining Workers Compensation Benefits in Minnesota?

No-fault Workers Compensation State

Minnesota is a no-fault workers’ compensation state, so unlike other states which require an employee to prove negligence to be compensated, if you are injured on the job in Minnesota, the injury itself, regardless of it being the fault of the employee or the employer, doesn’t really come into play in order to receive benefits.  There are exceptions to this general statement as certain workers are not covered.

An injury on a jobsite as a result of working is what counts.  That isn’t to say that further compensation and benefits can’t be awarded depending on the circumstances of what led up to the injury.

The process

According to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, the litigation process works as follows:

  • After an injury, the claim usually filed with the State.  This can be done through the employer, and forms are available through human resources or a supervisor.  Treatment is done through an approved medical provider.
  • If the process goes to the litigation process, the Employer or Insurer my file a form denying liability or a form to discontinue benefits.  The Employee must respond to those forms in a timely manner.
  • Discovery is gathered by the parties. This is where information is exchanged between parties, such as medical bills, wage statements, witness accounts, and medical records.
  • A medical professional chosen by the insurer or employer performs an Independent Medical Examination
  • A workers’ compensation judge is assigned at the Office of Administrative Hearings.
  • A settlement conference uses Discovery and the results of the examination to explore the possibility of a settlement.
  • Mediation is used to discuss any settlement or if the parties involved wish to continue to a hearing before a judge.
  • A pretrial conference determines whether or not there will be a settlement or if the case continues forward.
  • A Hearing before the Workers Compensation Judge.  The judge will make a ruling based on the arguments of the petitioner and the insurer/employer.

A complex process

Even with Minnesota being a no-fault state for Workers Compensation, the system can be tricky to navigate, especially if the injury requires litigation.  A skilled attorney can help you work through the hoops and hurdles you will encounter in the process and will be knowledgeable as to how much you are entitled for compensation and whether or not the insurer is providing appropriate benefits.

Your attorney will work through the process of Discovery, mediation, and working with the Insurer towards a settlement in order to streamline the process.  If the case goes before a judge, your attorney will be a crucial part of the process, since they are familiar with the best way to argue your case to get you the compensation you need.

Contact a Mankato Workers’ Compensation Attorney

With the potential of lost wages, rehabilitation, catastrophic situations such as permanent disability, loss of life or other debilitating factors, your rights need to be protected to the best of your ability.

If you are recovering from a workplace injury, there is already enough on your plate, such as healing, piecing your life back together, or simply the time lost at work because of the injury.  This is more than enough to deal with, and hiring an attorney will allow you to go through the process with the least amount of frustration and maximizing your benefits.

A work comp attorney can also work with you and weigh your options, as well as give you an estimate of whether or not you are getting the right amount of workers’ compensation benefits.  Contact us today to learn more about how an attorney can help you in your time of need.


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