Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I Don't Live In Minnesota But Was Injured In Minnesota While Working For An Out of State Employer. Do I Have A Minnesota Work Comp Case?

YES! I represent many clients whose only connection to Minnesota is the unfortunate fact that they were injured here. I have represented truck drivers, roofers, and even insurance adjusters who were injured while working for out of state employers while performing their jobs in Minnesota. Without exception if you were injured while in MINNESOTA you are entitled to Minnesota Workers Compensation benefits. Though you may have the choice to elect another jurisdiction, there are very few jurisdictions which provide comparable benefits to Minnesota.

Conversely, if you are a Minnesota resident working for a Minnesota company outside of Minnesota you may also be entitled to Minnesota Work Comp benefits even if your injury occurred across the globe! The court will look at the following criteria:

Extraterritorial Application. If an employee who regularly performs the primary duties of employment within this state receives an injury while outside of this state in the employ of the same employer, the provisions of this chapter shall apply to such injury. If a resident of this state is transferred outside the territorial limits of the United States as an employee of a Minnesota employer, the resident shall be presumed to be temporarily employed outside of this state while so employed.
Temporary employment outside Minnesota. If an employee hired in this state by a Minnesota employer, receives an injury while temporarily employed outside of this state, such injury shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter.

It is important to note that even if you have already initiated a claim for workers compensation benefits in another state you still may be able to pursue a claim in Minnesota courts for benefits. Contact an experienced workers compensation attorney such as myself, Thomas Atkinson at 651-333-3636 or visit my website TODAY. www.mndisability.com I look forward to discussing your case.

Monday, July 20, 2009

My Employer Sent Me To Their Doctor Following An Injury. Is This Right?

NO, this is not ok! You have the absolute right to choose your doctor and you should do so immediately. If you believe that the companies doctor is acting in your best interest, you are very wrong! Company doctors often have contractual relationships with employers and are encouraged to return an injured employee back to work as soon as possible regardless of the nature and extent of their injury. Minnesota workers compensation laws allow YOU, the injured worker, the right to chose an doctor or health care provider at your employers expense (regardless of whether you have health insurance).

If you do not have a family physician or chiropractor and sustained a work related injury, my office would be happy to assist you in finding a health care professional in your area and assist you in getting your benefits paid. Contact me, Tom Atkinson, today at 651-324-9514 or visit my website at www.mndisability.com

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I Didn't Suffer A Specific or Sudden Injury, It Happened Gradually. Is This A Work Injury?

YES, your work was likely a substantial contributing cause and accelerated your injury.

When people think of work injuries, they often think of sudden, unexpected accidents, such as falling off a ladder, being involved in a car accident, slipping and falling, or injuries due to lifting heavy objects. These types of work injuries are known as “specific injuries” under Minnesota workers’ compensation law. These types of injuries are caused by an specific event at a specific time.
But what about injuries that occur over a long period of time, that weren’t necessarily caused by a specific event, and didn’t occur at one specific time?

Under Minnesota work comp law, these types of injuries are known as Gillette-type injuries. They are also commonly referred to as cumulative trauma injuries or repetitive motion injuries.
Repetitive motion injuries or cumulative trauma injuries are referred to as Gillette-type based on the name of the case where the Minnesota Supreme Court recognized the compensability of these types of injuries.

People in occupations where their job duties require repetitive motions tend to be at greater risk for Gillette-type work injuries; however, almost any type of work activity can cause a cumulative trauma or repetitive motion injury.

Repetitive motion injuries are frequently seen in the following types of occupations:

* Assemblers

* Machine operators
* Textile sewing machine operators

* Secretaries * Cashiers
* Packaging operators

* Electronic assemblers
* Data entry workers

* Truck drivers

* Welders
* Butchers and meat cutters

* Bookkeepers
* Auditors
* Accountants

* Freight, stock and material handlers
* Carpenters
* Hairstylists

* Mechanics
* Dental hygienists
* Construction laborers

There are many factors that affect the development of repetitive motion, cumulative trauma, or Gillette-type injuries:

* Repetitive motion: when a task is repeated frequently it can cause strains and fatigue in muscles, joints and tendons.
* Forceful exertion: tasks that require force place a higher load or stress on muscles, tendons and joints.

* Awkward posture/position: poor posture while performing a task, especially a repetitive task, puts strain on joints and muscles.

* Duration: tasks that require the use of the same muscles for long periods of time can cause fatigue in those muscles and make them susceptible to injury.

* Compression: pressing body parts on hard or sharp surfaces causes a decrease in blood flow to the muscles, tendons and nerves in that area. This can cause symptoms of tingling, numbness and change in sensation, and lead to tissue damage in that area.

* Vibration: activities involving vibration put stress on individual parts or the whole body.
* Poor physical health: conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Raynaud's, arthritis, smoking, alcoholism, gout, hypertension, poor nutrition, lack of exercise, stress and job dissatisfaction can increase the chance of developing a repetitive motion injury.

Common types of Gillette-type, repetitive motion, cumulative trauma injuries include:

* Tendinitis * Bursitis
* Carpal tunnel syndrome
* Rotator cuff tears
* Lumbar or cervical disc degeneration

* Lumbar or cervical disc herniations or bulges
* Epicondylitis

* Trigger finger
* Tenosynovitis

* Ganglion cyst

* Hand-arm vibration syndrome
* Radial tunnel syndrome
* Cubital tunnel syndrome

* Thoracic outlet syndrome

* Plica syndrome

* Patellofemoral pain syndrome
* Medial collateral tears
* Meniscus tears
Gillette-type injuries are very frequently contested by employers and their workers’ compensation insurance company.

If you have sustained a repetitive motion, cumulative trauma, or Gillette-type injury at work, call Atkinson Law Office or click here to send us an email to schedule a free consultation. You may also contact Tom Atkinson directly at 651-324-9514 or visit www.mndisability.com