Friday, September 28, 2012

Finding The Best Minnesota Workers Compensation Lawyer For You.

There are many ways to find a good workers' compensation lawyer in Minnesota.  You can ask a friend, look in the yellow pages (not sure if anyone does that anymore), or as you did, use the internet.  I encourage people to read through a site to see if they are comfortable taking the next step in emailing or calling the lawyer.  One very important item to look for is experience.  All work comp lawyers will offer a free consult and we all have the same fee structure; no fee unless we recover for you.  You don't necessarily want a lawyer to does family law, wills, criminal law and the occasional work comp case.

I handle workers compensation cases ALL DAY, EVERY DAY.  My staff and I have many nearly half a century of combined experience with Minnesota Workers Compensation disputes.  We are former insurance company attorneys, insurance company adjusters and insurance company paralegals...with an emphasis on FORMER.  We know the tips, tricks and secrets to successfully winning your workers compensation case.  Your lawyers experience is the key to obtaining the best outcome for you and your family.

Contact the attorneys and staff at Atkinson Law Office, P.A. and Minnesota Disability today for a free consultation.  We will patiently listen to your questions and concerns and answer all your questions.  You will not feel rushed and will speak to an actual attorney.  We represent injured workers throughout the entire state of Minnesota.  Call 651-333-3636 today or visit our website

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

You Have Been Injured At Work. What Should You Do First.

Under Minn. Stat. § 176.141 Minnesota workers’ compensation case law, an employee must give notice of injury no more than 180 days after it becomes reasonably apparent to the employee that the injury has resulted in, or is likely to cause, a compensable disability.  For years it was believed that an employee who sustained a work injury over many months or years did not have to advise their employer of a work injury until their doctor gave them expert medical advise of the same.  However late this summer the Minnesota Supreme Court decision Anderson v. Frontier Communications.

In Anderson v. Frontier Communications, the employee claimed a repetitive trauma injury known as a "Gillette" injury to his low back injury from his work as a lineman from 1986 through 2007. He employee did not initially seek medical treatment for his back condition until 2007. At trial the employee admitted he knew that his work activities were aggravating his low back problems in 2007. His doctors did not place any restrictions on him and the injury was not reported to the employer. The employee went off work for low back surgery in 2007. After soliciting reports from his surgeons in May 2009, nearly two years after the last day he worked, the employee gave written notice of his injury to the employer.

The Supreme Court created a new rule that essentially means that if you are injured you MUST notify your employer within 180 days that you were injured regardless of how minor your injured may initially be.  If you cut your hand, get a sliver in your eye, twist your back, sprain your knee tell your supervisor or employer safety director immediately.  Due NOT wait, hoping it gets better.  If your supervisor won't get you a form to report the injury, call my office and we will do it for FREE!  YES FOR FREE!

At Atkinson Law Office and Minnesota Disability we have an award winning team of staff and lawyers with decades of experience working with injured workers.  Our telephones are answered 24 hours a day/7 days a week.  Your consultation is free and there is never a fee unless we recover benefits.  And we have staff to assist you filling out First Reports of Injury to protect your right to Minnesota Workers Compensation benefits.  Call today 651-333-3636 in the Twin Cities or throughout the entire state of Minnesota.

Friday, September 14, 2012

I've Been Injured At Work And I Need Help. What Do I Do First?

Failing to report an accident can lead to several problems.  If you do not report an accident on time, your employer can deny you medical treatment and out of work benefits.  The workers’ compensation insurance carrier will also question why your employer did not report the accident on time.  More often however, if you do not report an injury when it happens, your employer can deny the accident occurred or may claim it happened outside of work.  

What should you do?  The first thing you need to do is report the injury and DOCUMENT the fact that you reported the injury.  I love email and there is no better way to document an injury than emailing your team leader, supervisor, company HR, etc.  I have seem dozens of situations where an injured worker is encouraged not to report the injury because the employer will "take care" of the employee directly.  Employers may even lie to employees by telling them that if they report the injury to the insurance company other employees may need to be laid off, bonuses missed and possibly even a loss of job just because you had the bad luck of getting injured. Formally report the accident to your employer in writing, even if you think you are not seriously hurt.  By reporting the accident, you protect yourself against the employer who might claim that you were injured away from the workplace.  When possible, report the accident in writing or in the presence of a friend or reliable witness.  If you are a union member, you should also report the accident to your union representative in addition to your employer.      

If you are injured at work, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits including wage loss, medical benefits and possibly retraining.  Atkinson Law Office, P.A. and Minnesota Disability have represented working families with sound legal advice and guidance when they need a lawyer most.   You will received a FREE consultation...yes, it's absolutely FREE!  We have a team of Workers’ Compensation attorneys and professional who work tirelessly to protect the rights of injured workers.  We provide free consultations to inform you of your rights and obligations under the law and strongly recommend that you call us today if you have been hurt at work.  Our phones are answered 24/7 and you can frequently speak to an attorney any time of the day or night.  651-414-078.  We represent clients throughout the entire state of Minnesota.  Visit us at

Monday, September 3, 2012

I Have Had Both Neck Surgery And Back Surgery; Do You Need Back Or Neck Surgery?

Since my neck surgery I have run a marathon, and following my back surgeries I have run a half marathon and many 10k races.  I share this with you not so that you take surgery lightly, but to recognize that there are very successful outcomes to back and neck surgery.  

For most injured workers, spine surgery is “elective”, meaning that it is considered as a possible approach to enhance an injured worker’s ability to function and decrease pain. However, just because spine surgery is elective or recommended by a spine surgeon does not mean the workers compensation insurance company will agree to pay for it.  Almost without exception, the work comp insurer will require an independent medical examination.

"Elective" just means that surgery of the spine is rarely an absolute necessity. Like myself, most often surgery is performed to relieve significant pain or reduce symptoms such as radiating pain, numbness or tingling down one’s legs or arms.  Only in rare instances, such as for patients who have a progressive neurological loss of function or sudden onset of bowel or bladder incontinence, is spinal surgery actually necessary on an emergency basis.

Spine surgery can basically accomplish two tasks:

  1. Decompress a nerve root or the spinal cord
  2. Stabilize an unstable or painful segment with cervical, thoracic or lumbar fusion

Some injure workers with back or neck pain wonder by a surgeon doesn’t perform exploratory surgery.  I have never heard of exploratory spine surgery. The cause of a patient’s pain is not readily apparent with opening and exploring the spine. The preoperative evaluation and imaging results are what identify the problem and guide the design of the procedure.

If you have been injured, contact the attorneys of Minnesota Disability and Atkinson Law Office, P.A. For a FREE consultation call 651-333-3636.  Our phones are answered 24 hours a day.