Frequently Asked Workers’ Compensation Questions
Falsani, Balmer, Peterson & Balmer has helped Minnesota and Wisconsin residents pursue compensation after serious workplace injuries for over 40 years. We understand how to navigate the complex legal process to provide clients with the best possible chances of recovery.
Our lawyers understand that the workers’ compensation process can be confusing and overwhelming. Below you will find answers to some of our clients’ most frequently asked workers’ compensation questions. If you have additional questions, call our Duluth office at 218-461-1309 to schedule a complimentary consultation with our ethical attorneys.
- If I live in Minnesota but was hurt in Wisconsin (or vice versa), what laws apply?
- What are the available workers’ compensation benefits?
- How long do I have to file my claim?
- How are attorneys paid?
- Should I hire a lawyer to handle my claim?
If I Live In Minnesota But Was Hurt In Wisconsin (Or Vice Versa), What Laws Apply?
Generally, the law in the state where you were injured applies. However sometimes, another law may apply or perhaps both laws would apply, although you can only collect benefits under one system, not both.
What Are The Available Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
The benefits in both Minnesota and Wisconsin are somewhat similar. Injured employees are entitled to be paid total wage loss (which is paid at two-thirds of the wage at the time of the injury) or partial wage loss (which is paid at two-thirds of the wage differential between your wage at the time of the injury and your current wage). There are limitations in both states on how long a person is entitled to either total or partial wage loss.
There are also benefits for permanent partial disability, although the type and manner in which those benefits are paid are substantially different in Minnesota than in Wisconsin. People covered by Minnesota or Wisconsin law are also entitled to medical benefits, such that their medical expenses shall be paid. There are vocational rehabilitation benefits, including potential retraining. An individual may be entitled to additional benefits depending upon the circumstances and the applicable law.
How Long Do I Have To File My Claim?
In Minnesota, you generally have 30 days to inform your employer of your injury, although there may be exceptions that allow up to 180 days. (Most people inform their employers of their injury immediately, or shortly thereafter). In Minnesota, you generally have three years to commence a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Once benefits are paid (in any form, whether it be wage loss, medical or otherwise), there is no more statute of limitation problem. In other words, once the insurance company has paid a single benefit, a claim can be commenced any time thereafter, sometimes years later.
In Wisconsin, an employee is required to notify an employer of injury within 30 days of the injury or 30 days of when the employee knew or should have known of the disability. In Wisconsin, an employee has to file an application for a hearing within 12 years from the date of injury or the date of last payment of compensation. If the claim is denied, an employee must file an application for hearing within two years from the date of the injury or the date the employee knew or should have known of the disability.
How Are Attorneys Paid?
In Minnesota, attorneys are paid 25 percent of the first $4,000 of recovered benefits and 20 percent thereafter, subject to a maximum fee of $13,000. Occasionally there are exceptions to the maximum fee limitations.
In Wisconsin, attorneys are paid 20 percent of all recovered compensation. In both states, attorney fees must be approved by a workers’ compensation judge.
Should I Hire A Lawyer To Handle My Claim?
Workers’ compensation is very complicated, and laws are constantly changing due to the political winds, so seeking experienced attorney advice is always a good idea. Again, it costs nothing to hire a lawyer for a workers’ compensation claim. The lawyer is hired on a contingency fee basis, meaning that they will be paid only a percentage of the benefits the lawyer helps you obtain.
If you are already receiving benefits, the lawyer will not receive a percentage of the benefits you are already receiving. They can only receive a percentage of the benefits he or she helps you obtain.
Contact Us To Schedule A Free Initial Consultation
If you were injured at work due to a faulty product, unsafe conditions or accident, call Falsani, Balmer, Peterson & Balmer at 218-461-1309 to schedule a free initial case consultation. You may also contact our offices online. We will carefully evaluate your situation and explain your best options to protect your health and financial interests.