Fields Law

What is the difference between short term and long term disability?

by Steve Fields | April 10th, 2018

Short term disability benefits typically last anywhere from six weeks up to six months, whereas a typical long term disability policy states that an individual can receive benefits up until the age of 65 as long as they continue to meet the policy’s criteria for disability.

The duration of the benefits is the most obvious distinction between long and short term disability benefits, but there are additional differences. Short term disability and long term disability benefits are governed by completely separate policies. That means that under each policy, the requirements for receiving benefits might be completely different between long and short term disability.

Can I file a Work Comp Lawsuit for my work-related injury?

by Steve Fields | February 16th, 2018

If you are injured while working, Minnesota workers’ compensation laws provide benefits such as payment of medical treatment for the work injury and lost wages for the time that you are unable to work due to your injuries. Many clients think that they need to file a Work Comp Lawsuit when their benefits are denied by the insurance company, however the correct term for this step is a Workers’ Compensation Claim for Benefits. In fact, the law protects employers from being sued for work-related injuries, in exchange for guaranteeing benefits to the injured worker.

Will Workers’ Compensation Pay for Treatment of Depression and Anxiety?

by Steve Fields | June 20th, 2017

Sudden or unexpected life changes can oftentimes bring about a low mood or aggravate feelings of depression or anxiety. A workers’ compensation injury is a good example of such a life change. No one plans to have a work injury, and once it happens, the results can be devastating and may take a toll on every part of your life.

Aside from the physical injury, there may be emotional damages as well. If you develop depression or anxiety following a work injury, it is possible to have your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance pay for your treatment. However, these claims can be complicated.

Can an employer drug test you after a work related injury?

by Steve Fields | June 1st, 2017

Workers Comp drug testing laws govern how an employer can gather evidence for an intoxication defense against paying your claim for benefits. However, drug testing and drug defenses do not come into play on a workers’ compensation claim as often as you might think.

Even if an employee does undergo drug testing and it is found that alcohol or drug intoxication played a role in the work injury, it still might not be enough to rule out the employee’s benefits under the law. The distinction lies in whether the intoxication is the cause of the injury or whether it is merely a contributory cause.

What if a mental health issue keeps me from working?

by Steve Fields | May 30th, 2017

Most mental health issues are not covered under workers’ compensation. However, you may have a workers’ comp claim if a mental illness, such as depression, is the result of the pain from your work injury. This is referred to as a consequential injury. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can also be considered a work injury when it is the result of a work-related incident.

Our Minnesota-based law firm recently had the opportunity to represent a Stillwater man who had developed PTSD as a result of his job. We fought the insurance company and secured a large settlement which compensated him for his past and future wage loss, medical expenses, and his permanent partial disability (PPD) due to his mental and physical work injuries.

Can I File a Workers Compensation Claim in Minnesota?

by Steve Fields | May 26th, 2017

Injured While Working in Minnesota vs. Injured While Working for a Minnesota-based Company

Clients are often unsure whether they can file their Workers’ Compensation claim in Minnesota if they either weren’t in Minnesota when they suffered a work-related injury, or the company they work for isn’t based in Minnesota. Certain requirements must be met in order to file a workers’ compensation claim in Minnesota.

There are three scenarios where injured workers have right to Workers’ Comp benefits in Minnesota:

  1. If you are injured while working in Minnesota, regardless of where your employer is based.
  2. If you work for a Minnesota-based company, and you are injured while temporarily out-of-state.
  3. If you regularly work in Minnesota, but you are injured on the job outside of Minnesota.


Claiming Long Term Disability and Workers’ Compensation Benefits

by Steve Fields | May 23rd, 2017

Many clients wonder if they can file a claim for Long Term Disability benefits at the same time as they are receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits. You can always apply for long term disability benefits, but whether or not you will receive benefits, and how much your benefit will be, depends on many factors.

The best place to check whether or not you can receive both types of benefits at the same time is in the long term disability policy itself. This is the document that governs your long term disability policy. The coordination of workers’ compensation and long term disability benefits can be very complicated, so it is best to seek an attorney’s help and guidance.

Can I quit my job while on Workers Comp?

by Steve Fields | May 16th, 2017

It is against the law in Minnesota for employers to retaliate against an injured worker who has filed a work comp claim or is seeking work comp benefits. If you are feeling harassed by your employer or that they are creating a hostile work environment so that you will quit your job, call us. Do not quit. By quitting your job, you may be giving up your right to work comp benefits. With a Minnesota Workers’ Compensation attorney on your side, employers and insurers are less likely to engage in any action that can be viewed as retaliatory against you.

How to Get Workers Compensation Benefits for a Minor Child

by Steve Fields | January 23rd, 2017

Just as work injuries can occur in all types of professions, injured workers come in all shapes, sizes, and ages – including children under the age of 18.

The definition of “employee” under the Minnesota workers’ compensation act specifically includes “minors”. This means that children who are injured on the job are entitled to the same benefits as other injured workers. However, there are special protections given to minors that are not given to other injured workers.

Can I choose my own doctor for a Work Comp injury?

by Steve Fields | November 25th, 2016

As a general rule, you always have the option to choose your own doctor. We typically recommend you see your primary care doctor, not a Work Comp doctor. If you don’t have one, you should see a family physician who can give you a referral.

Nurses Become Patients: Nursing Assistants Injured More Than Any Other Job

by Steve Fields | April 15th, 2016

While a variety of healthcare worker injuries often occur in a hospital setting, one particular healthcare profession tops the list for workplace injuries, not just in a hospital setting, but among all occupations. Data demonstrates that nursing assistants injured at work is more common than any other type of job in the United States.

According to an NPR special series on Injured Nurses, the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates more than 35,000 back and other injuries occur among nursing employees every year. Next in line are warehouse workers, trucks, stock clerks and then registered nurses.

Where is my Workers Comp check?

by Steve Fields | February 23rd, 2016

Injured workers often wonder how long it takes before they get their workers comp check from the insurance company. If you have an accepted claim and are off work completely, your checks should come in the same increments as when you were working. If you got paid every two weeks before, you should get your workers comp check every two weeks after you are injured.

Delays can happen if your adjuster does not have updated work restrictions from your medical doctor or if you fall off “auto-pay” or their automated payment system. That’s when your Fields Law Firm workers comp attorney will call the adjuster to find out what caused the problem and get your check issued.

What is a First Report of Injury Form?

by Steve Fields | February 16th, 2016

After you get hurt at work, it is important to notify your employer of your work injury as soon as possible. Usually, after receiving notice of an employee getting hurt at work, an Employer will fill out a Workers Compensation document called a First Report of Injury (FROI) to notify their insurance company and the Department of Labor and Industry of the workplace injury.

Healthcare Worker Injuries: The Rise in Violence Against Hospital Workers in Minnesota

by Steve Fields | February 12th, 2016

Sometimes people get the impression that there is only one category of workers who are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits – people who perform hard labor (i.e. construction workers, machinists, manufacturers). However, that is simply untrue. Workers’ compensation injuries can occur to all types of people in all different types of work settings.

One category of workers who are often overlooked with regard to workers’ compensation injuries are those in the health care industry. The rising risk of healthcare worker injuries came to light for many recently after a security camera caught an elderly patient attacking a nurses station with a pole at St. John’s Hospital in the Twin Cities.

What is an Independent Medical Examination and why is my Work Comp Insurance sending me to one?

by Steve Fields | November 3rd, 2015

If you were injured at work and have a Minnesota Workers’ Compensation claim, you may be asked to submit to an Independent Medical Examination (IME). During an IME, you will be evaluated by a doctor chosen by your date of injury Employer or Insurer. You are statutorily required to submit to an IME at the employer’s request and this evaluation must take place within 120 days after a claim petition has been served.

Ideally, the IME will be performed by a neutral physician who will provide an objective opinion as to the extent of your work injury. However, because the doctor has been chosen by the employer/insurer and will be paid by the employer/insurer, this is often a Red Flag for Workers Comp Claims because it is not uncommon for IME doctors to issue an opinion which favors the employer/insurer. Many IME doctors consistently craft their summary of your medical history and IME conclusion to favor the employer/insurer, despite contrary medical records which support your work injury claim.

When should I hire a Workers Compensation lawyer?

by Steve Fields | October 23rd, 2015

There are many reasons to hire a Workers Compensation Lawyer, however certain events during the claims process are obvious signs that the insurance company is getting ready to deny your claim. Fields Law Firm is here to answer your questions and help you understand whether you are receiving all of the benefits you are entitled to, or if the insurance company is getting ready to deny your claim.

Here are the top ten red flags that should alert you to Get Fields!

How can a QRC help if I’m on Work Restrictions?

by Steve Fields | May 25th, 2015

If you have work restrictions due to a workers compensation injury, you may be entitled to receive Vocational Rehabilitation services from a qualified rehabilitation consultant (QRC). A QRC may be assigned at your request (as a qualified employee) or at the request of an employer or the Commissioner.

During the initial rehabilitation consultation, the QRC assigned to your claim will meet with you to determine whether you are eligible to receive rehabilitation services. A “qualified employee” is an employee who, due to the work injury, is unable to perform the duties of their date-of-injury job, will not reasonably be able to return to work with their date-of-injury employer, and can reasonably be expected to secure suitable gainful employment following rehabilitation services.

If you are a qualified employee, a QRC will work with you to develop an individualized rehabilitation plan which may include services such as vocational evaluation, job modification, and retraining.

How Workers Compensation Benefits can vary by State

by Steve Fields | April 30th, 2015

Recently, NPR partnered with ProPublica, an investigative journalism organization, for a series which evaluated the workers’ compensation system. As part of this series, the article titled As Workers’ Comp Varies From State To State, Workers Pay The Price was published evaluating the disparity of workers’ compensation benefits between states. This eye-opening dichotomy between Jeremy Lewis and Josh Potter highlighted the complex and alarming discrepancy of workers’ compensation systems in various states.

How are volunteer firefighters compensated if they are injured on the job in Minnesota?

by Steve Fields | April 21st, 2015

Generally, workers’ compensation benefits are only available to individuals who are considered employees. Employees are individuals who perform services for an employer for pay. Fortunately, there is an exception for individuals who voluntarily perform “emergency management.” Emergency management includes firefighting services, police services, medical and health services, rescue, engineering, warning services, emergency transportation and other services related to civilian protection.