2014 Super Lawyers | Law Office of Thomas Mottaz

The Law Office of Thomas Mottaz is proud to announce that David Kempston and Thomas Mottaz have been named Minnesota Super Lawyers . Congratulations to Thomas Mottaz and David Kempston for their recognition again as being one of the top and best Minnesota workers' compensation lawyers in Minnesota. Please join us in congratulating these wonderful attorneys on their accomplishments and ongoing commitments to excellence. Every year, Super Lawyers magazine, which is published in all 50 states and reaches more than 13 million readers, names attorneys in each state who attain a high degree of peer

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Changes to the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Law

The Minnesota Worker's Compensation statute underwent substantial revision during the past legislative session. Most of the statutory changes will take effect October 1, 2013. The following is a short summary that outlines the main changes: The implementation of pain contracts. This will affect employees who use opioids on a long term basis. These circumstances will now require a written contract with the prescribing provider. There is change regarding the collection of written data by the State on the prevailing charge for medical treatment. Specifically, the current collection

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When do I give notice of a work injury?

I recently had a conversation with an individual who failed to give timely notice of a work injury to his employer. The employer was a friend. The injured worker “did not want to rock the boat”. As a consequence, he was later precluded from pursuing a claim for workers' compensation benefits by operation of the notice statute. Simply put, his notice was too late. Under Minn. Stat. § 176.141, unless an employer has actual notice of the injury, an injured worker must give notice within 180 days of its occurrence. Overall, the notice statute establishes a three-tiered approach: • injuries

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After my work injury, who gets to pick my pharmacy?

After a work injury, Minnesota law requires the employer and workers' compensation insurer to provide all medical care and treatment causally related to and reasonable and necessary to cure and relieve the effects of the work injury. This includes paying for necessary medications. Questions often arise as to who gets to pick the pharmacy where medications are filled. Intuitively, you would think the injured worker gets to make the choice. That would be consistent with Minnesota law which generally allows the employee the choice of treating physicians. That is not the case, however. The

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Be Aware of Social Media

As the Internet expands and social media becomes ever more popular, insurance companies and their investigators and attorneys are often turning to Facebook and other internet venues to help defend against injured workers’ claims. Requests for access to Facebook posting are not that uncommon anymore. Moreover, Courts typically allow these requests because, as a general rule, postings on Facebook are meant to be shared with others. An injured worker is hard-pressed to argue that the insurer should not have access to photos and other information when their 600+ “friends” have access to that

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Does an Employer have to Purchase or have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Most employers in Minnesota are required to have Minnesota Workers’ Compensation insurance, or for some companies, be self-insured. There are certain limited situations where an employer may not need to have coverage, however, in most situations they are required to have workers' compensation insurance on their employees. Even though a Minnesota employer may not have workers' compensation insurance at the time of an injury, there are laws in place protecting injured workers.

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How Long do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Last in Minnesota?

How Long do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Last in Minnesota? Injuries can range from strains to fractures to no wage loss to being permanently and totally disabled where you can never return to work. The benefits an injured worker receives depends on the injury and whether that injury continues to remain a substantial contributing factor in their disability. Tied into this is the limits on the four types of benefits that an injured employee is entitled. I have previously written on the benefits available. That being said, an injured worker can receive certain benefits for the rest of their

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If I accept a retirement package or severance, would I be entitled to benefits now or in the future?

If I accept a retirement package or severance, would I be entitled to benefits now or in the future? Accepting a retirement package or severance will not preclude you from receiving benefits including lost wages. In cases of voluntary termination, the injured worker's right to wage loss benefits is suspended until the injured worker can show that the work-related disability is the cause for the inability to find or hold new employment. This can be established by work restrictions and an active job search on the part of the injured worker.

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Abbreviations and Glossary for MN Work Comp 101

Minnesota workers' compensation has many abbreviations that get used by adjusters, attorneys, employers, etc. Understanding what they represent is a difficult task for employee's who have never dealt with workers' compensation. The following is a list of common abbreviations and terms used. Some people may abbreviate terms differently, but hopefully it will provide some guidance in distinguishing the various abbreviations.

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Undocumented workers are entitled to Minnesota workers’ compensation benefits

It is estimated there are over 8.5 million undocumented immigrant workers in the United States.  Approximately 5 million undocumented immigrants work in low paid, menial jobs where the risk of physical injury is high. These types of jobs typically do not attract legal residents due to low wages, physically demanding work duties or dangerous activities. Although these workers are here illegally, these workers are necessary to the workforce.

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