I think we can all agree that the world is a considerably different place today than it was just a year ago. Virtually every business and occupation has been impacted in one fashion or another by the arrival of the coronavirus. As a lawyer representing injured workers in northern Minnesota for more than 36 years, I have seen the impact from a unique perspective.
Work injuries occur every day and in every type of job — in Minnesota and everywhere else. An injury on the job is an unfortunate reality for many folks in the workplace. Under normal circumstances, an injury often involves some missed time from work, medical treatment and wage loss claims. The “best case” scenario for the injured worker is that the injury resolves, he/she returns to work and all work comp benefits are paid without any hassles. No lawyer necessary.
Unfortunately, we are not presently operating under “normal circumstances”. I regularly get calls from people with questions about a work injury claim or work comp benefits. Sometimes I can help with some general information and sometimes I am hired to fight with the insurance company over various benefits.
Fear of Losing a Job
Over the past several months, I have noticed a change in the frequency and nature of these calls. I sense that there are many people afraid to report or pursue a work injury claim because they are fearful of losing their job. This is certainly understandable because with so very many people out of work, job security is a valuable commodity. (Can I Get Fired for Filing a Work Comp Claim?)
To make matters worse, we are operating under medical guidelines and restrictions which recommend wearing masks, social distancing and avoiding gatherings. As a result of these medical recommendations, my legal assistant and I (along with many others) are alternating time at the office and working remotely. We are seeing fewer clients in person, handling much of our business by telephone or email and court appearances via Zoom or other videoconferencing methods.
Meeting with a Lawyer
In my experience, there is no substitute for a face-to-face meeting when a person is considering hiring a lawyer. It doesn’t matter if it is a divorce matter, a business or contracts issue or a work injury claim. If you are making the serious decision to hire a lawyer, you need to discuss the problems, get straight answers and decide whether you will place your trust in that lawyer.
Based upon how matters have progressed over the past 6-8 months, I believe that a lot of our future legal and business matters are going to be handled by videoconferencing, rather than face-to-face. In the work comp system, we are already doing depositions and formal hearings by videoconference and it seems to be working just fine.
Meet with us by Phone, at our Office or by Videoconference
At Bradt Law Offices, we want to continue providing experienced and quality representation in Minnesota work comp claims. We also want to provide those services in a manner that is safe, efficient, secure and convenient for everyone involved.
We are now offering three options for initial consultations or other communications with our clients:
(1) Telephone. As always, we offer free initial consultations to discuss a potential work comp claim or problems with an ongoing claim. There is no time limit on the consultation and never any charge.
(2) In Person Consultation or Meetings. We also continue to offer in person or face-to-face meetings within medically recommended guidelines (masks and social distancing). Obviously, we would not schedule a face-to-face meeting if we were ill or if the client is ill or experiencing any symptoms.
(3) Videoconferencing. At this point, many of us have participated in a videoconference with a friend, physician or business associate. There are several options for these types of conferences, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex. Our office currently is using both Zoom and Microsoft Teams for videoconferencing with clients, depositions or workers’ compensation hearings. We would be happy to schedule one of these videoconferences with you -whether you are an existing client or would like to set up an initial consultation.
At Bradt Law Offices we remain dedicated to helping our friends and neighbors with workers’ compensation claims throughout Northern Minnesota. That means we will adopt whatever procedures and technologies are necessary to provide that help as times and circumstances change.
Begin with a Phone Call
We encourage anyone with questions or concerns about a work comp claim to begin with a phone call. Give us a call (or send an email) and we can discuss the next step if necessary. If we can handle everything by phone we are happy to do that. If you prefer to schedule an in person appointment that is always an option. And, if you would like to set up a videoconference meeting we will make that happen.
You will always get an honest assessment of your situation or possible claims. You will always get the benefit of our experience, our full attention and effort. You will never pay a fee unless we recover benefits for you.
As always, thank you for visiting our website and stay safe out there.