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HELPING INJURY
VICTIMS GET THE

MONEY THEY NEED
TO RECOVER

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THE TEAM TO
HELP YOU WIN

THE MONEY
YOU DESERVE

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WE FIGHT
THE INSURANCE

COMPANIES
FOR YOU


HELPING INJURY VICTIMS GET THE
MONEY THEY NEED TO RECOVER

We Fight the Insurance Companies
So You Don’t Have To

Think the Insurance Company is on Your Side? Think Again.

Insurance companies protect their profits by delaying, devaluing, and even outright denying legitimate claims for people who have been injured in an accident. Don’t fall victim and settle for less than your claim is worth. Call Schroeder & Mandel for a FREE consultation.

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“Working with Schroeder & Mandel was a great experience. They were very attentive to my needs, they were in constant contact. I always knew where I was in the process. Couldn’t ask for a better outcome.” – SM, 2021

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

““This group of individuals are phenomenal, they will work with their clients through anything and keep them updated along the way. I highly recommend Rick Schroeder for an attorney.” – KH, 2021

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“Schroeder & Mandel are a wonderful team to work with! Thank you for all of your work!” – VU and ZB, 2021

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“Rick and his team are by far the best legal representation. When matters get sticky and you need a good lawyer, Schroeder & Mandel is who you want on your side!” – EK, 2021

Practice Areas

When you hire Schroeder & Mandel, you’re getting more than an ethical, trusted team whose mission is to put our client’s needs above all else. There’s also deep passion and experience. We are uniquely qualified to help our clients win in our areas of practice.

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PJ, 2015
“S&M fights for the little people, justice and for what is right.”
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LS, 2019
“Highly recommend S&M. Providing easy communication and clearly sharing all aspects and options in our negotiations was truly appreciated.”
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Jim, 2018
“S&M got me twice their initial offer, meaning that even after I paid for their services… I still received thousands of dollars more than I would have if I worked with the insurance company on my own.”
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
JP, 2020
“The best communication between attorney, staff and client! Professional staff. Questions answered usually within 24 hours."

How can our team help you?

If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle or auto accident or sustained an injury while at work, we can help. We handle all types of accident and injury cases and will provide a FREE consultation. Please explore our site to learn more about our legal services. We welcome you to contact our office and ask about ANY type of injury and how we can help with your situation.

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651-426-8740

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Pseudo Images as place holders for future 'News' posts
Pseudo Images as place holders for future 'News' posts
Pseudo Images as place holders for future 'News' posts

3 Important Things Injured Workers Should Know About Their Private Medical Data

Getting injured at work isn’t on anybody’s to-do list. Unfortunately, workplace injuries can happen to anybody. After a workplace injury, many employees aren’t sure what to do next.

  • Should I report the injury to HR or management?
  • Am I eligible for workers’ compensation?
  • Will my insurance cover my treatment, or will my employers?
  • If my employer files a claim, should I still file with my insurance company?

Every situation and employer is different, with varying procedures for handling workplace injuries. But, no matter where you work or how you were injured, there are three things you should know about your private medical data and how it’s shared.

1. Your medical information is private and cannot be shared without your knowledge.

The information you discuss with your healthcare provider is private. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted in 1996 to establish a set of national standards for the protection of certain health information.

While some health information must be shared to enable providers to offer the best possible care, patient privacy is essential. The HIPAA Privacy Rule makes it possible for providers to access the details they need while protecting patient data privacy. It’s a delicate balance, and it is the core of high-quality healthcare.

If you get hurt at work, your employer or their insurance company may wish to speak with your doctor about your treatment and status. They may only do so with your express knowledge. 

Minnesota Statute § 176.138(a) states:

In all cases of a request for the data or discussion with a medical provider about the data, except when it is the employee who is making the request, the employee shall be sent written notification of the request by the party requesting the data at the same time the request is made or a written confirmation of the discussion.

This statute ensures that you are fully aware of any information your doctor’s office provides on your behalf.

2. Employers and insurance companies may request information from your doctor.

Injuries at work are more difficult simply because employers must be involved with the process. If a workers’ compensation claim is filed, insurance companies become involved as well. In these instances, employees should expect that some level of detail about their injury and care will be shared with their employer, their employer’s insurance company, or both.

Does that mean your employer should have free access to your medical data and history? Of course not. But they will need to know certain details about your prognosis and treatment so they can prepare for your safe return to work, and prepare the necessary documents for filing a claim with their insurance provider.

If you have questions about your employer’s processes and procedures pertaining to workplace injuries, please consult your employee handbook, HR team, supervisor or company leadership first for more information. Schroeder & Mandel is here to help facilitate these conversations, if necessary.

3. Different providers have different policies. Ask your provider about how they share private medical information.

Most doctors’ offices have a policy that they do not disclose information about their patients without written authorization. This enables patients to control the information shared and allows providers to share the necessary data while adhering to HIPAA compliance measures.

Schroeder & Mandel’s medical authorizations specifically state, “If you do not want to give your permission for a person from this health care facility to talk to a person from the organization requesting information, indicate that here (check or initial) _______.

Your decision on this important medical authorization is binding for your doctor. If you do not wish for them to speak with anyone outside the practice about your particular case, they cannot.

If you are an injured worker and you find out your doctor’s office has been disclosing information without your knowledge, contact one of the attorneys at Schroeder & Mandel for assistance. We’re on your side to fight for the justice you deserve.

Independent Contractors vs. Employees – Know Your Rights

People who work as independent contractors are excluded from coverage under the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Act, but there is no official independent contractor definition. Just because your employer says you are an independent contractor does not necessarily mean it is true. Many times, an employer says that to avoid paying workers’ compensation insurance. Do not accept this as true. If you were injured at work, contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer at Schroeder & Mandel for a FREE consultation and analysis.

Independent contractors vs. employees have different workers’ compensation rights, so it is important to understand which category best suits you. When determining if the injured worker was an independent contractor or employee, we first look at whether our client or the alleged employer had a right to control the means and manner of performance. We then consider the following factors:

  • Right to Discharge: Employees can be terminated with little notice, without cause, or for failure to follow specific rules or methods. Independent contractors cannot be discharged if they produce a result that meets contract specifications.
  • Availability to Public: Independent contractors make services available to the general public instead of one single entity.
  • Compensation on Job Basis: Independent contractors are paid per job rather than payment by the hour, week, or month.
  • Realization of Profit or Loss: Independent contractors can realize a profit or suffer a loss as a result of his or her services. Employees can’t.
  • Termination: Independent contractors agree to complete a specific job, are responsible for its satisfactory completion, and are liable if they fail to complete the job. Employees can quit without incurring liability for non-completion. 
  • Substantial Investment: Independent contractors make substantial investments in the facilities (not tools) they use to provide services. Employees use facilities furnished by the employer.
  • Responsibility: Independent contractors act independently, not on behalf of the employing unit. Employees’ behavior, however, is the employing unit’s responsibility.
  • Services Fundamental to Business: Employment is indicated where the services provided are necessary to the fundamental business purpose for which the organization exists.

UNINSURED EMPLOYERS

If an employee gets hurt working for an employer that does not have workers’ compensation insurance, they are NOT automatically excluded from the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Act. In Minnesota, lawful employers pay into a Special Compensation Fund that provides benefits to injured workers of uninsured employers. When we file a claim against the Fund on behalf of an injured worker, an investigator evaluates the factors listed above. If the Fund agrees that the worker was an employee and not an independent contractor, it provides the same benefits to the employee as in every other work comp claim.

S&M Workers’ Compensation In Action

We recently settled a case where our client worked as a driver taking people to appointments.  Her company placed its logo on the sides of her car and required her to get a DOT Physical.  After she passed the physical, the company told her where and when to go. The company paid her by the hour. While transporting a person for her job, she was injured in a motor vehicle crash. We did an investigation and found the employer did not have work comp insurance. We filed a claim with the Special Compensation Fund and eventually settled the claims for $255,000.

We’ll Fight For You

The analysis of determining if a worker is an independent contractor or employee is complicated, but we’ll fight for you. We encourage injured workers to contact us for a FREE consultation to discuss any questions pertaining to work-related injuries. You deserve a life free from pain, and we’re here to help fight to recover what you’ve lost.

Everything a Chiropractor Should Know About Workers’ Compensation

After an employee has been injured at work, they often seek treatment from a trusted chiropractor. The practice of chiropractic is often an essential element in an injured person’s ability to regain their enjoyment of life and their ability to work. It’s important care that helps many thousands of people each year.

Nobody deserves to live with chronic pain, and nobody should feel like they can’t get the treatment they need because they can’t afford it. If an employee is injured at work, they may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, and they can select a chiropractor as their “primary health care provider.” Why is that important? Because it means a chiropractor can be paid from an employee’s workers’ compensation claim, and can refer the employee to other professionals.

What Chiropractic Treatments Are Allowed Under Workers’ Compensation?

Because workers’ compensation patients are (thankfully) not often a chiropractor’s typical cases, we often hear questions on what treatments work comp law covers. In general, all treatments must be medically necessary, as defined in Minnesota’s Administrative Rules, part 5221.6040, subpart 10. Employees most often seek treatment for low back pain, neck pain, or thoracic back pain.

If the primary healthcare provider deems treatment is medically necessary, workers’ compensation benefits cover 12 weeks of:

  • Adjustment or manipulation of the joints
  • Thermal treatment including superficial and deep heating and cooling modalities
  • Electrical muscle stimulation
  • Mechanical traction
  • Acupuncture
  • Manual therapy, including manual traction and massage
  • Phoresis including iontophoresis and phonophoresis

At each visit, the health care provider must evaluate whether the treatment results in progressive improvement, based on 1). The employee’s subjective evaluation of pain or disability, 2). the objective clinical finding, or 3). the employee’s functional status. If the employee’s status has not shown progressive improvement in two of the three areas listed above, the treatment should be modified, or the provider must reconsider the diagnosis. If the patient isn’t getting better, then the treatment must change.

The purpose of workers’ compensation is to ensure employees can regain functionality after being injured in the workplace. Unfortunately, a full recovery can’t always happen in 12 weeks. If the healthcare provider determines that the employee needs further care at the end of the initial treatment period, workers’ compensation can be extended.

The patient may be eligible for an additional 12 visits over an additional 12 months if all of the following requirements are met:

  1. The treatment progressively improves or maintains the functional status that was gained in the initial 12 weeks of treatment;
  2. The treatment is not regularly scheduled;
  3. The treatment records contain a plan to encourage independence and decreased reliance on health care providers;
  4. Management of the condition includes active treatment modalities;
  5. The additional visits do not delay surgical or chronic pain evaluations; and
  6. The employee does not have chronic pain syndrome.

What If an Employee Needs Care Outside “Normal” Treatment Parameters?

Every case and every patient is different, so treatment parameters will often need to be adjusted. Under rule 5221.6050, subpart 8, a departure from a parameter that limits the duration or type of treatment may be appropriate in certain situations. Should you wish to depart from treatment procedures, you will need to submit a notification to the insurer at least seven working days before treatment is initiated (see 5221.6050, Subpart 9A(4). The notice can be oral or written and must contain:

  1. Your diagnosis
  2. The basis for the departure under subpart 8
  3. The treatment plan – must include the nature and anticipated length of the proposed treatment and the anticipated effect of treatment on the employee’s condition.

If an Insurer Cuts Off Payment

Chiropractors and other medical providers who are not paid or are underpaid can file a Motion to Intervene to become formally involved in their patient’s workers’ compensation case.

When a Claim Petition has been filed with the Office of Administrative Hearings, the Motion to Intervene must be filed via eFiling or by mail to:

Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings
Workers’ Compensation Division
PO Box 64620
Saint Paul, MN 55164-0620

In the alternative, when a Medical Request has been filed with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, the Motion to Intervene should be filed there via Campus or by mail to:

Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry
Workers’ Compensation Division
443 Lafayette Road
Saint Paul, MN

The Motion to Intervene must be served on all parties, with the exception of other intervenors. An Affidavit of Service must be served and filed with the Motion to Intervene.

View Sample Affidavit of Service

Schroeder & Mandel is Here to Help

We represent injured workers on a contingency fee basis. They pay no fees out of pocket, and we don’t collect unless we are successful with their claim.

While representing an injured worker, we often help chiropractors and other small medical providers file a Motion to Intervene. If a provider contacts us for help, we fill out the case caption (top) and the signature block (bottom). The provider fills in the dates of treatment and the amount owed (middle), then must sign, date, and send it back to us. We then complete the Affidavit of Service and e-file it with the Office of Administrative Hearings. It’s that simple.

Contact us for a FREE consultation to get started.