It seems that everywhere you look these days, whether in the Yellow Pages, on the television and especially, the Internet, you will find advertisements for Twin Cities law firms seeking clients way up here in northern Minnesota. Let me begin by saying that the point of this post is not to attack or criticize Twin Cities law firms. I went to law school in Minneapolis. I have a lot of friends who are lawyers in the Twin Cities area. The majority of the lawyers I see advertising up in our neck of the woods are experienced and top-notch lawyers.
My point is to ask why a person in Grand Rapids, Hibbing, Virginia or Ely, for example, would decide to hire a lawyer 200 miles away to handle a local workers’ compensation claim. If you have been hurt on the job and are looking for a lawyer to represent you, I could not agree more that you are making a very important choice. In fact, there are definitely certain things you should look for when you hire a work comp lawyer:
Experience with All Types of Work Comp Claims
Experience with a Variety of Employers and Insurance Companies
Experience in the Courtroom
Knowledge of the Local Economy and Labor Market
Availability and Convenience
With that in mind, let me make the case for contacting Bradt Law Offices when you have questions or need a lawyer to fight for you in a workers’ compensation claim.
Let’s start with Experience with all types of work comp claims. If you read my biography, either here or on our webpage, you’ll know that I have been representing work comp clients for more than 35 years. I started in 1983 and the first cases I ever handled were work comp. I’ve been a “work comp lawyer’ ever since. In fact, I still have a file open for a guy who hired me in 1984. He has been receiving permanent total disability benefits for many years now, but medical disputes with the insurance company arise now and then and his file remains open. I’ve known this gentleman since before my now-grown children were even born – and we both have a lot less hair than we did in 1984 🙂
If there is an injury you can imagine, I have probably handled it. Over the years, our office has handled back and neck injuries, injuries to just about every joint in the body, brain injuries, quadriplegic injuries, heart attacks, carpal tunnel, lead poisoning, fibromyalgia, repetitive use injuries, chronic pain issues, hearing loss, crush injuries, loss of vision……… the list goes on and on. When necessary, we refer our clients to the same medical experts as any other lawyer, whether those experts are in your hometown, in Duluth, the Twin Cities or Rochester.
Experience with a variety of employers and insurance companies. Work injuries happen every day of the week to people just like you. Over the years I have brought claims against the mining companies, the big-box retail stores, paper mills, construction companies, school districts, cities, counties and the State of Minnesota, to name a few of the big employers we have dealt with. On the other hand, we also have claims against gas stations, convenience stores, cleaning companies, nursing homes and any other type of employer imaginable. People don’t choose to get hurt and it makes no difference where they are working. The workers’ compensation system is set up to help you when you’ve been injured, no matter how big or small your employer might be.
Whether you are dealing with State Fund Mutual, Liberty Mutual, Berkeley, General Casualty or a long list of other insurance companies, we’ve dealt with all of them over the years. The same laws apply in every case no matter how big or small the employer or insurance company might be.
Experience in the courtroom. For over 35 years, I have been taking my clients’ cases to trial in front of workers’ compensation judges. The majority of those trials have been in Duluth, although 25 years ago we sometimes had to travel to Minneapolis for hearings. If the case can’t be settled fairly, or if a client wants his or her day in court, we’ll take the case to trial. Of course, my clients will always get the benefit of my advice and my evaluation of their claim, but ultimately the decision to take a case to trial is up to the client. I have appeared and argued cases before the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals, the Minnesota Court of Appeals and the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Knowledge of the local economy and labor market. I was born and raised on the Iron Range, graduating from Eveleth High School and attending UMD before law school at the University of Minnesota. My practice has always been in northern Minnesota, mostly with an office in Grand Rapids, although I spent 7 years in Duluth as a partner with Cuzzo, Bradt and Envall from 1999 until 2006. Our current office is in Grand Rapids but my clients have always been spread across northern Minnesota – from Ely to Bemidji, International Falls to Duluth and everywhere in between. I spend most summer weekends at our cabin on Lake Vermilion.
For job search or retraining issues, we have used QRC’s with offices in Duluth, Cook, Grand Rapids and Brainerd, depending upon where my clients live and what issues might be in dispute. As a native Iron Ranger, if you call me with a question about your work comp claim, I can promise you I won’t have to ask “Where is Buhl? Is that near Ely?” Or even worse, “Where is Ely?”.
Availability and convenience. I truly believe that this is one of the most important factors to consider, all other things being equal. If you can find an experienced and compassionate work comp lawyer in your own backyard, why would you drive 200 miles to hire someone else? Why would anyone want a lawyer that far away?
I’ll travel to meet with you. If you are unable to travel, are in the hospital or can’t make it to our office in Grand Rapids, I’ll meet you wherever it’s convenient for you.
I return all of my phone calls. It might take me a few hours, sometimes even a day or two depending upon my schedule, but I will always call you back.
If you need to meet with me, I am always available for appointments. If I’m busy, we’ll squeeze you in – including early morning or evening appointments.
Hard work, years of experience and honest answers, all the time.
Always, a free consultation about your case (see this post for information about free consultations)
Hiring a lawyer is an important decision. Hiring a good, experienced lawyer is a smart decision. If you have a workers’ compensation claim in northern Minnesota, please consider calling Bradt Law Offices to help you before you make that long drive to the Twin Cities.
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