I am Injured and Collecting Wisconsin Workers Compensation Benefits

I am Injured and Collecting Wisconsin Workers Compensation Benefits

I am injured and collecting Wisconsin Workers Compensation Benefits, my Workers Compensation Adjuster says that I do not need an attorney, is this true?

While it is true that many workers compensation programs were originally developed to relieve the injured worker from the cost of hiring an attorney, that only applies in a perfect world where the work injury claim has been fully conceded/accepted and the worker is getting ALL the benefits that he is entitled, without argument, delay, or hassle from the workers compensation insurance carrier.

Sadly, rarely does this “Perfect World” happen when a Wisconsin worker is injured.  The workers compensation insurance carrier always has an eye out looking for an opportunity to deny the claim, lessen its exposure and responsibility.  With that mindset, the insurance company looks for any reason to not pay, delay and ultimately find a reason to deny the claim.  These carriers have many tricks up their sleeves to either never pay or stop benefits.  They may claim that the injury never occurred at work, or that the injury is personal to the worker, and therefore not related to what happened on the job.  Or, they may claim that the worker did not report the injury timely, or that the factual rendition of how the injury occurred is not true.  Sometimes, the carrier just ignores the workers and does not even respond to the report of injury and just hopes that the worker will just go away.  Mays Law Office has seen and heard it all from workers compensation insurance carriers.  When hiring an attorney, the injured worker needs to make sure that they choose an attorney with years of experience representing injured workers and aggressively advocates to ensure that the worker is getting every benefit they are entitled to under the law.

Even if you are not quite ready to hire an attorney, at the very least, make a call to Mays Law Office for a free consultation to discuss with Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays if you are being treated lawfully by the insurance company and getting every monetary benefit under the law.

During most consultations, Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays can spot concerning issues, such as advising on benefits not told by the workers compensation insurance carrier.  Such benefits, like reimbursement of .51 cents a mile for mileage for medical treatment, therapy, and pharmacy runs.  Most injured workers are never told that they have to make the request to the claims adjuster for reimbursement of mileage if the claim has been accepted.  Or perhaps, the injured worker is having her privacy violated by the workers compensation nurse who shows up at her medical appointment and insists on going into the examination room and participates in the medical appointment by asking questions of the doctor.  Attorney Pierobon Mays will caution the injured worker that they can deny such access and forbid this intrusion.  Or, when it comes to who to treat with, injured workers do not know that they can choose their own treating doctor.  The workers compensation insurance carrier cannot dictate the workers medical treatment.  In Wisconsin, the injured worker chooses who they will treat with.

Oftentimes, Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays gets calls from an injured worker because they have been instructed that they have to go see a workers compensation insurance doctor, termed “Independent Medical Examiner” or an “IME.”  Ironically, there is nothing independent about these doctors.  These doctors are hired by the workers compensation insurance companies with a bent toward denying benefits.  These doctors do not offer medical treatment.  They see the injured worker for 15-30 minutes, at a rented facility, ask a few questions, all in the hopes that the worker will say or do something inconsistent to give them a bit of information to use against the worker.  Like, when one injured worker told the doctor that, before the injury, he enjoyed weightlifting.  The alleged Independent Medical Examiner then used this information of weightlifting against the injured worker claiming that the injury was not caused by the lifting of the 100 pound machine which caused the worker to drop to his knees screaming in pain because he herniated a disk in his back.

During your initial consultation and conversation with Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays, she will spot these troubling issues and guide you accordingly.  Such as how does an injured worker interact and communicate with these IME doctors?  Attorney Pierobon Mays will quickly correct that this doctor appointment should be seen as an “adverse medical doctor, ” not your friend or advocate.  Attorney Pierobon Mays will instruct that every injured work needs to take and keep a silent witness at their side in this adverse appointment.  This is a new change in the law that Attorney Pierobon Mays help initiate in Wisconsin.  Attorney Pierobon Mays will provide the injured worker with other Do’s and Don’ts in preparation for this adverse appointment.   Keep in mind, these doctors have marching orders from the workers compensation carrier to act in their favor, which is generally not in line with the injured worker’s interest of collecting benefits.  So, even if the injured worker is getting benefits now, it is always good to have a familiar voice to call on in the event the insurance carrier wants the worker to see their doctor/IME.  Establishing a relationship with an experienced workers compensation attorney early on will provide confidence.  Confidence that, if an attorney is needed in the future then a trusted relationship with Mays Law Office to advocate and collect has already been established.

If a workers compensation attorney is necessary, under the Wisconsin law, workers’ compensation lawyers can only charge up to 20% of the disputed amount recovered.  This attorney fee is deducted from the injured workers recovered compensation.  With this, the injured worker does not pay until they receive compensation for their injury or illness.

Nothing can compensate pain and suffering following a work injury, however receiving workers compensation benefits under the Wisconsin worker compensation laws is an important step on the way back to recovery.  Lisa Pierobon Mays helps guide injured workers through the Wisconsin workers compensation system, working to ensure that the necessary paperwork is properly filed.  Lisa stays involved in all of her clients’ claims and she never turns her client’s over to a paralegal.  Lisa is involved from the first contact, through doctor appointments, to preparing the claim and client for a potential hearing, often pushing the workers compensation insurance company to make a fair settlement or defend itself at hearing.

Lisa is not intimidated by any employer or insurance carrier.  She has taken on the big box retailers, nationally recognized organizations, and institutions in advocating for her clients.  For more information, call for a free same day consultation at 608-257-0440

10 “Defenses” that Won’t Protect You Against a DUI Conviction in Wisconsin

10 “Defenses” that Won’t Protect You Against a DUI Conviction in Wisconsin

If you are facing a DUI charge in Wisconsin, you need to defend yourself by all means available. There are several ways to fight a DUI charge, and mounting a successful defense starts with understanding which defenses you can use based on the facts and circumstances of your case.

It also starts with understanding what “defenses” won’t actually protect you.

When you are at risk for a DUI conviction, mistakes can be costly. While there are several mistakes you need to avoid, one of the most dangerous mistakes you can make is saying something that prosecutors can use against you. Too often, we see people say things that they think will protect them, but that in reality only serve to help seal their conviction.

What Not to Say When Facing a DUI Charge in Wisconsin

What are some examples of the things you need to avoid saying when facing a DUI charge in Wisconsin? Here are 10 common “defenses” that not only won’t protect you, but that can also do more harm than good:

1. You Thought You Were Okay to Drive

When facing a DUI charge in Wisconsin, it doesn’t matter whether you intentionally broke the law. If you are under the influence “to a degree which renders [you] incapable of safely driving” or your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above the legal limit, you can be found guilty of DUI. If you tell the police or the judge that you thought you were okay to drive, this can effectively amount to a confession that you got behind the wheel after drinking.

2. You Just Had One Beer, Shot, or Glass of Wine

While most people are aware of Wisconsin’s BAC limit (which is 0.08% for most drivers), far fewer people are aware that you can be charged with DUI even if your BAC is below the legal limit. This is based on the language in Wisconsin’s DUI statute quoted above. Even if you just have one beer, shot, or glass of wine, if this renders you “incapable of safely driving,” you can be convicted of DUI in Wisconsin.

3. You Were Only a Little Bit Buzzed

For this same reason, you should not tell the police or the judge that you were “only a little bit buzzed.” In Wisconsin, any evidence of alcohol impairment can be enough to justify a conviction.

4. You Thought You Waited Long Enough Before Driving

If you think you might be too drunk to drive, the right thing to do is wait until you are sober before getting behind the wheel. But, even if you try to do the right thing, you can still be convicted of DUI if you don’t wait long enough. This is similar to saying that you thought you were okay to drive. While it might seem like a sound defense, it simply isn’t.

5. You Didn’t Have Any Other Way to Get Home

When you are too drunk to drive, not having another way to get home is not an excuse for getting behind the wheel. If your designated driver left without you or your Uber driver never showed, the law says that you needed to find another way home.

6. You Weren’t Driving When the Police Approached Your Vehicle

There is a common misconception that you can’t be convicted if you aren’t driving when the police approach your vehicle. We’re not sure where this comes from, but it is dangerously incorrect. Even if you are parked when the police approach you, it is still very possible to face a DUI conviction.

7. You Weren’t Driving Dangerously

Another common misconception is that you can avoid a DUI conviction if you weren’t driving dangerously. In Wisconsin, you can be convicted of DUI if you are “incapable of safely driving” or your BAC is over the legal limit. Prosecutors do not need to prove both. So, even if you are fully capable of maintaining control of your vehicle, if you blow above the legal limit on the breathalyzer, this alone can be enough to establish your guilt in court.

8. The Police Stopped You for a Nonmoving Traffic Violation (Not for Drunk Driving)

When the police conduct a lawful traffic stop, they can pursue charges for any traffic violation or criminal offense for which they find probable cause to make an arrest. This means that even if a police officer pulled you over for a broken taillight, if the officer smelled alcohol on your breath after pulling you over, the officer acted appropriately in testing you for alcohol intoxication or impairment.

9. The Police Didn’t Read Your Miranda Rights

Under the U.S. Constitution, the police must read your rights before interrogating you in custody. However, police officers are not required to read your rights before they make an arrest on the side of the road. This means that if you confessed to drinking and driving before your arrest, your confession could be admissible even though the arresting officer hadn’t yet read your Miranda rights.

10. You’re Sorry and You Won’t Do It Again

In Wisconsin, being sorry isn’t enough to save you from a DUI conviction. If you admit to driving under the influence—even if you say that you will never do it again—you can expect to be convicted in court.

While none of these “defenses” will protect you, as we mentioned in the introduction, there are several ways to fight a DUI in Wisconsin. When you meet with a lawyer about your DUI case, your lawyer will examine all of the options you may have for beating your DUI charge. Before you say anything that could make it harder (if not impossible) to fight your DUI, you owe it to yourself to seek advice from an experienced defense lawyer.

Discuss Your Case with a DUI Defense Lawyer in Madison, WI

If you are facing a DUI charge in Wisconsin, we strongly encourage you to contact us before you say anything that could jeopardize your defense. To arrange a free and confidential consultation as soon as possible, call 608-257-0440 or send us a message online now.