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