My Claim’s Adjuster Says I Don’t Need an Attorney for my Workers Compensation Injury.  Is That True?

My Claim’s Adjuster Says I Don’t Need an Attorney for my Workers Compensation Injury.  Is That True?

While the workers’ compensation system was originally developed in Wisconsin to relieve the worker from the cost of hiring an attorney, that only applies to claims in a “perfect world” setting.  A “perfect world” where the insurance company has conceded or accepted the injury claim and the injured worker is getting ALL the benefits that he is entitled too, without argument, delay, or hassle from the workers compensation insurance carrier.

Rarely does this “perfect world” happen when a Wisconsin worker is injured.  The insurance company always has an eye out to deny the claim, lessen its exposure, and responsibility.  With that mindset, the insurance company looks for reasons to not pay, delay, and ultimately deny.  They 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 you and not related to what happened on the job.  Or they may claim you did not report the injury timely, or that your rendition of how the injury occurred is a lie.  Sometimes, they just ignore you and don’t even respond to your report of injury hoping you will just go away.  Mays Law Office has seen and heard it all from workers compensation insurance carriers.  When hiring an attorney, make sure you are choosing an attorney who has years of experience advocating for injured Wisconsin workers to ensure that you are getting every benefit you 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 fairly and legally by the insurance company and getting EVERY monetary benefit under the law.

During most consultations, Attorney Pierobon Mays can spot concerning issues, such as advising on benefits not told to you by the insurance company.  For example, an injured worker is entitled to medical mileage reimbursement for treatment, therapy, and pharmacy runs at .51 cents a mile.  Most insurance carriers will not tell the injured worker about such reimbursement.  The injured worker simply needs to make the request for reimbursement by indicating the date and address traveled to determine mileage and the insurance adjuster has to pay.  Or perhaps, the injured worker is having her privacy violated by a workers compensation nurse showing up at her appointments and going into the examination room with her and the doctor!  Attorney Pierobon Mays will caution that the injured worker can deny such access and forbid this intrusion.  Or, oftentimes, the injured worker does not know that they get to choose their own doctor; the workers compensation representative cannot dictate medical treatment.  In Wisconsin, the injured worker chooses who they will treat with.

Often time, Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays get calls from injured workers because they have been given notice that they must go see the 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 making thousands of dollars to help the insurance carrier review claims with a bent toward denying benefits.  These doctors do not provide medical treatment.  They see you for 15-30 minutes, at a rented facility, and ask you a few questions, all in the hopes that you will say something inconsistent or give them a bit of information to use against you.  Like, when one injured worker told the doctor that before the injury he enjoyed weight lifting.  The alleged “Independent Medical Examiner” then used this information about weightlifting to proclaim that this caused the injury and NOT the lifting of the 100 pound machine at work which caused him to drop to his knees screaming in pain.

During your initial consultation and conversation with Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays, she will spot these troubling issues and guide you accordingly.  Such as how to interact and communicate with these IME doctors.  Attorney Pierobon Mays will quickly correct that this doctor’s appointment should be seen as an “adverse medical doctor” and not your friend or advocate.  These doctors have an understood job to act in favor of the worker’s compensation carrier which is generally not in line with an injured worker’s interest in collecting benefits.  So, while you may be getting benefits now, it is always good to have a familiar voice to call on in the event the insurance company tells you that it wants you to see their doctor/IME.  Establishing a relationship with an experienced Wisconsin worker’s compensation attorney early on will give you confidence.  Confidence that if in the future you need to hire an attorney then you have already established a relationship with Mays Law Office and confident in hiring them to advocate and collect for you.

If ultimately you do need to hire an attorney, under Wisconsin law, workers’ compensation lawyers can ONLY charge up to 20% of the amount of recovered compensation.  This attorney fee is simply deducted from your payment; therefore you do not pay attorney fees until you receive compensation for your injury or illness.  At Mays Law Office, we offer free consultations, often on the same day that you call.

Nothing can compensate you for the pain and suffering you have endured following a work-related injury, however receiving the workers compensation benefits that you are entitled to is an important step on the way back to recovery.  Lisa Pierobon Mays can help guide you through the Wisconsin workers’ compensation system, working to ensure that you file the necessary paperwork within each specific time frame.  Lisa stays involved with your claim from the moment you speak with her.  She does not turn your claim over to a paralegal to handle your claim.  Lisa stays in direct contact with you from your first contact, through your doctor appointments, to preparing your claim and you for a potential hearing, often pushing the workers compensation insurance company to make a fair settlement or defend itself at the hearing.

Lisa is not intimidated by any employer or insurance company.  She has taken on the big box retailers and nationally recognized insurance companies in advocating for her clients.  See the Mays Law Office 5-Star Google customer review rating.  Those kinds of reviews and results tell it all.

For more information about how we can help now or in the future, contact Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays at 608-257-0440 for a free consultation.

What Happens if You Get in an Accident While Driving Drunk in Wisconsin?

What Happens if You Get in an Accident While Driving Drunk in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, the consequences of getting arrested for drunk driving can be severe. Even “standard” first-time drunk driving charges carry substantial penalties, and having a conviction on your record for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) can negatively impact many aspects of your life.

But, the consequences are even more severe if you cause an accident while driving drunk.

If you cause an accident while driving drunk, the penalties that are at stake depend on the consequences of the accident. Wisconsin law establishes three separate offenses for OWI accidents: (i) causing injury while OWI; (ii) causing great bodily harm while OWI; and, (iii) homicide by OWI. These are felony charges in many cases, and convictions carry mandatory jail time.

Criminal Charges for OWI Accidents in Wisconsin

Each of these offenses carries its own set of penalties, and each offense has its own “elements” that prosecutors must prove in order to secure a conviction. Here is an overview of the charges you may be facing if you have been accused of causing a serious or fatal accident while driving drunk in Wisconsin:

1. Causing Injury While OWI

Causing an accident that results in any level of injury elevates the risks of facing an OWI charge in Wisconsin. If convicted, you could face a $2,000 fine and up to a year of jail time—with a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days.

2. Causing Great Bodily Harm While OWI

If the accident results in “great bodily harm,” you can be charged with a Class F felony. These felonies carry up to a $25,000 fine and 12.5 years of imprisonment.

What constitutes “great bodily harm”? Section 939.22(14) of the Wisconsin Statutes defines “great bodily harm” as “bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death, or which causes serious permanent disfigurement, or which causes a permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ or other serious bodily injury.” As you can see, this is extremely broad, and this breadth allows prosecutors to pursue Class F felony charges in many cases.

3. Homicide By OWI

If you are involved in a fatal accident while driving under the influence, you can be charged with homicide by OWI. Under Section 940.09 of the Wisconsin Statutes, homicide by OWI is a Class D felony in most cases. However, it can be elevated to a Class C felony for individuals who have prior criminal records. As a Class D felony, homicide by OWI carries up to a $100,000 fine and 25 years of imprisonment. Repeat offenders facing Class C felony charges can be sentenced to as many as 40 years behind bars.

Defending Yourself Against an OWI Accident Charge in Wisconsin

Due to the severe consequences of getting convicted of causing injury or death while driving under the influence in Wisconsin, if you are facing an OWI accident charge, you need to defend yourself by all means available. This starts with putting an experienced OWI defense lawyer on your side. When you hire an experienced lawyer to represent you, your lawyer will examine all potential defenses and put together a trial strategy focused on protecting you to the fullest extent possible.

While there are several potential defenses to OWI accident charges in Wisconsin, the defenses you have available will depend on the facts of your case. With this in mind, some examples of defense strategies your lawyer might be able to use to protect you include:

  • Challenging the Prosecution’s Evidence that You Caused the Accident – Even if you were involved in an accident while driving drunk, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you caused the accident. If prosecutors cannot prove that you caused the accident, then you do not deserve to be held accountable for any serious or fatal injuries that resulted from the collision. Since the prosecution has the burden of proof, you don’t need to be able to prove that the accident was someone else’s fault—you just need to be able to convince the jury that prosecutors haven’t proven that you caused the accident beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • Challenging the Prosecution’s Evidence that You Were Intoxicated or Impaired – Your lawyer may also be able to fight your OWI accident charge by challenging the prosecution’s evidence that you were intoxicated or impaired. There are several ways to fight an “ordinary” OWI charge, and all of these are potential defenses to OWI accident charges as well.
  • Challenging the Admissibility of the Prosecution’s Evidence – Even if the evidence shows that you caused an accident while driving drunk, prosecutors still won’t be able to secure a conviction if their evidence is inadmissible in court. If you have grounds to keep the prosecution’s evidence out of court (i.e., because the police violated your Fourth Amendment rights), this could save you from a conviction as well.
  • Asserting Other Constitutional and Procedural Defenses – Along with challenging the admissibility of the prosecution’s evidence, there are several other potential constitutional and procedural defenses to OWI charges filed in the Wisconsin courts. If prosecutors violate your right to a speedy trial, if there are issues with the jury selection process, or if any of a variety of other issues arise during your case, these could all potentially serve as grounds for acquittal.
  • Negotiating a Plea Bargain if Necessary – Finally, if the cards are stacked against you, you may be able to minimize the consequences of your OWI accident by negotiating a plea bargain. Your lawyer can help you decide if this is in your best interests; and, if it is, your lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor’s office on your behalf.

Discuss Your Wisconsin OWI Accident Case with an Experienced Defense Lawyer

Are you facing an OWI accident charge in Wisconsin? If so, we encourage you to contact us promptly for more information. To discuss your case with an experienced defense lawyer in confidence as soon as possible, call 608-257-0440 or tell us how we can reach you online now.