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Middleton Criminal Defense & Workers' Compensation Law Blog

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What can I do if my workers' compensation claim is denied?

When a person in Wisconsin suffers an injury on-the-job, they may find they are unable to work for a period time as they recover from the injury. This could be costly, as the worker may incur a hefty amount of medical expenses with no means to pay either them or their everyday living expenses if they aren't earning any wages. For these reasons, the worker may pursue workers' compensation benefits following a workplace injury.

Unfortunately, not every claim for workers' compensation benefits is approved. This can be distressing, especially if the worker feels they have a valid claim. However, it is possible to appeal a denied claim for workers' compensation benefits.

Bill would criminalize first-time OWI offenses in Wisconsin

As of right now, a first-time operating while intoxicated (OWI) offense is considered a civil violation and will result in a citation. However, a bill has been introduced in the Wisconsin Legislature that would make a first-time OWI a misdemeanor. Under the bill, if convicted on a first-time OWI, a person could have their record expunged if they did not commit a subsequent OWI for five years. The newly-elected Governor Tony Evers has stated he is open to the idea of criminalizing a first-time OWI.

Not everyone is on board with the bill, however. Once senator stated that the bill would impose a criminal record on an individual that could affect their ability to find a job for half a decade. He believes people should not face such repercussions simply for making one mistake.

Ag is one of Wisconsin's most dangerous workplace environments

Agriculture is one of Wisconsin's most important industries, but it's also one of the most dangerous. In 2011, 570 agricultural workers died from work-related injuries nationwide. This is seven times higher than the fatality rate for employees generally. This blog post will briefly discuss the factors making agriculture so dangerous and will also describe the workers' compensation status of the ag industry.

What is the leading cause of death in the agriculture sector? According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the number one cause of death is tractor overturns. Over 90 deaths annually happened due to overturning tractors between 1992 and 2009. A device called a Roll-Over Protective Structure can prevent these deaths. If this device is more prevalently used, it could reduce the number of claims arising in agricultural workplace environments.

What are the penalties for disorderly conduct?

Disorderly conduct is not high on anyone's list of notorious crimes in Middleton, Wisconsin. Still, it's common for those convicted of it to receive a fairly stiff fine, and sometimes even jail time. Also, a conviction may appear on a person's criminal record, which could cause questions to be raised during job searches. In this post, we will give a brief overview of the Badger State's laws against disorderly conduct.

Under Wisconsin law, a person is committing disorderly conduct when they engage in profane, abusive, indecent, violent, "boisterous, unreasonably loud or otherwise disorderly conduct" that leads to a disturbance, either publicly or privately. If a person swears or angrily yells in public, they may be charged with disorderly conduct. Other examples of disorderly conduct may include appearing on stage nude to trigger an audience reaction and disobeying a peace officer's instructions to move.

Helping you seek compensation for your workplace injuries

Workers' compensation benefits exist so that employees injured on the job have access to medical care and other benefits. Employers are required to have workers' compensation coverage so that their employees will have this available to them. An employee does not have to prove their employer was at fault for their workplace injuries before the employee is eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits.

Last month we discussed some of the differences between workers' compensation benefits and personal injury damages. Workers' compensation covers workers performing tasks in relation to their work duties. Some of the compensation types - such as pain and suffering - available in a personal injury action are not available to workers covered by workers' compensation. On the other hand, personal injury damages may not be available unless and until a plaintiff wins a lawsuit against a defendant, while workers' compensation benefits are usually available much sooner and without the need of the worker to prove negligence.

I’ve been charged with OWI. What does that mean?

The charge of “operating a vehicle while intoxicated”, or OWI, is a common one in Wisconsin. Using 2015 figures, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Division of Motor Vehicles said that 448,624 drivers had one OWI conviction, 131,597 had two and 52,002 had three.

If you were arrested for OWI, you likely received two charges: OWI and having a “prohibited alcohol concentration,” or PAC. The first charge, OWI, alleges that your ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired by alcohol. The second charge, PAC, alleges that your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was over the legal limit.

What are your rights under the Fourth Amendment?

When law enforcement authorities come knocking on a Wisconsin resident's door and confiscate materials from their residence, people may not be aware they have certain legal rights that must be protected in the process. The most important right a person has is guaranteed under the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution: due process of law, including lawful search and seizures.

An unreasonable search and seizure is one that is conducted without a search warrant and without probable cause. Unreasonable searches and seizures are unconstitutional and the evidence obtained through the search will most likely not be admitted into court. This pertains to searches not only in residences, but also in vehicles.

What is a plea agreement?

Wisconsin residents may enjoy watching procedural crime dramas play out on television and assume that criminal legal issues are resolved just as quickly in real life, but this is most often not the case. The reality is that most criminal prosecutions in the country do not end in courtroom drama, but through plea negotiations and agreements.

A plea agreement is an important tool in criminal defense. It is primarily an agreement between the defendant and the prosecutors in which the defendant agrees to plead guilty to either all of the charges they are facing or some of them, in exchange for some concessions from the prosecutor.

Is my injury covered under workers comp or personal injury?

Workers' compensation insurance is a type of insurance that employers are obligated to purchase for their employees if they injured in the course of their employment. This means if a worker is injured in a slip and fall accident or something falls on them while they are performing a task related to their work duties, they would be covered by workers' compensation. This can become confusing for some Wisconsin residents who might be under the assumption that they can pursue a personal injury lawsuit against their employer. It is important to understand what legal heading one can recover under to ensure they are exercising the legal rights they possess.

Though it is true that the accidents one can get injured in are similar, such as a slip and fall or a car accident, liability depends on the task one was performing at the time of the injury or the physical location one was in when the accident took place. For example, if a truck driver was injured in a car accident while making a delivery, it would become a workers' compensation matter whereas if he or she was injured while driving the kids to school, it would likely be a personal injury matter.

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Mays Law Office, LLC

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Middleton, WI 53562

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