What Types of Accidents Does Workers’ Compensation Cover in Wisconsin?

What Types of Accidents Does Workers’ Compensation Cover in Wisconsin?

We recently published an article discussing the types of injuries that qualify for workers’ compensation coverage in Wisconsin. In that article, we emphasized the fact that eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits is primarily based on your employment status and the cause of your injury—rather than the nature of your injury itself. To follow up on that discussion, this article focuses on the types of accidents that workers’ compensation covers under Wisconsin law.

Workers’ Compensation Covers On-the-Job Accidents

While some states allow eligible employees to collect workers’ compensation benefits for injuries they suffer on personal time, workers’ compensation only covers on-the-job accidents in Wisconsin. If you got injured on personal time you are not eligible to file for workers’ comp—even if your injury prevents you from working (you may, however, qualify for Social Security disability (SSD) or other benefits).

To qualify as an “on-the-job” accident, an accident does not have to involve your specific job duties. As long as you were on the clock and acting within the scope of your employment, most types of accidents will qualify. This means, generally speaking, eligible employees in Wisconsin can seek workers’ compensation benefits for accidents ranging from industrial equipment and power tool accidents to slip-and-fall accidents on the way to the bathroom.

When isn’t an accident covered under workers’ compensation in Wisconsin? Aside from being ineligible for benefits (i.e., if you are an independent contractor instead of an employee), your accident might not be covered if:

  • You were injured while commuting. As the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) explains, “Usually, the only time an employee can be compensated for an injury which happens on the way to or from work is if it occurs on company-owned property, or under conditions cited in the law.”
  • You were injured off-premises during a break. “Generally, an employee who is injured at work while attending to personal needs, such as smoking, eating, getting refreshments or going to the lavatory, is paid worker’s compensation. Injuries off the employer’s premises during a break or lunch hour are usually not covered.”
  • You were running a personal errand. “[A]n employee who while driving on the job runs a private errand and deviates from the ordinary driving route would not be compensated.”
  • You initiated horseplay. “The circumstances surrounding horseplay or fighting determine[] if an injured worker should be compensated. If the injured employee started the horseplay or was the aggressor in the fight, it is unlikely that the employee will be paid compensation.”
  • You intentionally injured yourself. “The law provides that if an injury is intentionally self-inflicted, it is not compensable.”

Otherwise, most types of job-related accidents can qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in Wisconsin. This includes accidents both on and off company property.

Common On-the-Job Accidents Covered Under Workers’ Comp

Now that we’ve covered the types of accidents that aren’t eligible for workers compensation, when can you file a claim for benefits? Some of the most common types of on-the-job accidents covered under workers’ comp in Wisconsin include:

Slips and Falls

Slips and falls are among the leading causes of job-related injuries across all occupations. If you slipped and fell at work, this type of accident generally qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits. Again, this is true whether you were performing your job duties or you were walking to your office, to the cafeteria, or to the bathroom.

Hand Tool and Power Tool Accidents

Hand tool and power tool accidents also generally qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Another important point to clarify is that workers’ compensation provides coverage regardless of the cause of an accident (with some exceptions, such as horseplay, as discussed above). So, even if you accidentally injured yourself with a hand tool or power tool, you can still file a claim for benefits.

Industrial Equipment and Machinery Accidents

Accidents involving forklifts, presses, assembly lines, and other types of industrial equipment and machinery are covered under Wisconsin’s workers’ compensation law. As long as you are a covered employee (which most industrial workers are), your accident should be covered unless a specific exception applies. 

Lifting, Bending, and Twisting Accidents

You don’t have to be injured in a major accident to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Lifting, bending, twisting, and other similar types of accidents resulting in soft tissue damage or lower back pain also generally qualify for coverage.

Vehicle Collisions

As we mentioned above, you don’t have to be at the office or on the jobsite to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. If you were injured in a vehicle collision within the scope of your employment, you can file for workers’ compensation based on the injuries you sustained in the collision.

Electrocutions

Electrocutions are also common jobsite injuries. While these accidents often result from coworkers’ or subcontractors’ negligence, you don’t need to be able to prove negligence to file a successful claim for workers’ compensation benefits.

Exposure to Harmful Fumes, Substances, or Fire

Exposure incidents involving hazardous materials, dangerous particulates, harmful fumes, and fire all fall under workers’ compensation in Wisconsin. If you were injured in any of these types of incidents while working—whether on your employer’s premises, at a customer’s property, or on the road—you may have a claim for workers’ comp benefits.

These are just examples. If you were injured in any type of job-related accident, you should speak with a lawyer about your legal rights. You should also talk to a lawyer if you think you might not qualify for workers’ comp. Even if you don’t have a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, you may still have other options for recovering your medical bills, lost earnings, and other accident-related losses.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Madison Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Stephen E. Mays

Do you have questions about filing for workers’ comp benefits in Wisconsin? If so, we encourage you to contact us for more information. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with Madison workers’ compensation lawyer Stephen E. Mays, please call 608-257-0440 or tell us how we can reach you online today.

What Does a Workers Compensation Lawyer do in Wisconsin?

What Does a Workers Compensation Lawyer do in Wisconsin?

A Wisconsin workers compensation lawyer practices a very specialized area of personal injury.  It involves an injury that occurs to the body occurring in the workplace.  In Wisconsin, the body of law governing this type of injury can be found in the Workers Compensation Act under Chapter 102 of the statutes.  If you are employed, meaning you receive a paycheck and have taxes withheld, then an employer-employee relationship exists.  If during such employment you are hurt in the course and scope of this employment then your injury will be covered under an insurance policy purchased by your employer, known as workers compensation insurance.  Injuries occurring in the course and scope of your employment need to be timely reported and medical treatment sought.  The benefits available to an injured worker are (1) lost time (termed TTD or TPD) if you miss work due to the injury either because you are totally unable to work, or you have physical restrictions from doing your full work and the employer does not offer you accommodating work.  Also, all your (2) medical treatment and (3) medical mileage required to attend medical appointments should be paid/reimbursed to you in the amount of .51 cents a mile.  Another benefit paid to an injured worker is (4) disability for permanent, long-lasting injuries (termed PPD) that affect you physically and/or mentally.  Lastly, (5) claims can be made for losses in future earnings, or vocational claims for future retraining if unable to return after an injury to comparable paying work.

What is the benefit of hiring a workers compensation lawyer?

The Wisconsin Workers Compensation Act is about 250 pages long and very technical; it takes years for an attorney to confidently practice this area of the law.  Hiring a workers compensation lawyer ensures that you are getting every benefit you are entitled to under this law.  A Wisconsin lawyer who dedicates their practice to representing injured workers knows the intricacies necessary to develop the claim from building evidence, to meeting deadlines, completing and filing appropriate documentation, undertaking the necessary communication and appearances with the workers compensation insurance carrier and Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development in presenting/arguing the work injury claim at a hearing, or negotiating the claim for settlement with the insurance carrier.  The process can be intimidating and stressful.  The injured worker is better served concentrating their time, attention, and energies in healing than trying to act as their own attorney.

How much does it cost to hire a workers compensation lawyer and who pays the attorney fee?

In Wisconsin, hiring a workers compensation lawyer is done on a contingency fee basis.  This means that the attorney is paid contingent upon the injured worker getting paid.  According to the Wisconsin Workers Compensation Act, an attorney can take no more than 20% of the amount recovered for the injured worker, but it cannot include amounts for the recovery of the medical expenses.

It is wrong to think that hiring an attorney on a contingency fee basis is “free” because ultimately at the end of the case, the monies come out of the proceeds recovered for the injured worker.  But, keep in mind, if the injured worker’s claim has been denied then no money is being received by the injured worker.  So, hiring a workers compensation attorney is a very good investment where the injured worker invests/pay nothing at the beginning of their case and the attorney only gets paid if/when the client gets paid.  The injured worker gets a check directly from the insurance carrier and their attorney gets a check at an 80/20% split.

What is the difference between going to a Hearing versus a Settlement in workers compensation?

A Hearing involves a presentation of the facts, medical evidence, and testimony to a Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Administrative Law Judge who will make a legal determination as to the work-relatedness of a work injury and award past and future workers compensation benefits.  Such a determination can be appealed by either side to the Wisconsin Labor & Industry Review Commission.  The Hearing generally lasts no more than one day and involves direct cross-examination of the injured worker and other relevant witnesses.  Exhibits are entered into the record as evidence, such as medical records and reports from supporting and opposing doctors.  Ultimately, it is the injured workers opportunity to formally present their work injury claim to an adjudicator who will make a legal determination either awarding or denying benefits, in whole or in part.

A Settlement involves an offer of money from the workers compensation insurance carrier to the Wisconsin injured worker to settle their workers compensation injury claim short of going to a formal hearing.  It involves a reduced or discounted amount of money compared to what the injured worker could potentially get awarded at the hearing, if victorious in everything pled and argued.  The majority of Wisconsin workers compensation injury claims settle because a good outcome at the hearing is never guaranteed for either side.  Even good outcomes at the hearing can and likely will be appealed by the losing party, thereby delaying any monetary recovery and costing money due to prolonged litigation.

How long does it take to get the money after a workers compensation settlement?

If a settlement between a Wisconsin injured worker and workers compensation insurance company is achieved, then paperwork in the form of an Agreement will be created describing the terms as either a Full and Final Compromise Agreement or a Limited Compromise Agreement.  Such an agreement is signed by all the parties, and their attorneys, and then presented to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development for approval from an administrative law judge.  The Administrative Law Judge (a/k/a ALJ) reviews the Agreement ensuring that it meets certain perimeters and requirements dictated by the Wisconsin Workers Compensation Act and Department policies.  If approved, the Agreement is then turned into a written Order which is dated and signed by an ALJ.  The insurance company then has twenty-one (21) days from the date of the Order to get the settlement monies in the mail or electronically transferred to the injured worker.

What to Expect When Meeting With a Wisconsin Workers Compensation Attorney

What to Expect When Meeting With a Wisconsin Workers Compensation Attorney

You’ve been hurt at work, and you have questions for a Wisconsin attorney who practices workers compensation.  At Mays Law Office, we offer free consultations to answer all your questions.  If your worker’s compensation claim has been denied, then it is time to hire an attorney.  Make sure that you hire an attorney who concentrates their law practice representing injured Wisconsin workers.  In preparing to meet with such an attorney, it will be helpful to know what to expect at your first meeting.

Let’s Meet!

At Mays Law Office, you will meet with our attorney, Lisa Pierobon Mays, who concentrates her practice advocating for injured workers.  Be prepared for the meeting to last 1.5 to 2 hours long as generally there is much to discuss to learn about you and your work injury.  For instance, at the start of the meeting, basic information will be gathered, such as your contact information – address, cell/text number and E-Mail address.  Also identifying information, such as your date of birth and social security will be requested.

Tell us about you

Quickly, Attorney Pierobon Mays will get to the heart of the matter and ask about your employer, their address, dates of employment, your job title and duties, hours worked, and wage/earnings history.  Work attendance, pre-existing physical and health issues, quality of life/hobbies information will be important for Lisa to know to get a picture of what your life was like prior to suffering the work injury.

How were you hurt?

The meeting will then center around the details of your actual work injury – date, time, location, and a detailed description explaining how the injury occurred and what part(s) of your body were affected and hurt.  A vivid memory of the events leading up to and actual moment of your injury will be very important to describe to Attorney Pierobon Mays.  Environmental details will be important too, such as the weather, lighting, condition of the floor, surroundings, and witnesses who saw your injury or came to your aid at the time of the injury.

How has the injury affected you?

The discussion will then move to questions as to the pain and symptoms that you felt and suffered after the injury occurred.  Did bleeding, bruising, swelling, broken bones, loss of consciousness occur?  What was your response to such pain?  Did you cry, scream, sit in stillness, lay down, seek help?  Also, what was the response of those around you and your employer, meaning were you moved to a safe place, given ice or pain medication, was an ambulance called, and was an incident report timely completed by your supervisor/employer?

Your behavior and condition after the injury is very important for Attorney Pierobon Mays to understand because too often claims are denied by the workers compensation insurance company because the injured worker failed to timely inform their employer of the injury, or made light of it to other co-workers or supervisor.  In doing so, it may be presumed that the injury was not significant which can undermine an injured workers credibility.  Understanding what was your response/behavior after the injury is crucial, such as did you continue working your usual job and finish your shift, or did you immediately seek medical treatment?

Having you review your cell phone and retrieving text messages and E-Mails pertaining to the injury will be considered at this meeting.  Also, looking for pictures of the injury scene and your injuries will be helpful to your case.

Who has medically treated you?

Your post-injury medical treatment will be an important discussion. Bring all personal notes, calendars & journals, medical receipts, and medical records to our meeting so that we can recreate your medical timeline. Documenting where and when you treated medically is important because medical records and billing itemizations will have to be retrieved as part of the litigation of your claim.  Names of providers, dates, medical procedures and surgeries, prescriptions, physical restrictions, ongoing symptoms and complications along with improvements will all be well documented in your medical records.  These medical records will tell the story of your injury and how it progressed.

How are you feeling now?

How you are doing in the present will also be discussed.  Are you still seeking medical treatment?  Has your specialist released you from treatment, and if so what is your long-term prognosis?  Do you have permanent physical restrictions preventing you from returning to work or finding new employment?  If so, an understanding of your educational and employment history will be something to discuss to determine what claims to pursue.  It is at this point in the meeting that a strategy will be determined in terms of timing and benefits to pursue on your behalf.

How has the workers compensation carrier treated you?

Questions regarding your communications with the workers compensation insurance carrier will also be reviewed.  Bring all correspondence received from the carrier as it will have the name and contact information of the Adjuster handling your file.  If you gave the insurance carrier a verbal statement about the details of your injury, then Attorney Pierobon Mays will want to request a written transcript of it.  Attorney Pierobon Mays will also want to know what position the insurance company is taking regarding your claim.  Are they accepting, denying, or investigating it in whole or in part, and what is the basis for their position?  Is it supported by a report of an IME?  If so, make sure to bring this correspondence and report to our meeting.  Also, bring check stubs for benefits paid to you for lost time or disability (a/k/a TTD, TPD, PPD), medical treatment bills, and medical mileage reimbursement.

Have you received financial help from others?

Attorney Pierobon Mays will also need to know if you received any supplemental income or benefits from third parties, such as private short-term disability, private medical insurance (like an HMO), Wisconsin Unemployment Compensation, SSDI, Medicare, or State Medicaid.  Careful attention to any potential liens will have to be considered to protect you from future claims requesting reimbursement back.

Let’s get moving?

At the end of your meeting with Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays, she will present you with a packet of forms that will need to be completed to hire her as your attorney.  She will go over each of the forms with you and help you complete them at her office.  Any and all questions will be answered, and concerns addressed.  The timeline and strategy of your claim will be finalized and reviewed for your understanding and approval.  Lastly, your claim will not be transferred to another attorney or a paralegal.  Attorney Pierobon Mays will handle every aspect of your file from the beginning of this first meeting through the end of litigation.

So, it is good to have an understanding of what to expect when meeting with a Wisconsin workers compensation attorney because it will make the meeting so much more productive and effective for everyone.  Knowing what is expected of you will give you confidence and lessen your anxiety.

IME Exams in Wisconsin

IME Exams in Wisconsin

Mays Law Office, LLC. is here to protect you from the intimidation of the so-called “IME/Independent Medical Examination” allowed in Wisconsin.

A Wisconsin injured worker files for workers compensation benefits with their employer’s workers compensation insurance carrier and before paying benefits, the insurance company demands that the injured worker see an “independent medical examiner.” 

What is this and what should the injured worker expect?

To be clear, in Wisconsin, these appointments are completely selected and scheduled by the workers compensation carrier, and not the injured worker.  They are far from being  “independent” or impartial.  In fact, a better description, would be to call them an “adverse medical examination” because there is NO medical treatment rendered and the medical report is created solely for the workers compensation carrier with a desired outcome to deny workers compensation benefits.  Ultimately, the insurance carrier is hoping for a medical opinion from their examiner that gives a medical basis and opinion that will allow them to deny the injured worker benefits.     

In Wisconsin, an adverse medical examination can only take place with a physician, chiropractor, psychologist, dentists, podiatrist, physician assistant, or an advanced nurse practitioner.  It is the workers compensation insurance carrier that gets to choose who the injured worker will see for a medical examination.  The location of such an examination can be no further than 100 miles of the injured workers primary residence as the crow flies.  The time and date should be discussed before the examination is scheduled in the event the injured worker has a scheduling conflict.  However, this respectful communication with the injured worker is rarely communicated and instead a date and time is given.   The insurance company is required to provide, in advance of the examination, prepaid roundtrip mileage.  Not providing such advanced payment ahead of time can give the injured worker a basis to not appear.  Also, reimbursable to the injured work, prior to the examination, is anticipated wage loss, meals, and lodging, if applicable.  Information regarding the adverse medical examination must be provided to the injured worker in advance and in writing.  The notification must provide clearly the following information:

  • Date, time and location of the appointment;
  • Details for changing such date, time, and location, should a conflict exist;
  • The injured workers right to have their own physician, chiropractor, dentist, and so on, present at such appointment;
  • The right to receive the adverse medical examiner’s report(s) once completed and received by the insurance company or employer;
  • The injured worker’s right to have a translator present at the exam if a language barrier exists.

Generally, the workers compensation insurance carrier provides the medical examiner with the injured workers medical information and records prior to the examination, but often the examiner never reviews or looks at the information before the examination.  In fact, during the medical examination, the medical examiner very often seems to know little to nothing about the injured worker’s medical condition, diagnosis, prognosis and will rely on the injured worker to fill him in on his medical history and details of the work injury and subsequent medical treatment.  Obviously, this is infuriating for the injured worker who has been compelled to go to this examination with a doctor, who at the time of the appointment, appears ignorant to the injured worker’s medical condition.

In preparing to meet with the adverse medical examiner, the Wisconsin injured worker should:

*Dress casually with an eye toward removing their shirt or pants in the event the examiner wants to do a limited examination of their body.  Wearing a pair of athletic shorts, athletic top/bra can prevent the injured worker from being instructed to disrobe.  In almost every situation, an injured worker should never be naked during these examinations;

*Do not take any pain medication ahead of the examination.  This way the examiner sees the injured worker in their purest form, without medication to mask the pain.  So, for example, if it hurts to raise your arm because of a shoulder injury occurring at work then the examiner should see such pain exhibited.

*Respond only to the examiner’s questions and never be too talkative.  The more the injured worker speaks and tells the examiner, the more such information will be misconstrued, taken out-of-context, and used against the injured worker.

*Take pictures of the examination room if it is dirty or unprofessional appearing.  Keep a journal/notes/recordings of anything unusual.  Such information can be used to discredit the adverse examiner’s credibility/opinions.  Mays Law Office had a client that was put into a dirty examination room and asked to sit on an examination table that was soiled/wet from the last patient!  A picture was taken and used against the insurance company for relying on an unprofessional physician to support their denial of benefits.

*Be consistent in your behavior and movements with your injury and physical restrictions.  So, for instance, if you have a low back injury and you have a restriction of no bending, then do not be seen bending over to remove your shoes for the examination.  Or, if you require a cane for mobility then make sure you have and use your cane at the examination.

In sum, the Wisconsin injured worker needs to keep in mind that they are being watched from the moment they enter and leave the examiner’s parking lot as the examiner and/or his staff are hoping to see and document anything that puts the truthfulness of the work injury in question.  So, if the injured worker is prohibited from climbing stairs due to their knee injury, then use the elevator, and not the stairs, to reach the examiner’s second floor office.  

Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays is proud to have been involved in changing Wisconsin law in favor of protecting injured workers during adverse medical examinations.

In the past, Wisconsin law allowed the medical examiner to meet with the injured worker, male or female, alone and without any observation from a witness, such as a spouse, parent, other family member, or even a friend.  This policy was obviously problematic, especially where it was a male doctor examining female injured workers.  Often, these adverse medical examinations require a certain level of disrobing and a hands-on physical exam of the injured worker.  Such a situation is intimidating, and downright creepy, where a trusted doctor-patient has NOT been selected or even established. 

Attorney Pierobon Mays initiated awareness with the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council pushing for a change to be made in the workers compensation legislation.  The Council on December 13. 2021 approved such a change and the agreed upon bill will now allow observers present, chosen by the employee, during such examination.  The Agreed Upon bill is expected to pass the Wisconsin legislature.                        

Lastly, the best course of action for the Wisconsin injured worker who is asked to submit to an “independent medical examination” coordinated by the workers compensation insurance carrier is to call Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays at (608)257-0440 so that she can remind you of these Do’s and Don’t’s and get you properly prepared.  Initial consultations are always free.  

What Types of Injuries Does Workers’ Compensation Cover in Wisconsin?

What Types of Injuries Does Workers’ Compensation Cover in Wisconsin?

You were injured on the job in Wisconsin. Are you entitled to workers’ compensation benefits? While there are a few factors that will determine your eligibility, one factor that isn’t particularly relevant is the nature of your injury. Here’s why:

In Wisconsin, workers’ compensation benefits are available to eligible employees who get injured on the job. As long as your injury is job-related, it doesn’t matter what type of injury you suffered. While programs like Social Security disability (SSD) only cover certain types of injuries, this isn’t the case with workers’ compensation.

Common Job-Related Injuries Covered By Workers’ Compensation

While all types of job-related injuries are eligible for workers’ compensation in Wisconsin, some injuries are more common than others. Here are 10 examples of common injuries covered by workers’ compensation:

1. Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries involve damage to ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Sprains and strains are the most common soft tissue injuries. These injuries involve stretching the tissue beyond its limit of elasticity, and workers can typically recover with rest and rehabilitation. Tears are less common, but they are also much more serious. In many cases, workers who experience ligament, muscle, and tendon tears will need surgery.

2. Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is also an extremely common work injury. Similar to soft tissue injuries, lower back pain can result from a wide range of causes. These include traumatic accidents (i.e., falls and collisions) as well as repetitive strain (i.e., lifting or bending over repeatedly at work over an extended period of time).

3. Broken Bones

Broken bones can vary widely in terms of their severity. While some broken bones will heal with stabilization and rest, others will require invasive surgery. The location of a bone fracture (i.e., a broken finger, ankle, or rib) can impact the recovery process as well as an employee’s ability to work during his or her recovery.

4. Burns

Burns are common injuries for employees who work around heavy equipment and machinery. Engines and other moving parts can become extremely hot, and contact with hot surfaces can immediately cause severe, painful, and debilitating burns. Burn injuries are also common among electricians, welders, and others who work in high-risk occupations. Prolonged sun exposure and contact with toxic chemicals can cause severe burns as well.

5. Severe Cuts and Bruises

While minor cuts and bruises may only require basic first aid, severe injuries can necessitate stitches, sutures, and other forms of medical care. The costs of this care can add up quickly, and workers may need to take time off in order to fully heal.

6. Concussions and Other TBI

Concussions are the most common type of traumatic brain injury (TBI), and they can happen in a broad range of scenarios. They are common injuries in vehicle collisions, falls, impacts from falling objects, and other work-related accidents. Rest is critical following a concussion, as the brain needs time to fully heal. When employees return to work too soon, they are at greater risk of suffering a second concussion and potentially being diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome.

7. Neck Injuries

Neck injuries, including whiplash, can also result from vehicle collisions, falls, and other common work-related accidents. Depending on their severity, neck injuries will often have lingering effects, and in some cases they will lead to long-term complications. If you are experiencing neck pain after an accident at work, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. You have the right to choose your own doctor under Wisconsin law.

8. Eye, Ear, and Nose Injuries

Our eyes, ears, and noses are fragile. Loud noises, bright lights, flying objects, closing doors, and many other work-related hazards can cause potentially serious eye, ear, and nose injuries. Broken noses, corneal abrasions, loss of vision, ruptured eardrums, and tinnitus are just a handful of examples of injuries employees commonly suffer on the job.

9. Repetitive Stress Injuries

Repetitive stress injuries (also called repetitive strain injuries) occur when the body wears down over time. Employees in nearly all occupations perform some sort of repetitive movement, and this repetition can cause wear and tear that eventually results in a serious injury. Some examples of common work-related repetitive stress injuries include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • De Quervain’s syndrome
  • Shin splints
  • Tendonitis
  • Tennis elbow
  • Trigger finger

Due to the deadlines that apply to workers’ compensation claims in Wisconsin, filing a claim for a repetitive stress injury can present some unique challenges. As a result, if you are in pain due to repetitive stress at work, you should speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible.

10. Overexertion Injuries

Overexertion injuries happen when workers attempt to perform tasks their bodies can’t handle. This includes common tasks such as lifting items off of the ground, using hand tools, and attempting to push or pull heavy objects. It also includes working to the point of exhaustion. While many employees feel pressured to take on high-risk tasks, proof that an employer is responsible for an employee’s injury is not required when filing for workers’ compensation in Wisconsin.

The Severity of Your Injury Determines the Benefits You Can Receive

While the nature of your injury does not affect your workers’ compensation eligibility, the severity of your injury is a factor in determining which workers’ compensation benefits you can receive. If you are able to work through your injury, then you will only be able to obtain medical benefits (coverage for the costs of your diagnosis and treatment). If you are out for less than seven days, you can also collect disability (partial wage replacement) benefits after a three-day waiting period. If you are out for more than seven days, you can collect disability benefits for the entire period you are unable to work.

Request a Free Consultation with a Madison Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

If you would like to know more about filing for workers’ compensation benefits in Wisconsin, we encourage you to get in touch. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with a Madison workers’ compensation lawyer at Mays Law Office, please call 608-257-0440 or inquire online today.

Top 10 Questions to Ask when Hiring a Wisconsin Workers Compensation Attorney

Top 10 Questions to Ask when Hiring a Wisconsin Workers Compensation Attorney

When Should I Hire a Wisconsin Workers Compensation Attorney?

If you are hurt on the job in Wisconsin, you should immediately file an Incident Report with your employer for submission to their workers compensation insurance carrier.  If the injury causes you to miss time from work due to physical restrictions set by your medical doctor and the workers compensation insurance company has not paid you a lost time benefit or medical treatment expenses, within a reasonable period of time, then you should call an attorney.  Once the insurance carrier raises a “dispute” or suggests that your claim will be denied then you need to look into hiring a Wisconsin attorney who concentrates their practice in workers compensation, like Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays at Mays Law Office.

Do I Have to Meet with You at Your Office?

No, to hire Mays Law Office you do not have to step foot in our office if not convenient or desired.  Mays Law Office is located in Dane County in the Madison/Middleton area.  If visiting, please know that we have ample free parking with handicap accessibility.  We have a first floor office so accessibility is a breeze for our clients.  Moreover, our office is always open from 8am until 5pm.  Often, client’s will stop in without the need for an appointment to drop off necessary documents.  We are also able to conduct phone and Zoom meetings with our clients.  U.S. Mail, facsimile, and E-Mail are all ways to exchange necessary documents and information too.  We represent people from all over the State of Wisconsin and around the United States who often are not able to visit our office.  Mays Law Office strives to litigate your claim as stress-free as possible.

If I Hire You, Will You be Handling My Workers Compensation Claim?

For almost three decades, Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays has been representing and winning for Wisconsin’s injured worker in workers compensation claims.  From your first to your last call, all questions and concerns, will be solely handled by Attorney Pierobon Mays.  While we have a friendly and knowledgeable legal staff that may assist in the simple clerical matters of your claim, the strategy, timing, progress, and resolution of your workers compensation claim will be handled by Attorney Pierobon Mays.  Attorney Pierobon Mays will meet with you at the initial consultation, handle all your questions and concerns throughout the litigation, communicate with you directly as to issues and updates, and appear at all hearings on your behalf.  We do not believe in signing up client’s to then transfer their file to an associate attorney or paralegal.  Attorney Pierobon Mays is a managing partner at Mays Law Office and the buck stops with her when it comes to representing her clients.

Can I Find Reviews from Your Former Clients?

Absolutely and we encourage you to research us because we are so proud that 100% of Mays Law Office client’s who reviewed us on Google gave a 5-Star rating as to their experience.  Please know that a Google Review is highly reputable because the recipient of the Review, whether good or bad, is never allowed to review, alter, change, or delete it.  Google notifies us only after the Review has been submitted.  So check us out on Google and see what our past clients are saying about the lawyers at Mays Law Office.

What is Mays Law Office’s Success Rate for Getting Their Client’s Money?

Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays has never taken on a workers compensation client that she did not feel that she could win.  Keep in mind, Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays gets paid only when her client gets paid.  So, if Attorney Pierobon Mays does not perform intelligently, aggressively, and efficiently in representing her client then her work is for nothing.  So, the old saying, “you eat what you kill” is appropriate when answering this question.  Mays Law Office has every incentive to work hard for their workers compensation clients because they only get paid when you do.

How Much Does Mays Law Charge to Represent an Injured Worker?

In Wisconsin, injured workers are charged under a contingency fee rate that can be no higher than 20% of the amounts recovered for the injured worker.  In addition, expenses (such as interoffice copies, postage, mileage, and charges incurred to get certified medical records and doctor’s reports) paid for litigating/pursuing the workers compensation claim are reimbursable if agreed to in the retainer agreement/contract.

How Do I Know If My Workers Compensation Claim is Worth Hiring An Attorney?

If you were hurt at work, reported the injury timely, sought medical treatment within a reasonable amount of time, suffered lost time from work, and the injury is serious (more than a sprain or strain lasting only a few weeks) then it is very likely that a workers compensation attorney should be hired to pursue your workers compensation benefits.  An injury claim that has been factually or medically denied by the workers compensation carrier may not be an easy win but it does not mean that it should not be appealed to the State.  Keep in mind, workers compensation insurance company’s hate paying out on injury claims.  If they have any basis to deny a workers compensation claim, no matter how small, then they will do it.  Do not be intimidated into thinking that your injury claim is not worth fighting for.  A denial of workers compensation benefits raises a lot of negative emotions – anger, rejection, fear, stress, frustration.  Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays knows and understands these emotions and her goal is to ease your mind, worries, and stress from the moment you hire her to pursue your workers compensation claim.

What Kinds of Workers Compensation Benefits Can You Get for Me?

In the State of Wisconsin, workers compensation benefits are governed by state statute, Chapter 102 (also called the Workers Compensation Act).  Allowable benefits for the injured worker are dictated by this statute and very different from other types of civil damages.  The injured worker can expect recovery of their lost time/wage for missed work due to being on medical restrictions.  The lost time wage is based on 2/3 of their average weekly wage, subject to a statutory cap for high income earners, fixed as of the date of the injury.  It is 2/3 because it is tax-free.  The calculation of the average weekly wage (a/k/a AWW) can be complicated due to certain legal nuances and should be reviewed by the State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development for accuracy.

The injured worker is also entitled to 100% payment/reimbursement of their medical treatment related to the injury, along with medial mileage reimbursement at .51 cents for roundtrip doctor and therapy appointments, plus mileage incurred to pick up related prescription medications.

Once the injured worker reaches a “healing plateau,” meaning that moment in time when the injury has healed to the best it is going to get, a treating practitioner/doctor should be asked to consider assigning a percentage of permanent disability, called permanent partial disability or PPD rating for the worker’s functional loss.  If PPD is assessed, then it is payable at a weekly rate equal to two-thirds of the employee’s average gross weekly earnings at the time of the injury, subject to a maximum rate determined by statute.  The calculation is a mathematical formula that can be determined by a workers compensation attorney, such as those at Mays Law Office.

It is significant to understand if the injury and resulting PPD is deemed scheduled (pertains to limbs, eye and ears) or non-scheduled (pertains to torso/back, head, systemic and mental).  The distinction is important because each are compensated differently.  Scheduled injuries can lead to a vocational claim for Retraining.  While non-scheduled injuries can lead to claims for Loss of Earning Capacity or Permanent Total Disability.  Each claim encompasses significant and distinct monetary consequences.  If an injury causing permanent disability with resulting wage loss occurs, then an analysis should be conducted by an attorney who concentrates their practice in handling Wisconsin workers compensation claims.  Mays Law Office offers free consultations for such an analysis.

Another monetary benefit called Disfigurement can be awarded if scarring or a limp results from the injury.  Disfigurement awards compensation for the likelihood that wage loss will arise from a negative perception that may not be justified by a functional limitation or loss.  It is a quasi anti-discrimination statute to counter the potential for wage loss for unsightly scars that may cause conscious, or even unconscious, discrimination during the hiring process.  The award for such a claim can be up to one year the worker’s average annual earnings, subject to a cap.  Such an award is dependent on several factors and a workers compensation attorney should be consulted when considering and pursuing such a claim.

Lastly, if a Wisconsin worker dies and their death is proximately related to the work injury then death benefits are awarded to their dependents at four times the employee’s annual earnings, subject to caps. When death occurs to the Wisconsin injured worker who was permanently and totally disabled, or  permanently partially disabled, but it is unrelated to the work injury, limited death benefits are also payable to dependents.

Burial expenses are also payable where a Wisconsin workers dies from a work injury.

Do I Have to Go to a Hearing or Will You Settle My Claim?

Unlike some of the bigger injury law firms in Wisconsin, Mays Law Office does not take on new clients with an eye toward just settling them out.  To do so, is not truly advocating for the client.  Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays has a reputation for aggressive representation when dealing with workers compensation insurance companies.  Mays Law Office never settles a workers compensation claim until every potential benefit has been pursued and a true valuation of the claim can be determined and discussed with the client and the client has a good understanding of the strengths and weakness of their claim.  The client is given a full opportunity to ask questions and provide input.  Sometimes a settlement cannot be reached because the workers compensation insurance carrier is not offering a fair monetary settlement.  In that case, Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays will encourage the client to proceed to a hearing to present the claim to an administrative law judge for a determination.  Before any hearing, Attorney Pierobon Mays will have thoroughly prepared the client so that he/she feels confident and ready to proceed.  Ultimately, it is always the client’s decision as to whether to settle their workers compensation claim or proceed to hearing.

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