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

The Best of 2022

The Best of 2022

Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays Reflects Back on the Best of 2022

In starting a New Year, Mays Law Office reflects on the last twelve months with great excitement and pride.  In 2022, Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays recovered more than One Million Dollars ($1,000.000) in workers compensation benefits for the injured Wisconsin worker.

Mays Law Office prides itself on the diverseness of its clients.  Notable recoveries were achieved for:

Client Z.B. recovered $95,000 when she suffered the amputation of 3 toes on the right foot after stepping on a dirty nail protruding from a board at a campsite that she was instructed to clean up.  Causation leading to amputation would seem easy as infection from a dirty nail seems obvious.  However, Client Z.B. had previously suffered a toe amputation on the same foot prior to the dirty nail event because she is diabetic, a personal condition characteristically known for causing amputation.  Mays Law Office claimed that the damage to the right foot prevented Z.B. from ever being able to work in a competitive environment and making the kind of money she made prior to the injury.  The issue in this claim was, did the dirty nail or personal condition of diabetes cause the additional right toe amputations, and if so, to what extent did it affect her wage-earning ability?  The rub in this claim, apart from the diabetic personal condition of previous amputations on the same foot, was that Client Z.B. was highly skilled with an incredible work history.  Her resume included training horses, acting as a criminal profiler, and author of two novels available on Amazon.  To claim that she was incapable of at least sedentary/sit-down work was a tough sell.  Regardless, Mays Law Office achieved a strong settlement amount despite the pitfalls we would have faced had it been litigated it to a judge.

Client O.Z recovered a six-figure settlement in his workers compensation claim against his employer, a national delivery company when he injured his knee while working on the dock operating a pallet jack that maneuvered awkwardly, causing a twinging or stinger pain to his knee.  Previous pain and medical treatment to the same knee were found in his medical records, and the claim was denied as a pre-existing condition.  Despite these obstacles, Client O.Z. recovered the full value of his claim for disability and lost time because Mays Law Office made an additional claim for potential Retraining due to permanent physical restrictions, which prevented him from returning to his employment or anything comparable in pay.  The rub in this claim was that Client O.Z. had no intentions of pursuing an occupational claim for Retraining.  He was in his mid-sixties and wanted to retire rather than return to the workforce.  By asserting the potential for Retraining, Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays was able to inflate the potential value of the claim so that a settlement could be achieved that would allow a settlement at the value of the claim for disability and lost time.  Client O.Z. avoided a hearing and achieved the same effect as if he went to the hearing and won the full value of his claim.

Client Z.R. sought out Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays after having difficulty finding counsel interested in his claim.   The rub was that the treating surgeon had left the State of Wisconsin and relocated his practice to another state.   It took Attorney Pierobon Mays more than four months to finally track down the doctor in another state, get him to return her phone calls, and ultimately agree to complete paperwork on Z.R.’s behalf.  Doctors are hesitant to stay involved with patients from former employers as liability, licensing, and access to medical records can be tricky.  Moreover, all communication had to be during off-hours and not related to the surgeon’s current medical employer.  Needless to say, charm mixed with assertiveness needed to be used delicately when working with this surgeon in completing paperwork on behalf of Client Z.B.  Ultimately, a very satisfactory settlement of $85,000 was achieved for Client R.Z.  But…the story does not end there.  The workers’ compensation insurance carrier was not timely in paying Z.B. his settlement monies despite numerous written reminders by Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays to their legal counsel.  Ultimately, it was feared by the insurance company that their behavior would be seen as unjustified in their failure to timely pay Client Z.B. his settlement monies and lead to another claim – a Bad Faith Penalty Claim and/or Delay in Payment under the Wisconsin Workers Compensation Statutes, Chapter 102.  Due to this late payment of less than 30 days delay, an additional settlement of $15,000 was achieved for Client Z.B.

Client W.K. hurt his right knee while working at a convenience store.  The claim was denied by the workers’ compensation carrier asserting the knee was arthritic before the minor injury at work and, therefore, personal to him and unrelated to the event at work.  The claim was statutorily valued at only $23,000 for disability, lost time, and medical expense BUT Mays Law Office achieved a settlement of $100,000 for Client W.K.  Using smart advocacy, Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays argued that the knee, while only deemed 10% permanently disabled today, was going to deteriorate in the future requiring a total knee replacement.  This kind of knee replacement procedure could cost the workers’ compensation carrier dearly in the future if Client W.K. won at the hearing.  Fearing such, the insurance carrier offered $100,000 to fully settle the claim.  Client W.Z. was delighted with this settlement because his knee was no longer symptomatic, he had no intentions of undergoing a total knee replacement, and he was employed with full medical benefits if the knee ever caused him any more problems.  Ultimately, he pocketed the value of a big “what-if” feared by the insurance carrier.

These four 2022 successful claims are a sampling of the results that Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays achieves for her clients.  Attorney Pierobon Mays attributes these results to strong advocacy skills.  She communicates often with her clients.  She listens and truly hears what her clients are telling her.  She acts in their best interest.  She handles every single one of her cases individually and never hands them off to an associate attorney or paralegal.  She is not afraid to take on difficult claims, often those that no other attorney wants.  These 2022 results cannot be denied.  If you are an injured Wisconsin worker, call Mays Law Office today at (608)257-0440 for a free consultation.

Do I Need a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in WI?

Do I Need a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in WI?

If you’ve been injured on the job in Wisconsin, filing for workers’ compensation can provide you with much-needed financial stability during the recovery process. But, this is only the case if your workers’ compensation claim is successful. If you aren’t successful in securing benefits, not only could you lose out on money you deserve, but you could also end up with bills you can’t afford to pay.

With this in mind, is it worth trying to handle your workers’ compensation claim on your own? Or, should you hire a lawyer to represent you?

10 Reasons to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Wisconsin

Simply put, there are lots of reasons to put an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer on your side. If you need to seek workers’ compensation benefits for a job-related injury in Wisconsin, here are 10 of the most-important reasons to hire a lawyer for your claim:

1. You Need to Protect Your Claim for Benefits

If you have a workers’ compensation claim, you need to protect it. If you don’t, you could lose your right to benefits. Among other things, protecting your claim for workers’ compensation benefits means:

  • Reporting your injury on time;
  • Including all necessary information in your report; and,
  • Filing your claim before the deadline expires.

Your lawyer can help you with each of these steps. If you wait too long, or if you don’t include all required information, your claim could be over before it even begins.

2. You Need to Prove Your Eligibility for Benefits

Even if you are clearly eligible for benefits under Wisconsin’s workers’ compensation law, you will still need to prove your eligibility to collect the benefits you deserve. Your lawyer can assist you with gathering all necessary documentation and proving that you qualify based on the facts surrounding your injury and your employment status.

3. You Need to Make Sure You Receive the Full Benefits You Deserve

Unfortunately, you cannot count on your employer’s insurance company to pay the full benefits you deserve. While it should pay full benefits, there is a good chance that it won’t. When you hire a lawyer, your lawyer can accurately calculate your benefits for you—that way, you won’t unknowingly settle for less than you deserve.

4. You Need to Make Sure Your Benefits Don’t End Too Soon

In addition to underpaying your benefits, the insurance company may also try to terminate your benefits prematurely. If this happens, you will need an experienced lawyer in your corner. Your lawyer can prove your continuing eligibility, and your lawyer can take legal action against the insurance company if necessary.

5. You May Be Better Off with a Workers’ Comp Settlement

If your injury prevents you from working, you could be entitled to weeks, months, or years’ worth of disability benefits. In this scenario, it may be in your best interests to negotiate a lump-sum settlement rather than waiting to see if your weekly benefit checks come in the mail. Your lawyer can help you decide whether to seek a settlement; and, if you would be better off with a settlement, your lawyer can negotiate on your behalf.

6. Your Employer (or Its Insurance Company) Might Deny Your Claim

Along with the risk of underpayment and early termination, there is also a risk that your employer (or its insurance company) will deny your claim entirely. If this happens, you will need to figure out why, and you will need to determine your next steps. With an experienced lawyer on your side, there is less chance that you will receive a wrongful denial; and, if you receive a denial, your lawyer can take action to appeal the denial immediately.

7. There Are Many Costly Mistakes You Need to Avoid

When you have a workers’ compensation claim in Wisconsin, there are many costly mistakes you need to avoid. If you make mistakes, this could delay your receipt of benefits—or it could even jeopardize your workers’ compensation claim entirely. When you hire a lawyer, your lawyer will walk you through what not to do while your claim is pending, and your lawyer will handle the most important aspects of your claim for you.

8. You Might Have a Claim Outside of Workers’ Comp

While filing a workers’ compensation claim is one way to recover the costs of a job-related injury in Wisconsin, it may not be the only option you have available. Depending on what happened and who was responsible, you could potentially have a variety of other claims as well. Your lawyer can provide a comprehensive assessment of your legal rights, and your lawyer can pursue all available claims in order to maximize your financial recovery.

9. Hiring a Lawyer Costs Nothing Out-of-Pocket

While many injured workers have concerns about the cost of hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer, the reality is that you can get experienced legal representation at no out-of-pocket cost. This is because workers’ compensation lawyers work on a “contingency fee” basis. When you hire a workers’ compensation lawyer to represent you, you will not pay any legal fees up front—and you will not pay any legal fees at all unless your lawyer helps you secure benefits.  

10. Your Lawyer Can Help Maximize Your Take-Home Compensation

Won’t your lawyer’s contingency fees reduce the amount of your recovery? While the technical answer is “Yes,” the practical answer is “No.” Even though your legal fees will come out of your benefits, a reputable workers’ compensation lawyer will not take your case unless the lawyer believes he or she can help you take home more than you could recover on your own.

Schedule a Free Workers’ Comp Consultation at Mays Law Office in Madison, WI

If you have more questions about hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer in Wisconsin, we encourage you to schedule a free consultation. We will be happy to answer all of your questions and help you make an informed decision about how best to move forward. To schedule an appointment at Mays Law Office in Madison, WI, please call 608-257-0440 or get in touch online today. 

What Injuries Aren’t Covered Under Workers’ Comp in Wisconsin?

What Injuries Aren’t Covered Under Workers’ Comp in Wisconsin?

Earlier this year, we published an article discussing the types of injuries covered under workers’ compensation in Wisconsin. In that article, we explained that it isn’t the nature of your injury that determines your legal rights, but rather the circumstances surrounding your injury and your employment status.

With this in mind, there are certain circumstances in which job-related injuries aren’t covered under workers’ compensation. But, if you got injured in one of these circumstances, you should still speak with a lawyer about your legal rights. There are exceptions to the general rules; and, even if you aren’t eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you may qualify for other benefits or financial compensation.

5 Circumstances In Which Job-Related Injuries Might Not Be Covered Under Workers’ Compensation

So, when might you be ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits? Generally, workers’ compensation benefits are not available in the following five circumstances:

1. You Got Injured During Your Morning or Evening Commute

Even though commuting is a necessary part of going to work, it is not considered a “job-related” activity for workers’ compensation purposes in most cases. So, if you get injured in a car accident during your morning or evening commute, you most likely won’t be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits (although you may have an auto insurance claim).

But, there are some exceptions. For example, if your employer asks you to pick up supplies on your way in or drop off a delivery on your way home, this may qualify your commute as job-related. In this scenario, you are not solely commuting, but you are also doing something that your employer specifically asked you to do for work. Since you are driving for work to a location that you would not otherwise be driving, you should be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

2. You Deviated From Your Work Duties While Traveling

In general, work-related travel is covered under workers’ compensation in Wisconsin. But, an exception applies if you “deviate” from your work duties while traveling. As the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) explains, “If your work requires travel, you are covered at all times while traveling, including the time you are eating or sleeping, unless you deviate from regular work duties for a private or personal reason.”

So, let’s say you live in Middleton and your employer asks you to travel to Milwaukee for business. If you decide to take advantage of the opportunity and attend a Brewers game while you are there, your trip to American Family Field wouldn’t be covered.

3. You Injured Yourself On Purpose or Were Engaged in Horseplay or Fighting

Workers’ compensation is a “no fault” system in Wisconsin. This means that eligible employees can file claims for benefits regardless of who is at fault for their injuries. But, there are two major exceptions to this rule.

The first is for intentional injuries. If you intentionally injure yourself in order to file for workers’ compensation benefits, your injury won’t be covered. This exception exists for the very purpose of discouraging workers from making dangerous decisions with the goal of collecting disability compensation. The Wisconsin DWD makes this clear, stating: “The law provides that if an injury is intentionally self-inflicted, it is not compensable.”

The second exception is for horseplay and fighting. As the Wisconsin DWD explains, “If the injured employee started the horseplay or was the aggressor in the fight, it is unlikely that the employee will be paid compensation.” But, the DWD also clarifies that, “if an employee is injured as the result of horseplay started by others . . . [or] attacked without provocation, he or she may be awarded compensation.”

4. Your Employer Isn’t Required to Have Workers’ Compensation Coverage

In Wisconsin, not all employers are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage. Wisconsin’s workers’ compensation law applies to most companies with three or more employees, as well as companies with fewer employees that pay wages of $500 more in any calendar quarter. In the agricultural industry, it applies to employers that have six or more employees for at least 20 days per year.

As you can see, the exceptions to Wisconsin’s workers’ compensation law are fairly limited; and, as the Wisconsin DWD notes, “[n]early all workers in Wisconsin are covered.” But, if your employer isn’t required to have coverage (and if it hasn’t purchased coverage voluntarily), you won’t be able to claim workers’ compensation benefits if you get injured on the job.

5. You Are an “Independent Contractor” Instead of an “Employee”

Finally, in Wisconsin, workers’ compensation benefits are only available to workers who are “employees.” If you are an “independent contractor,” as a general rule you aren’t eligible for benefits. But, some employers misclassify their workers, so even if you have been told that you are an independent contractor, you should still consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer about your legal rights.

How Do I Know for Sure If I Can File for Workers’ Compensation in Wisconsin?

If you have been injured on the job in Wisconsin, how can you know for sure if you should file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits?

Understanding your legal rights under Wisconsin’s workers’ compensation law isn’t easy. There are lots of rules and exceptions, and you can’t necessarily trust your employer to tell you what you need to know. With this in mind, the best thing you can do is consult with a lawyer. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer will be able to determine your eligibility; and, if you have a claim, your lawyer can fight for maximum benefits on your behalf. Even taking your legal fees into account, you can take home more with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer on your side.

Discuss Your Legal Rights with a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Middleton, WI

If you have suffered a job-related injury and have questions about your right to workers’ compensation benefits, we encourage you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. To speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer in Middleton, WI in confidence,  call 608-257-0440 or get in touch online now. 

What is the Workers’ Compensation Process in Wisconsin?

What is the Workers’ Compensation Process in Wisconsin?

As an employee in Wisconsin, it is up to you to protect your legal rights when you get injured on the job. This includes making sure you receive the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. While workers’ compensation laws are designed to protect injured employees, securing benefits isn’t easy, and you must be able to navigate the process successfully to avoid unnecessary financial strain.

10 Steps In the Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Process

How do you file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits in Wisconsin? Here is an overview of the major steps in the process:

1. Determine If You Are Eligible for Workers’ Compensation

The first step you need to take is to determine if you are eligible for workers’ compensation. While most employees (and most job-related injuries and illnesses) are eligible, there are some exceptions. If you are not eligible for benefits, you will need to speak with a lawyer about filing a different type of claim; and, in this scenario, you may need to avoid taking some of the other steps discussed below.

If you are an employee (i.e., you receive a regular paycheck and a W-2) and you got injured on the job, then you are most likely eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits. But, to make sure, you should consult with a lawyer promptly.

2. Report Your Injury or Illness

Once you determine that you are eligible for workers’ compensation, the next step is to report your injury or illness to your employer. Under Wisconsin law, you must provide notice within two years, but it is best to file your injury or illness report as soon as possible. If your employer provides you a form to complete, you should complete the form; and, if you have questions or concerns, you should speak with a lawyer before returning the completed form to your employer.

3. Seek Medical Treatment

Seeking medical treatment—and following through with your medical care—is an important part of the workers’ compensation process in Wisconsin. If you don’t seek treatment, or if you ignore your doctor’s advice, this could prevent you from collecting the benefits you deserve. In Wisconsin, injured employees have the right to choose their own doctor, and you should avoid seeing a company doctor if at all possible.

4. Document Your Workers’ Compensation Claim

As you work through the recovery process, you should document your workers’ compensation claim to the best of your ability. For example, you should take detailed notes about what happened, record the hours and days you miss from work, and keep all of your medical records together in a file.

5. Find Out if Your Claim is Approved or Disputed

After you report your injury or illness to your employer, your employer will file a claim with its workers’ compensation insurance company. It has seven days to do so. At this point, you will be waiting to find out if the insurance company is going to approve or dispute your claim. If the insurance company approves your claim, it should provide immediate coverage for your medical expenses, and you should begin receiving disability benefits (partial wage replacement) as soon as you become eligible.

6. Pursue a Stipulation-of-Facts or Compromise Agreement if Necessary

If your employer’s insurance company disputes your workers’ compensation claim (as is often the case), you will need to decide on the best path forward. Frequently, this involves negotiating a stipulation-of-facts or compromise agreement. Your lawyer can advise you on whether either of these options makes sense in your case; and, if so, your lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.

7. Challenge the Denial of Your Workers’ Compensation Claim

If the insurance company is unwilling to negotiate a compromise, or if you receive a denial before hiring a lawyer, you will need to determine whether you have grounds to challenge the insurance company’s decision. There are several grounds for challenging workers’ compensation denials, although not all grounds will be available in all cases.

At this point, you may need to request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD). If you request a hearing, the insurance company is required to participate, and the ALJ may try to mediate an informal resolution before your hearing date arrives. If your case goes to a hearing, your lawyer will present your claim to the ALJ, the insurance company will present its defenses, and then the ALJ will render a binding decision.

8. Be Prepared to Deal with Other Challenges

While dealing with a denial is one possibility, you may need to be prepared to deal with various other challenges as well. For example, underpayment of disability benefits is not uncommon, and insurance companies will frequently try to terminate injured employees’ disability benefits prematurely. When you have a workers’ compensation claim, it is important to know your legal rights, and you will want to contact your lawyer promptly if you believe that you are being treated unfairly.

9. Go To Court if Necessary

Even if you take your claim to a hearing and the ALJ rules against you, this is not necessarily the end of your workers’ compensation claim. If you believe that the ALJ’s ruling is incorrect, you can have your lawyer take your claim to court.

10. Determine if You Have a Claim Outside of Workers’ Compensation

Finally, when going through the workers’ compensation process as an employee, it is also important to determine if you have a claim outside of workers’ comp. While your benefits can provide a financial lifeline, they will not cover all of the financial and non-financial costs of your injury or illness. If you have a claim outside of workers’ comp, you may be entitled to additional compensation—including full compensation for your loss of income, pain and suffering, and other losses.

Discuss Your Legal Rights with an Experienced Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Are you dealing with a job-related injury or illness? If so, we encourage you to contact us for more information. To speak with an experienced Wisconsin workers’ compensation lawyer in confidence, call 608-257-0440 or request a free consultation online now. 



Most injured workers have never had to hire an attorney and the thought of even talking to an attorney can be frightening.   However, if your work injury has been denied workers’ compensation benefits, then the likelihood of hiring an attorney is high.  When meeting with the injured worker, the attorneys at Mays Law Office are looking for certain things in determining whether to take the claim on for representation.  You can help the attorney see you in a favorable light if you have been diligent.  Things that a Wisconsin attorney likes to see are:


Wisconsin injured workers who get hurt at work need to report the injury to their employer that same day, or at least within a few days after it occurred.  Formally documenting the injury is important because delay can cause a denial of benefits.  In turn, the employer needs to timely report work injuries to their worker’s compensation insurance carrier.  Documenting the injury is important for both the employer and the injured worker.  Taking pictures of the area where the injury occurred, machinery or equipment involved, speaking to witnesses, and documenting the details of the injury is crucial to investigate the claim.


Wisconsin workers that are hurt on the job need to seek medical treatment within a few days of the injury occurring.  In doing so, the injury is medically documented, and treatment options are considered and started.  Workers that choose to self-treat serious injuries versus seeking timely medical treatment is not helpful and implies that the employee is not hurt that badly and the healing process is delayed.


Seeking medical treatment is the correct first step, the next step is following the medical recommendations of your doctor.  If your doctor prescribes physical therapy, then it is important that Wisconsin injured workers participate in therapy and not miss appointments.  If the doctor puts the injured workers on physical restrictions, then it is important for the injured worker to not participate in any activity that exceeds the restrictions, either personally or occupationally.  A supportive doctor is absolutely necessary for getting Wisconsin worker’s compensation benefits.  Doctors are only supported when they have a patient that is diligent in trying to get better.


When speaking with a Mays Law Office attorney it is helpful that the injured worker has a good memory of their injury.  Meaning, the how and when it happened, the pain and symptoms that occurred, the details of how the injured worker responded to the pain, and the actions they took in response to it.  It is a good idea to take pictures of cuts, abrasions, and bruising, and keep a journal of how the symptoms progress.  Calendaring the dates of visits to medical providers is important when chronicling the story and details of the injury.  Every work injury has a story and the details are very important in establishing that the injury is credible.  Keeping all written documentation from the employer, workers’ compensation carrier, and medical records is helpful when putting together the details of the injury story.


Your attorney is your advocate.  Withholding information is never a good idea because once revealed by opposing counsel it can undercut the credibility of the injury and relationship with your attorney.  Very few disputed Wisconsin work injuries are perfect; this is why they are disputed.  So, arming your attorney with ALL the information is the best course of action because then the Mays Law Office attorney can be prepared on how to handle all of the facts, even those facts that may not be favorable to the injured worker.  An attorney that learns about the unfavorable facts late puts them at a disadvantage in succeeding for you.


With any great team, leadership is important.  Follow the leadership of your attorney.  Your relationship with your attorney will likely last several months to a year, maybe even longer.  The Wisconsin workers’ compensation process can be slow.  So, avoiding unnecessary delay is crucial.  Always return your attorney’s calls and messages quickly.  When your attorney asks for information, make it a priority.  Ask questions if you are confused.  A successful result is not achieved by just the Mays Law Office attorney.  It is achieved when the injured worker is an active participant by being responsive, cooperative, and attentive.


It is no secret that Wisconsin employers, their workers’ compensation insurance carrier, and opposing counsel will do a search of the injured worker on the Internet.  They are looking for postings and pictures of the Wisconsin injured worker behaving inconsistently with their injury.  So, if you have a shoulder injury, do not be seen in posts with the local bowling league, or holding a bow and arrow kneeling next to an impressive kill.  Remember a “picture is worth a thousand words” and the impression these posts leave is that the injured worker is not disabled from their work injury but living a full and dynamic life.  Many injured workers will claim that the picture was just for show and boastful in truth they never really participated in the activity.  Regardless, these posts are hard to refute.  The question the Judge will grapple with is if you were okay lying about the post to your friends and followers then you are likely okay with lying to boast the seriousness of your injury.  Credibility is a threshold question in Wisconsin worker’s compensation disputes.  Claims can be won and lost on credibility alone.


There is nothing more frustrating for Wisconsin workers’ compensation attorneys than unnecessary delay.  Workers’ compensation claims take a while before they are ready for a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge.  Delay due to lack of communication is a real problem.  Often the attorney is waiting for the injured worker to complete all her medical treatment before asking the doctor to complete the final paperwork offering opinions as to disability and permanent physical restrictions.  It is unfortunate when the attorney finds out that treatment ended months earlier.  Remember, the attorney does not come to your medical appointments, so we are dependent on medical updates from the injured worker.  At Mays Law Office, we try to connect by phone or email, with our clients monthly so that unnecessary delay is avoided.


Sometimes when a Mays Law Office attorney first meets with an injured worker, the worker proclaims that their claim is worth a million dollars.  The recovery of worker’s compensation benefits is dictated by the Wisconsin Legislature and very few work injuries, not involving paralysis or death, have a million-dollar valuation. There are no sympathetic jurors in Wisconsin workers’ compensation claims.  It is governed by Wisconsin Statute, Chapter 102, and determined by an administrative law judge at a hearing who is required to follow certain legislative perimeters.  Be reminded that Wisconsin workers’ compensation attorneys, like Mays Law Office, are paid a 20% contingency fee of what they receive for the Wisconsin injured worker, so their interests are in line with the injured worker.  The more the attorney gets for the injured worker, the bigger their 20% fee will be.  Keeping a realistic perspective as to the value of the work injury and allowing the process to play out patiently is invaluable to a good working relationship with your attorney.

In sum, following these simple suggestions will help contribute to a successful result when pursuing Wisconsin workers’ compensation benefits.  Call Mays Law Office at (608)257-0440 if your claim for benefits has been denied.