Wisconsin Workers Compensation AttorneysSecuring Workers Compensation Benefits for Injured Wisconsin Workers Denied By Their Insurance Companies
If your Wisconsin workers compensation claim has been denied, our experienced attorneys in Madison, Milwaukee and Appleton can help you fight to get the benefits you deserve. Wisconsin workers compensation law requires every employer to carry Wisconsin workers compensation insurance for their employees. When an employee suffers an injury on the job, this insurance should help them recover from their injury by paying for medical treatment and compensating for time off work. Sometimes, however, insurance companies deny workers compensation claims and workers must resort to the courts to get their benefits.
Workers Compensation Benefits
Injured workers are eligible for a number of benefits under Wisconsin workers compensation law. The following summarizes the most common types of injuries and benefits available in Wisconsin.
A traumatic injury is the result of a specific, acute accident where a worker is physically injured. Broken bones, torn ligaments, and herniated discs are all examples of traumatic work injuries. It is important to report these injuries to your employer as soon as possible, even if you are unsure of the severity of the injury. By reporting the work injury, you establish a written record of the event that will support a workers compensation claim, should you need to make one.
Over time, repetitive motions often lead to overuse injuries. If your job requires you to perform the same task repeatedly, as many clerical, assembly, and manual jobs do, you may eventually suffer an overuse injury. These types of injuries often go unreported because a traumatic event did not occur. Wisconsin workers compensation law covers overuse injuries. We can help you to evaluate whether you are entitled to workers compensation benefits resulting from an overuse injury.
Wisconsin employers take their employees “as is.” This means if you have a preexisting medical problem that worsens when you work, you are entitled to workers compensation benefits in Wisconsin. Insurance companies often wrongfully deny benefits because the injured worker had a preexisting condition, but this is not a legitimate defense to paying benefits.
Getting back on your feet after a workers compensation injury is hard to do. The most basic benefit the insurance company needs to pay is your lost wage benefits. Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits provide you with 66.7% of your wages for the time periods when you are healing and completely off work due to a work injury. While you are healing, if you are able to return to work but are not earning your full wages, you are entitled to 66.7% of your lost wages (wages before your injury, less wages earned in different work while healing). These benefits are known as temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits. Learn More
Beyond lost wages, all medical treatment associated with your work injury should be paid for by the workers compensation insurance. Wisconsin workers compensation law requires the insurance carrier to promptly pay for your medical treatment with the doctor of your choosing, even if it is outside the network of your regular health insurance. This means you can see the best doctor in your area for your specific medical needs. Learn More
Once you are done healing, you may be entitled to permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits if you had certain types of serious injuries or medical treatments. You may be owed these benefits even if you are back to work and making the same amount of money you were earning prior to the injury. PPD benefits are expressed as a percentage of disability, such as a 5% disability to the knee or a 10% disability to the shoulder. Certain types of medical treatment require the insurance company to pay a minimum benefit. For example, if you have a discectomy and fusion surgery, you are owed a 10% disability as a minimum, even if you do not have any permanent work restrictions. Learn More
Injured employees often have trouble returning to the workforce after healing from their injury. If your permanent restrictions prevent you from performing your previous job and you cannot earn at least 90% of your pre-disability wages, you may be entitled to retraining benefits. Wisconsin’s workers compensation law may require the insurance company assist you in finding new employment by paying for you to attend college or technical school or otherwise retrain you. Insurance companies will rarely offer these benefits unless you have an attorney assisting you. Learn More
Loss of Earning Capacity
Additionally, if your loss of earning capacity is related to an injury to your back, neck, or head, then you may be entitled to an additional benefit under Wisconsin’s Worker’s Compensation law. These benefits are intended to provide payment for your lost wages both now and into the future. In determining these benefits, a vocational rehabilitation expert will review your age, work history, transferable work skills, and medical restrictions. Based on this information, the vocational expert will determine if a job market exists for you and to what extent you have lost the ability to earn money due to your work injury. Loss of earning capacity benefits can significantly increase your worker’s compensation recovery and provide the financial assistance you and your family will need. Learn More
Many injured workers are concerned their employment may be in jeopardy after being injured at work. Fortunately, the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Act protects an injured worker from an employer’s unreasonable refusal to rehire (or discharge).
If an employer unreasonably refuses to rehire an injured worker, the employer alone (not the insurance company) must pay that worker as much as one year’s pay. The one year’s pay is a monetary limit, not a temporal one, meaning the damages will continue to accrue after the first year if you have earned wages in the meantime.
If your injury or surgery leaves a scar on your hands, arms, face, or neck, or if you suffer an amputation, you may be eligible for additional benefits. This is known as a disfigurement claim and can provide up to an additional year’s worth of wages. Learn More
What if your employer is at fault for your injury? Wisconsin’s workers compensation system is essentially a “no-fault” system, meaning the court is not generally asked to determine who is at fault for an injury. However, there are special situations when an employer will be penalized for being “at fault” for the employee’s work injury. If your employer’s failure to provide a safe work environment contributed to your injury, you may be entitled to up to an additional $30,000 in workers compensation benefits. Learn More
When a work injury is so severe that the injured worker dies, his or her dependents may be entitled to up to four times the worker’s annual salary. Beyond this, the workers compensation insurance company is required to pay for reasonable funeral expenses. Learn More
A Proven Track Record with WI Worker’s Comp Cases
It is important to hire an attorney who knows Wisconsin workers compensation law. Many attorneys advertise themselves as “Wisconsin workers compensation experts,” but few have earned the statewide reputation enjoyed by the attorneys at Hawks Quindel. Our attorneys regularly speak at Wisconsin workers compensation seminars and all are members of the Wisconsin Association of Workers Compensation Attorneys (WAWCA).
Judges, former clients, and even the attorneys who represent the workers compensation insurance companies refer injured workers to our firm. Why? Quite simply, we achieve outstanding results for employees across Wisconsin. Even considering our experience and reputation, we charge the same fee you will pay attorneys with far less experience – only 20% of what we recover for you, whether your case is big or small.
Speak With an Experienced Workers Compensation Attorney
After a workers compensation injury, please contact us in any of the following circumstances:
- Your employer or its workers compensation insurance company asks you to provide a tape-recorded statement.
- You receive a letter requiring you to attend an Independent Medical Evaluation (a doctor chosen by the workers compensation insurance company).
- You receive a letter advising that your workers compensation claim has been denied.
- Your employer fires you, or puts you on permanent layoff, after your workers compensation injury.
- Your work injury causes permanent scarring or other disfigurement.
- You are unable to return to your work due to permanent restrictions caused by your injuries.
- You have suffered a workers compensation injury to your head, neck or back, regardless of whether your claim has been denied.
There is no charge whatsoever for a phone or office consultation regarding your work injury. Please contact us if you would like to discuss Wisconsin workers compensation law and your rights.
Madison Worker’s Compensation Attorneys
To speak with a Madison workers compensation lawyer, call (608) 257-0040 or send us an email.
Milwaukee Worker’s Compensation Attorneys
To speak with a Milwaukee workers compensation lawyer, call (800) 236-3348 or (414) 271-8650, or send us an email.
Eau Claire Worker’s Compensation Attorneys
To speak with an Eau Claire workers compensation lawyer, call (715) 830-1378 or send us an email.
To learn more about our workers compensation practice and common questions surround worker’s compensation law, please see our Worker’s Compensation blog topics. If you have a questions not answered on our blog, please write us; we are always interested in addressing your questions and clarifying public understanding in the workers’ compensation legal area.