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About Workers Comp
Workers compensation is the financial help for people that have been injured or hurt at work. Many companies try to take advantage of employees who have suffered a work-related injury by cutting their wages and not paying for medical costs. It’s important to understand your rights and know that you have options.
Understanding the different benefits which you are entitled to when you’ve been injured on the job is an important first step. Each state has different rules regulating workers comp so make sure you’re looking in the right area while doing any sort of research concerning these types of benefits.
In fact, as required by law the Wisconsin Workers Compensation Act provides financial benefits for individuals that have been injured on the job. Examples of financial benefits may include:
Payment of Medical Expenses
Compensation for Lost Wages
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
Temporary partial disability (TPD) is best explained through an example. Let’s say that you were making $15 per hour at the time in which you got injured. If after the injury, the only work available to you is for $12 per hour (and you take the job), the insurance company must pay you the difference. This “difference” is known as TPD. If you have any questions about TPD, please contact us today.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
Temporary total disability (TTD) is paid to an injured worker if he or she is off of work completely or the employer cannot accommodate his or her temporary restriction(s). TTD payments amount to 2/3 of the injured worker’s average weekly wage and are tax free. For example, if your average weekly wage was $600, you would receive TTD checks for $400 (tax free). If the insurance company is not paying you the right amount or they have stopping paying you TTD, it is extremely important that you contact us immediately.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
Permanent partial disability (PPD) is made up of two categories:
- 1) Functional:
Functional PPD is the percentage of permanent disability assigned by a doctor.
- 2) Vocational:
Vocational PPD is the percentage of permanency assigned by a vocational expert. The vocational expert takes the permanent restrictions assigned by a doctor, applies them to the labor market, and provides an assessment.
Permanent Total Disability (PTD)
Permanent total disability (PTD) means that you are completely disability for work-related purposes. PTD is awarded to an employee if he or she is so injured that he or she cannot perform any services and therefore, may be classified as totally disabled.
Loss of Earning Capacity
Loss of earning capacity: If you suffer a work injury to your head, neck, back, hip, or “body as a whole” AND your employer is unable to accommodate your restrictions (i.e. the employer does not have a job for you anymore), you may have a loss of earning capacity claim. Loss of earning capacity involves an injured worker receiving compensation because he or she cannot return to their previous job. Take for example a person who works for a construction company and hurts their back. Let’s also say this person makes $20 per hour. If this person is unable to return to their job as a construction worker because the company cannot accommodate their restrictions, he or she may have a loss of earning capacity claim. Note that additional factors come into play, such as wage, education, and age. If you have questions about “loss of earning capacity,” please feel free to contact our office during normal business hours.
Retraining: If you suffer a work injury to your shoulder(s), elbow(s), wrist(s), hand(s), knee(s), or feet AND your employer is unable to accommodate your restrictions (i.e. the employer does not have a job for you anymore), you may have a retraining claim. Retraining involves an injured worker going to school so that they can “restore” their previous earning capacity. Take for example a person who works for a construction company and hurts their knee. Let’s also say that this person makes $20 per hour. If this person is unable to return to their job as a construction worker because the company cannot accommodate their restrictions, he or she may have a retraining claim. Note that additional factors come into play, such as wage, education, and age. If you have questions about “retraining,” please feel free to contact our office during normal business hours.
It is important to note that while these benefits are available under the Wisconsin workers compensation laws, not all injured parties will qualify for all the benefits. Depending on the nature and cause of the injury you may qualify for a different type of benefit and for a different length of time. As could be expected, the more serious or permanent an injury the longer you can qualify for these types of benefits. Having a good understanding of what types of benefits you can expect is very important.
Am I covered?
If you’ve been hurt while on the job you have a pretty good chance at being covered by this type of benefit. Whether it was your fault or the fault of someone else’s negligence doesn’t always matter so the best thing you can do is to reach out to an expert in this area as soon as possible after the injury occurs.
The First Few Steps Following a Workplace Injury
Get Medical Attention
The moment you realize you are injured, you should seek medical attention. There’s nothing more important than your wellbeing, so it’s essential you are seen by a doctor as soon as possible. If the injury warrants it, don’t be shy about taking a ride in an ambulance. Know that your injuries may eventually need to be assessed by a doctor approved by your workmans’ comp provider. However, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately instead of waiting until after you’ve filed a claim. Not only is delaying bad for your health, it could also serve as evidence that your injury is not so serious as to justify payment of benefits. If you’re injured, seek medical attention now.
If you haven’t realized the severity of your injury until later in the night after you have gone home, go ahead and make a visit to the emergency room. If it’s been a week since your workplace accident, and you are just realizing your accident caused pain and suffering, schedule an appointment with your doctor for as soon as you possibly can.
Report Your Injury
It seems simple enough, but there are a lot of individuals who don’t report their injuries because they don’t feel the injuries are serious enough. Unfortunately, those small injuries sometimes end up inspiring chronic symptoms that require a lot of attention and costly bills down the road. No matter how seemingly insignificant your injury is now, you should almost certainly report it. If you’re still hesitant to file a report, consider speaking with experienced Milwaukee, WI workmans’ compensation lawyers about your situation. The legal team at Hickey & Turim, SC can provide clarity and help you explore your legal options.
It’s also important to note that there’s a time limit in which an employee must report an injury to an employer, though it varies by state and employer. Your law may allow 24 hours, 30 days, 90 days or another amount of time, depending on the nature of your accident. If you don’t report your injury in that allotted amount of time because you feel it’s not serious enough, and it becomes serious at a later date, you may lose the ability to collect workmans’ compensation. As you can see, even if your injury is minor, you should report it to your employer as soon as possible. When in doubt, consult Milwaukee, WI workmans’ compensation lawyers about the time frame you’re allowed for reporting and make an informed decision after learning about the benefits you may be entitled to.
If you’re in the midst of a workmans’ compensation claim, it’s possible you’ll be watched. Insurance companies often hire investigators to watch those who have made claims in order to protect their business from scammers. Avoid doing anything that could make an investigator report your injury as being less significant than it actually is.
For example, if you are filing a claim for a back injury, and an investigator captures a photo of you effortlessly holding a box in your front yard, it could look as though you’re faking the injury. What the photo doesn’t show is that the box is empty, so it doesn’t weigh anything, and you’ll have to find a way to prove that. If you have any questions about what behaviors to avoid as your claim is being processed, Milwaukee, WI workmans’ compensation lawyers can help.
Contacting an Attorney
Anytime you are involved in an accident at work, you should contact Milwaukee, WI workmans’ compensation lawyers. Workmans’ compensation claims can get complicated, so it is generally a good idea to seek experienced counsel and guidance from the start.
When does coverage begin?
In Wisconsin, Workers Compensation coverage begins on the first day of work. This includes time in which you are training or under probation.
How many days do I need to be hurt (or off work) in order to receive workers compensation benefits?
You have to be hurt (or off of work) for a minimum of 3 days before the insurance company will pay you Workers Compensation benefits. Payment of benefits will begin on the 4th day of lost time. If you are injured for more than 7 calendar days, the insurance company must pay you for the first 3 days that you missed work. If you do not receive payment from the insurance company, it is extremely important that you contact us immediately.
Workers Comp Resources:
- How to File a Workers Compensation Claim
- Types of Workplace Injuries You Should Know About
- Workers Compensation Laws Terminology
- Workers Compensation Questions
- Workers Compensation Return To Work Policy
Almost all employees in the state of Wisconsin are covered under the Workers Compensation Act. There are only a few exceptions that prevent certain individuals from being covered. If you are wondering about coverage, please view our coverage questions page or contact us today.
If you or a loved one has suffered a work-related injury, contact Hickey & Turim SC immediately so we can help you get the compensation you deserve.
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