If you have suffered a work-related injury, it is extremely important that you know your rights when it comes time to collect workers' compensation benefits. Though you may pursue a claim on your own, having an experienced workers' compensation lawyer on your side can prove to be very beneficial.
At the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Kmiec Law Offices, SC, we have been advocating on behalf of injured workers since 1979. We provide representation at all stages of the workers' compensation process. Whether you have just been injured and wish to file a claim or you have received notice of your upcoming workers' compensation hearing, we will work to ensure that you are informed of your rights. Together we'll work to protect them. Contact us to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your situation.
Temporary Disability Benefits: During the period of time you are treating for your injury and unable to work, you are entitled to temporary total disability benefits (two thirds of your average gross weekly wage at the time of your injury, including regularly worked overtime) up to a cap which depends upon the year of your injury. Temporary Partial Disability is payable during your healing period, when your physician releases you to return to light duty work, or full duty but for limited hours. During this time, you will be entitled to temporary partial disability if you earn less than your pre-injury average weekly wage. For example, if you lose 30% of your average weekly wage, you will be entitled to 30% of your temporary disability benefits in addition to the wages you earn. If your employer fails to provide you work within your restrictions, you are entitled to your full temporary total disability benefit. One form or the other of temporary disability benefits is available to you until your doctor indicates that you have reached maximum medical improvement which is when your condition will most likely get no better or worse.
Permanent Partial Disability: When your doctor has determined that you have reached maximum medical improvement, your doctor may decide that you sustained a permanent injury. In most claims where surgery is required, a permanency rating will be provided by your doctor. According to the worker’s compensation department, your doctor is to consider issues such as whether you had surgery, any reduced range of motion in your affected joint(s), your ability to return to work, whether there are restrictions as well as your continued pain. If you employer does not return you to work at this time at a rate of pay equal to or greater than your average weekly wage at the time of the injury, you are entitled to retraining and/or loss of earning capacity benefits.
Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha Workers' Compensation Benefits Attorney
Workers' compensation is designed to provide injured persons with financial support in place of wages until the person can return to work. Unlike a personal injury claim, a workers' compensation claim does not include payment for damages such as pain and suffering.
Workers' compensation benefits can include:
- Medical expenses: If you become injured as the result of workplace accident, your employer's workers' compensation insurance company is liable to pay any reasonable and necessary health care expenses related to your treatment. You have the right to choose your own doctor. If you are sent for an independent medical examination (IME) by the insurance carrier, you should consult an attorney right away. More than likely, this person is not a treating doctor.
- Retraining: If your work injury is preventing you from returning to your current job, or if your treating doctor has assigned you permanent work restrictions that cannot be accommodated by your employer, you may be entitled to professional retraining. In order to be entitled to these benefits, your employer must be given the opportunity to offer you a job within your treating doctor's restrictions.
- Loss of earning capacity: If your treating doctor places you under permanent working restrictions, and you are only able to return to your job (or any job) at 85 percent or less of what you were making before your injury, you may be eligible for loss of earning capacity compensation. Eligible injuries include neck, back, head and torso injuries. As with the conditions for vocational training, you must give your employer the opportunity to offer you a job within your doctor's restrictions to be entitled to loss of earning capacity benefits.
Your eligibility for these benefits is dependent on several factors. Insurance companies will work very hard to ensure that you do not receive the maximum compensation you deserve. Our attorneys have worked with clients whose claims have been denied based on a pre-existing condition. We've also successfully dealt with third-party claims. We are here to work for you.
Whether you have questions regarding your workers' compensation eligibility or your claim has been denied, we encourage you to contact one of our Milwaukee workers' compensation attorneys to discuss your options. You may also call us at 800-578-8674.