Gray Law Firm is here to help...
Being injured on the job can be an experience that brings more than just physical pain. Dealing with an insurance company, who is not required to look out for your best interests, can be even more painful than the injury. Workers' Compensation insurance companies have adjustors and attorneys working for their best interests – not yours! That is why you need an experienced attorney who can not only best represent you, but also walk alongside you through the entire process.
As a Lawyer, Robert Gray is a recognized leader, having taught and lectured extensively, in handling Worker's Compensation cases throughout the state of Wisconsin. Attorney Gray offers each client a unique combination of extensive experience and friendly personal style when handling your Worker's Compensation cases.
Contact the Gray Law Firm for a Workers' Compensation free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What benefits do I get if I'm hurt on the job?
There are various types of benefits for varying degrees of injuries. Benefits include but are not limited to the following:
a. Medical/prescription and mileage expenses: you are entitled to received paid medical treatment from any health care provider licensed in the state of Wisconsin. Mileage expenses to and from your home to the provider should also be paid.
b. Death Benefits: In the event of a fatal injury or work-related medical condition, the employee’s surviving spouse is entitled to a death benefit up to four times the workers’ annual salary. Death benefits for surviving minor-age children under 18 are entitled to a benefit level determined per the age of the child. If there is no surviving spouse or children, death benefits may be paid to the worker’s parents, if it can be determined the parents were the deceased’s primary financial support.
c. Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): This benefit is designed to help the injured worker make up for reduced earnings while restricted hours and/or pay.
d. Temporary Total Disability (TTD): These benefits are paid for the duration of time the injured worker is off work for medical treatment. The amount of benefits paid per week is determined by your Average Weekly Wage (AWW – the 52 weeks of wages prior to your injury) or the maximum set by the DWD.
e. Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): When you have reached an end of healing (EOH) or maximum medical improvement (MMI), your doctor may rate your disability providing a percentage of loss. The length of payments range according to “scheduled” and “unscheduled” disabilities. For example, the loss of your thumb may be paid out at 50 weeks.
f. Permanent Total Disability (PTD): This benefit is for severe injury/disability. It is a weekly benefit that pays two-third of your AWW.
2. Can I choose my own doctor?
Yes. However, we recommend discussing with your employer your right to seek medical treatment for your injury and clarify the rules for receiving the level of treatment to which you are entitled. Medical benefits are typically limited to immediate care by a licensed physician. Do not see a specialist or clinic for the treatment of pain unless you have been formerly referred by your initial treating physician.
Also, you do have the right to change to a different medical provider if you choose to do so. Notify your employer of your intent to find a new doctor before you make any appointments.
Lastly, keep your employer fully informed regarding the level of diagnosis and your doctor’s orders regarding remaining off of work or returning to work on a reduced schedule or to lighter job tasks.
3. What if I get hurt so badly I can't return to my job?
If your employer cannot accommodate your permanent restrictions, you may be entitled to retraining benefits. If a Division of Vocational Rehabilitation counselor sets up classroom retraining, you can get paid weekly benefits.
4. Are benefits different if I have a limb injury versus a back or torso injury?
Yes! The State of Wisconsin has defined injuries as “scheduled” or “unscheduled”. Injuries to your hands, shoulder, arms, feet, legs, or hearing loss are “scheduled” injuries. If your doctor determines you have permanent disability to one of your limbs, you will receive disability benefits based on the State’s list of “scheduled” injuries. The severity of your injuries determines the amount of the permanent partial disability benefits you should receive.
“Unscheduled” injuries refer to injuries not included on the State’s list of “scheduled” injuries. Examples of “unscheduled” injuries include injuries to your head, neck, back, emotional/mental trauma, and lung/breathing injuries. The benefits available for “unscheduled” injuries are much more variable—and potentially much more lucrative—than benefits available for “scheduled” injuries.
5. What if a work injury aggravates a prior non-work injury?
When you are hired the employer takes you “as-is.” You may be eligible for benefits for lost work time, permanency, and medical expense.
6. Can I get worker's compensation and Social Security Disability at the same time?
Yes. Wisconsin is a “reverse offset” state meaning when you receive both benefits the Worker’s Compensation benefits may be decreased if both benefits exceed 80% of your working income.
7. Can I be fired by my employer for filing a workers' compensation claim?
No. It is illegal for employers to retaliate because you were injured.
8. What time limits are important in reporting an injury?
You should report your injury as soon as possible. You have 30 days to give notice, but you can normally still get benefits if you notify your employer within two years of the injury. There is generally no time limit for lung, occupational back, or hearing loss claims.
9. When should I get a lawyer's help?
It is critical to consult with an experienced worker’s compensation attorney as soon as possible after your claim is denied so that the attorney can give you advice on how to proceed and help you to avoid making mistakes which can play into the insurance company’s hands
10. How much are lawyer fees?
In Wisconsin, legal fees for attorneys in worker’s compensation cases are capped at 20% of the recovered amount plus costs (obtaining medical records, expert witnesses, etc). However, these fees are contingent, meaning no fee is owed unless you win.
Workers' Compensation law firm serving clients near Wausau, Wisconsin and throughout Central Wisconsin
including cities, towns, and suburbs of Abbotsford, Appleton, Ashwaubenon, Chippewa Falls, Colby,
Eagle River, Green Bay, Marshfield, Medford, Merrill, Minocqua, Neenah, Plover, Stevens Point, Rhinelander, Tomahawk, Weston and Wisconsin Rapids.