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Automobile Collisions / Workers' Compensation

414-272-3636 877-412-7409

April 2015 Archives

Workers Compensation Injured Employees May Sue

Workers compensation injured employees may sue their employers if Wisconsin dismantles its workers compensation system.  Losing the exclusive remedy protection may be an unforeseen consequence to the Wisconsin legislature's messing with workers' compensation.  In the short run, taking away injured workers' remedies may benefit employers, another notch on the belt of the one percent. However, back people into a corner sharp enough and there will be blowback.

Workers Compensation End of Healing

Workers compensation end of healing is important because it determines the end of temporary total disability (TTD) benefits but the start of any permanent partial disability benefits.  After a neck or back injury, an employee is often treating medically and unable to work at all.  Many of the injured workers we see are off pending cervical or lumbar MRI herniated or bulging disc results or a visit with an orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon.  TTD is paid during the healing period, the period prior to the time when the condition becomes stationary, which is when the condition will get no better or worse because of the injury.  Knobbe v Davis, 208 Wis 185 (1932).  An employee's disability is no longer temporary when there has occurred all of the improvement that is likely to occur as a result of treatment and convalescence.  At such point the doctor can make a determination of any permanent injury and permanent partial disability percentage.  Larsen Co. v Industrial Comm, 9 Wis 2d 386 (1960).

Expert Opinions Are Necessary

Expert opinions are necessary in most automobile accident or collision cases and workers compensation cases. It is necessary to have expert witnesses give opinions on how the accident happened and the nature and extent of the injuries.  Expert witnesses usually have advanced degrees in engineering or medicine, education as well as practical work experience. Sometimes an expert witness has only work experience and may be the most persuasive.  The classic example from popular culture is the female auto mechanic expert played by Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny.

Future Pain, Suffering and Disability

Future pain, suffering and disability incurred as a result of a car accident, are recoverable in a personal injury case.  Passengers or drivers in automobile collisions often have pain, suffering, and disability or disfigurement, which includes any physical pain, humiliation, embarrassment, worry and distress suffered due to the accident.  The jury considers to what extent the injuries impair the ability to enjoy the normal activities, pleasures, and benefits of life in the future. Our attorneys always make sure the injury's impact is accounted for and we never settle a case without the client's thorough understanding and explanation of the injuries.  We include a claim for the sum of money will fairly and reasonably compensate an injured person for future pain, suffering and disability or disfigurement from the date of the trial going forward.

Workers Rights Laws Under Attack in Wisconsin

Workers rights laws are again under attack in Wisconsin.  Most states, including Wisconsin, have prevailing wage laws.  Prevailing wage is a minimum wage that must be paid to workers on qualifying publicly funded construction projects. Because public work is awarded to the lowest bidder, the prevailing wage for construction workers on public projects levels the playing field and guarantees quality work.  Without a prevailing wage, contractors could reduce wages to reckless levels in an attempt to underbid government work.

Past Pain, Suffering and Disability

Past pain, suffering and disability incurred as a result of a car accident, are recoverable in a personal injury case.  Passengers or drivers in automobile collisions often have pain, suffering, and disability or disfigurement, which includes any physical pain, humiliation, embarrassment, worry and distress suffered due to the accident.  The jury considers to what extent the injuries impair the ability to enjoy the normal activities, pleasures, and benefits of life. Our attorneys always make sure the injury's impact is accounted for and we never settle a case without the client's thorough understanding and explanation of the injuries.  We include a claim for the sum of money will fairly and reasonably compensate an injured person for past pain, suffering and disability or disfigurement from the date of the accident to the present time.

Future Medical Bills in Accident Cases

Future medical bills to be incurred as a result of a car accident, are recoverable in a personal injury case.  Passengers or drivers in automobile collisions often have future bills: primary care physician, surgeon, hospital, therapy, radiology, MRI, or medication that need to be paid. Our attorneys always make sure the future bills are accounted for we never settle a case without questioning whether a client will require future accident related treatment. If so, we include a claim for the sum of money that will fairly and reasonably compensate an injured person for future health care services.

Past Medical Bills in Accident Cases

Past medical bills or health care provider expenses incurred as a result of a car accident, are recoverable in a personal injury case.  Passengers or drivers in automobile collisions often have bills: ambulance, emergency room, primary care physician, surgeon, hospital, therapy, radiology, MRI that need to be paid. Our attorneys always make sure the bills are accounted for we never settle a case without the client's thorough understanding and consent to bill resolution and subrogation consideration.  We include a claim for the sum of money will fairly and reasonably compensate an injured person for past health care services.

Privatizing Workers Compensation

Privatizing workers compensation is the goal of an employer trade organization according to an article in Mother Jones by Molly Redden.  The lobbying group is behind drafting laws to privatize workers compensation process by allowing employers to "opt out" of the state administered system.  The employer and employee would write their own rules (wonder who hires the fancy attorneys to pick the rules) and then handle it themselves with no government interference.  Nearly two dozen major corporations are bankrolling a quiet, multistate lobbying effort to pass laws making it harder for workers hurt on the job to access lost wages and medical care -- the benefits collectively known as workers' compensation.

Past Loss of Earning Capacity

In Wisconsin, past loss of earning capacity is an element of damages an injured person may recover in a personal injury claim.  In addition to money for pain and suffering and medical bills, and future wage loss, the jury is asked what sum of money will fairly and reasonably compensate plaintiff for past loss of earning capacity.  This occurs when someone has an injury from an automobile accident or slip and fall, resulting missed work, or rather, the inability to work.

Future Loss of Earning Capacity

In Wisconsin, future loss of earning capacity is an element of damages an injured person may recover in a personal injury claim.  In addition to money for pain and suffering and medical bills, and past wage loss, the jury is asked what sum of money will fairly and reasonably compensate plaintiff for future loss of earning capacity. This occurs when someone has a permanent injury from an automobile accident or slip and fall, resulting in back surgery or neck surgery.

The workers compensation employer cannot be sued for negligence

In Wisconsin the workers compensation employer cannot be sued for negligence, except in very limited circumstances.  In 1911 a grand bargain was entered into by representatives of employees and employers in Wisconsin when the nation's first worker's compensation act became law.  Employees hurt on the job gave up the right to sue their employers but instead would receive workers compensation benefits.  The workers compensation benefits would be less than the actual damages for losses available in tort lawsuits.  However, the workers compensation benefits would be paid more quickly and most importantly, the employee need not prove any fault or negligence on the employer, only that the injury happened at work.  The schedule of workers compensation benefits allowed employers and worker's compensation insurance companies, to project and prepare for injured employee losses with more certainty, creating a more stable, affordable business environment.

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McCormick Law Office
829 North Marshall Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202

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