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Automobile Collisions / Workers' Compensation

414-272-3636 877-412-7409

April 2017 Archives

Right of Way Rules of the Road

Right of way is often a contested issue in Wisconsin automobile accident cases. The next two posts will go straight to the Wisconsin DOT Motorists Handbook for the straight answers. As explained below, right of way is really the flip side of failure to yield. The law says who must yield in certain traffic situations, it does not confer special rights to the other driver. 

Lumbar Herniated Disc Workers Compensation Diagnosis

Herniated disc diagnosis begins with a complete history and physical exam. The doctor will ask questions about symptoms and how the problem is affecting daily activities. Questions about pain location and whether there is numbness or weakness in the legs. The doctor will also want to know what positions or activities make symptoms worse or better.

Workers Compensation Vocational Retraining

Wisconsin employees may get vocational retraining if sustaining a permanent disability resulting in permanent restrictions, from a scheduled or non-scheduled injury, and may be eligible for additional temporary disability benefits, as well as reimbursement of certain expenses, when they participate in a qualifying program of vocational retraining. In addition to medical bills, the primary purpose of workers' compensation is to restore an injured worker's earning capacity and vocational retraining is given a high priority. Retraining can now be ordered prospectively. Wis. Stats. Sec. 102.18(1)(b)2.

Lumbar Herniated Disc Workers Compensation Symptoms

What does a lumbar herniated disc from a workers compensation injury feel like? Many cases of lumbar disc herniation result from degenerative changes in the spine caused by physical job duties over time. Repetitive bending, twisting and lifting at work contributing to degenerative disc disease. The changes that eventually lead to a disc herniation produce symptoms gradually. At first, complaints may only be dull pain centered in the low back, pain that comes and goes over a period of a few years. Doctors think this is mainly from small tears in the annulus. Larger cracks in the annulus may spread pain into the buttocks or lower limbs.

What is a Workers Compensation Herniated Disc Settlement Worth?

In Wisconsin, a workers compensation herniated disc settlement amount depends on several factors.  First, is the injury conceded or denied?  Second, is there a surgery involved? Thirdly, are there any permanent work restrictions preventing a return to work. Finally, the money or dollar value of each case or settlement also depends on the injured worker's pay rate and their date of injury. A herniated disc settlement could range from zero in a contested case to six figures in a successful case depending on the facts. 

Lumbar Herniated Disc Workers Compensation Causes

What causes a lumbar herniated disc in the workers compensation context. How is a disc herniation in the low back work-related? This is important to the injured or aging worker with low back pain. A herniated disc can be disabling, taking someone away from their livelihood. If we can prove its work related, there can be workers comp benefits to pay medical bills, and help with wage loss through disability benefits, and for future loss of earning capacity and/or retraining benefits.

Wisconsin Street Lane Markings

The Wisconsin DOT Handbook explains lane markings. Lines and symbols on the roadway divide it into lanes, tell you when you may pass other vehicles or change lanes, and which lanes to use for turns. They define pedestrian walkways and show where you must stop for signs or traffic signals. Line colors tell you if you are on a one-way or two-way roadway.

Workers Compensation Lumbar Herniated Disc

Lumbar herniated disc is the most common workers compensation injury that we handle in our practice. Although people often refer to a disc herniation as a slipped disc, the disc doesn't actually slip out of place. Rather, the term herniation means that the material at the center of the disc has squeezed out of its normal space. This condition mainly affects people between 30 and 40 years old.

Workers Compensation Causation

Legal causation in Wisconsin is provided for on the WKC-16B form in Questions 11, 12 and 13. Question 11 deals with direct causation of a new injury or the definite breakage of a pre-existing condition. Question 12 addresses an aggravation of a pre-existing condition, which the Lewellyn case explains in category 3 below:

Work-related Degenerative Disc Disease Fusion Surgery

Employees with degenerative disc disease from work duties over time have a workers compensation claim in Wisconsin if a doctor gives an expert opinion confirming causation. Then medical bills and temporary total disability benefits are payable. Very often the workers compensation insurer denies the claim with an independent medical exam or IME and the case proceeds with an attorney helping the injured worker. Most DDD cases are not surgical, but occasionally a fusion is necessary according to the doctors.

Permanent Partial Disability

In Wisconsin, permanent partial disability benefits are due is at the end of the healing period, the employee has a permanent partial disability assigned by a doctor. Some PPD is due even if the injured worker returns to work making the same money. If the employee cannot return to work due to work-related restrictions, then addition loss of earning capacity and/or retraining benefits may be due as well. PPD benefits are supposed to compensate for future loss of earnings, but they often have little or no relationship to actual future wage loss. PPD benefits accrue after temporary disability benefits (whether for TTD, TPD, or vocational rehabilitation) stop and during intervals when these temporary benefits are not being paid. See Wis. Stat. Sec. 102.44(3) and 102.55(3). The PPD weekly rate is based on the employee's wage on the date of injury. Permanent total disability benefit rate equals the TTD rate. The permanent partial disability (PPD) benefit rate equals two-thirds of the employee's average weekly wage, but not more than the statutory maximum PPD rate on the date of injury.

Slip and Fall Settlement Damages

A slip and fall settlement or case for damages caused by an ice or store aisle accident can include medical bills, wage loss, pain, suffering and disability. The key question often becomes what damages were caused by this accident as opposed to being for example a pre-existing medical condition or a job loss that was already happening. The first place to look for guidance on causation questions are the Wisconsin Civil Jury Instructions, which at 1500 provides as follows:

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McCormick Law Office
829 North Marshall Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202

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