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Automobile Collisions / Workers' Compensation

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June 2017 Archives

Workers Compensation Lumbar Fusion Procedure Generally

Injured workers considering lumbar fusion for a workers comp back injury should get their medical advice only from their health care providers. General information on procedures is available on the internet from legitimate sources, but again is only general and not specific to your situation. Here is how eorthopod.com describes one version of the procedure.

Car Accident Whiplash Anatomy

Car accident whiplash settlement cases involve a sudden extension of the cervical spine (backward movement of the neck) and flexion (forward movement of the neck). This type of trauma is also referred to as a cervical acceleration-deceleration (CAD) injury. Rear-end or side-impact motor vehicle collisions are the number one cause of whiplash with injury to the muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints, and discs of the cervical spine.

Workers Compensation Lumbar Fusion

Lumbar fusion is a type of fusion surgery for work-related the low back. A fusion is a surgical procedure that joins two or more bones (in this case vertebrae) together into one solid bone. The procedure is called a posterior fusion because the surgeon works on the back, or posterior, of the spine.

Workers Comp Independent Medical Examination

The independent medical examination (IME) is something every worker who makes a claim for workers compensation must submit to. There may be more than one IME depending on the facts. The insurance company or employer must make the IME request in writing and adhere to strict protocols of notice in the letter. The IME notice letter must include the date, time, and place of the exam; the procedure for changing the date, time, and place; and the independent medical examiner's area of specialty. The notice must also explain the employee's rights to have a personal physician present at the exam (employees never utilize this option because of the expense), to request and receive copies of all reports generated from the exam, and to have a translator present if the employee has difficulty communicating in English. Wis. Stat. § 102.13(1). The injured worker cannot be required to travel more than 100 miles, as the crow flies, to participate in the examination unless (1) the ALJ determines that circumstances warrant the claimant's traveling a greater distance, or (2) the place where the claimant has been treated is more than 100 miles from where the claimant lives. Wis. Stat. § 102.13(4). Mileage expenses or transportation must be tendered in advance. Wis. Stat. § 102.13(1)(b). By departmental policy, expenses include wages lost as a result of the examination.

Wisconsin Speed Limits

Speed limits are necessary for safe driving because they not only limit the speeds at which vehicles travel but they also create a regular traffic flow as most people drive at or near the speed limit. If every driver was able to set his or her own traveling speed, driving would become chaotic and very unsafe. Speed in and of itself generally does not cause an accident. More often it is reckless or negligent driving, when coupled with higher speeds, that results in serious and devastating car accidents. Since there are reckless drivers out there, speed limits help to control them. Wisconsin speed limits according the Department of Transportation Handbook are as follows:

Workers Comp Spinal Stenosis Rehabilitation

Workers Compensation spinal stenosis rehab is important for medical and legal consequences. Medically its important to ensuring the best physical outcome. Legally, the end result is key to what workers compensation benefits are available. If there are work-related permanent restrictions affecting your return to work, there may be loss of earning capacity and/or vocational retraining benefits available. It takes expert medical and vocational opinions but the starting point is permanent work restrictions.

Sprinkler Fitter Injuries

Sprinkler fitter injuries on the job occur in single traumatic accidents or from sprinkler installer job duties over time. Sprinkler fitter job duties include installing automatic fire sprinkler systems in new construction and retrofitting systems in existing buildings in all types of construction, mostly commercial, using valves, hangers, steel and plastic pipe. They lay out, assemble, install, and maintain pipe systems, pipe supports, and related hydraulic and pneumatic equipment for steam, hot water, heating, cooling, lubricating, sprinkling, and industrial production and processing systems.

Driver Safety Rules

In Wisconsin, driver safety rules require a that driver use ordinary care to keep his or her vehicle under proper management and control so that when danger appears, the driver may stop the vehicle, reduce speed, change course, or take other proper means to avoid injury or damage.

Workers Comp Spinal Stenosis Surgery

If workers comp spinal stenosis symptoms are mild and there is no danger they'll get worse, surgery is not usually recommended. In workers compensation, there is no reason for an injured worker to make a medical decision based on possible legal case outcomes. No attorney should be giving medical recommendations or advice to anyone. It is certainly acceptable for the attorney to advise of the potential legal consequences of alternative medical outcomes, but that should be the extent of it. The injured employee should base medical decisions upon informed advice from health care professionals.

Lathe Operator Workers Compensation Injury

A lathe operator may have a workers compensation injury from a single accident or injury, or he or she may have a bad back condition from repetitive lathe operating job duties over time. The lathe operator sets up, operates and tends the lathe, a machine for shaping wood, metal, or other material by means of a rotating drive that turns the piece on an axis while being worked on against changeable cutting tools.

Truck Accident Settlement

Not all truck accident settlement cases are due to driver negligence or error. Many times it's a careless or inexperience automobile driver who causes a truck collision. However, truck crashes due to truck driver negligence are increasing due to several reasons: there are many more trucks on the road, distracted driving due to smart phones and texting, less experienced truck drivers and tired truck drivers. A collision between a car and truck is a built-in mismatch with the semi tractor-trailer weighing up to 80,000 pounds and the average car weighing in at 4,000 pounds. In addition to the rules of the road, an automobile driver should avoid keeping pace next to truck. The truck driver may not see the car before changing lanes or turning and there is always a risk of tire blowout or wheel disengagement.

Workers Comp Spinal Stenosis Treatment

Unless your workers comp spinal stenosis is causing significant problems or is rapidly getting worse, most doctors will begin with nonsurgical treatments. Up to one-half of all patients with mild-to-moderate lumbar spinal stenosis can manage their symptoms with conservative nonsurgical care.

T-bone Accident Fault

A T-bone accident fault often causes devastating damage and injuries. Proving fault or responsibility can be complicated depending on the facts. It is a question of right of way or failure to yield, however, Wisconsin is a comparative negligence state and the other insurance company will try to throw some shade or blame on the other driver in any T bone collision or intersection accident.

Workers Compensation Spinal Stenosis Diagnosis

Workers compensation spinal stenosis diagnosis begins with a complete history and physical examination. The doctor will ask questions about your symptoms and how your problem is affecting your daily activities. This will include questions about pain or if there are feelings of numbness or weakness in the legs. This is when the patient should clearly explain to the doctor or intake person how any job duties affect the back pain or limit range of motion. Also, any specific accident or particular incident, which incited or aggravated back pain should also be told to the doctor's office. It is important that the injured worker tell the doctor how the worker believes the back pain is work-related. Consistent medical histories to each doctor or therapist are important to the credibility of the case.

Workers Compensation Claim Process

The workers compensation claim process in a back injury case is best navigated with an experienced workers compensation attorney. Back injury claims are hotly contested by insurance companies due to the serious and expensive nature of a lumbar or cervical injury.

Store Slip and Fall Settlements

Store slip and fall settlements can include medical bills, wage loss, pain, suffering and disability. The losses or damages must be related to or caused by the slip and fall accident. This requires an expert medical opinion from the doctor attesting that the slip and fall incident was a substantial factor in causing the injury or aggravation of a pre-existing condition. In addition, the medical bills are recoverable if the treatment was reasonable and necessary as a result of the slip and fall. But any recovery of damages is predicated upon the store owner or operator being legally liable.

Do Job Duties Cause Spinal Stenosis?

Yes, job duties cause spinal stenosis in certain circumstances. This is the conclusion of the best medical evidence as reported in scholarly papers. For example, a well-known article in Spine in March 1995, sought to understand the long-term effects of exercise on low back pain and spinal stenosis. The results showed weight lifters and soccer players had higher rates of deterioration as shown on MRI results than runners and nonathletes.

Can I Choose My Own Doctor in Workers Compensation

Yes, you can choose my own doctor in Wisconsin's Worker's Compensation Act (WCA or the Act) provides that an injured employee is entitled to unlimited medical, surgical, chiropractic, psychological, podiatric, dental, and hospital treatment (including treatment by physician assistants and advanced practice nurse prescribers), as well as artificial members and appliances, "as may be reasonably required to cure and relieve from the effects of the injury." Wis. Stat. § 102.42(1). If the employer/insurer disputes the treatment, its need must be proved by expert medical testimony. Wisconsin Tel. Co. v. Industrial Comm'n, 263 Wis. 380, 57 N.W.2d 334 (1953). Under Wis. Stat. § 102.42 , the injured employer's choices include every practitioner "licensed to practice and practicing in the state." There is an automatic second choice, but no third choice or choice of an out-of-state practitioner, except with the employer's consent. Wis. Stat. § 102.42(2) . Partners and clinics count as one practitioner, and referrals to other practitioners do not count as additional choices. We advise injured workers to get referrals from the initial choice and each subsequent doctor under that first choice so that the second choice is always available for the worker to choose my own doctor.

Other Driver No Insurance? Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured motorist coverage is there for you when the other driver has no insurance. Every Wisconsin automobile policy must include uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage pays you for personal injuries caused by an uninsured driver, but not property damage to your car. If your hit by an uninsured motorist, you'll need your own collision coverage to pay for the car damage. Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage is optional and applies to cases where the other driver has some insurance but not enough to cover your personal injury losses.  UM and UIM are complicated and one needs to know your policy, the statutory mandated law and the applicable case law, which has changed considerably over the last 20 years in a back an forth manner.

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