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December 2016 Archives

Stopping on the Highway: Specific Situations

In addition to stopping on the highway rules, drivers must stop at certain points on the road even in the absence of a stop sign or stop light. Following basic common sense, these stopping rules contribute to safe travel for Wisconsin drivers and passengers on the roads and streets. These stopping rules help avoid car accidents and injuries. Always good to keep in mind, in Wisconsin a driver cannot stop at a stop and then proceed if he or she does not have a good enough sightline to determine if it is safe to go. In this case, the driver must edge out and stop again to look if necessary.

Workers Compensation Herniated Disc Treatment NonSurgical

After a herniated disc is diagnosed, treatment generally starts conservatively. If the injured worker cannot work or the employer cannot accommodate work-related restrictions, then workers compensation temporary disability benefits should be paid.

Workers Compensation Medical Treatment Refusal

An injured worker can refuse medical treatment at any time. The question becomes, are workers compensation benefits in Wisconsin still payable if the worker refuses treatment? This rarely comes up, but generally no compensation is payable for death or disability caused by an employee's unreasonable refusal or neglect to submit to or follow competent and reasonable medical or surgical treatment. Wis. Stat. Sec. 102.42(6). The test of what is reasonable in refusing treatment is objective rather than subjective. See Braun v. Indus. Comm'n, 36 Wis. 2d 48 (1967). The workers compensation Department has not considered a refusal to submit to surgery, which involves a risk to life or limb as unreasonable. A back surgery and probably all surgery requiring general anesthesia is per se not unreasonable to decline. See also Lesh v. Ill. Steel Co., 163 Wis. 124 (1916). "Based on longstanding department policy, an employee's refusal to submit to an invasive procedure that is hazardous to life or limb is NOT an unreasonable refusal under [Wis. Stat. §] 102.42(6)." Also, if the employer or workers comp insurer is refusing to pay for the surgery or treatment, it cannot raise the defense of a worker's unreasonable decision to refuse treatment. Klein Industrial Salvage v. DILHR, 80 Wis. 2d 457 (1977).

Stopping on the Highway: Stop Sign

Apart from stopping on the highway, stopping at a stop sign also has rules in Wisconsin, which must be followed in order to avoid car accidents and injuries. In Wisconsin, a driver cannot stop at a stop sign and then proceed if he or she does not have a good enough sightline to determine if it is safe to go. In that case, the driver must edge out and stop again to look if necessary.

Workers Compensation Herniated Disc Diagnosis

Usually the first appointment for a worker with a herniated disc is with an urgent care office or a primary care physician for low back or leg pain. If rest and therapy do not resolve the symptoms or if the radiculopathy is pronounced, the worker may be referred to spine expert such as an orthopedic surgeon or a neurosurgeon. Diagnosis begins with a complete history and physical exam. The doctor will ask questions about the symptoms and how the problem is affecting one's daily activities. These will include questions about where one feels pain and whether there is numbness or weakness in the legs. The doctor will also want to know what positions or activities make the symptoms worse or better. For example, it is very important to let the doctor know if one's work or job duties aggravate or cause your symptoms. Doctors rely on your report of pain to get an idea which disc is causing problems and if a nerve is being squeezed. Then the doctor examines you to determine which back movements cause pain or other symptoms. Your skin sensation, muscle strength, and reflexes are also tested.

Medical Treatment Workers Compensation Choice of Doctor

Medical treatment or choice of doctor under Wisconsin's worker's compensation law is that an injured worker is entitled to unlimited medical, surgical, chiropractic, psychological, podiatric, dental, and hospital treatment (including treatment by physician assistants and advanced practice nurse prescribers) "as may be reasonably required to cure and relieve from the effects of the injury." Wis. Stat. Sec. 102.42(1). The Wisconsin Supreme Court has held that the need for treatment, if disputed, must be proved by expert medical testimony. Wis. Tel. Co. v. Indus. Comm'n, 263 Wis. 380 (1953).

Stopping on the Highway cont.

An automobile stopping on the highway or street can be dangerous and create an unreasonable risk of harm to the driver, his passengers and others on the roadways. Wisconsin law on stopping has some specific rules of the road to help guide us in varying stopping situations.

Workers Compensation Herniated Disc Symptoms

Injured workers with herniated disc symptoms often continue working for months and in some cases years after the original injury or diagnosis. Sometimes they work under a doctor's light duty restrictions, but more often than not they simply self-limit to control their symptoms. Many cases of lumbar disc herniation result from degenerative changes in the spine. 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.

Great American In the Face of Authoritarianism

A little known but Great American, is former CIA agent and 2016 independent conservative presidential candidate Evan McMullin. In a recent New York Times op-ed he wrote that we can no longer assume that all Americans understand the origins of their rights and the importance of liberal democracy. We need a new era of civic engagement that will reawaken us to the cause of liberty and equality. That engagement must extend to ensuring that our elected representatives uphold the Constitution, in deed and discourse -- even if doing so puts them at odds with their party. We cannot allow any elected official to normalize the idea that he is the ultimate arbiter of our rights. Those who can will need to speak out boldly and suffer possible retaliation. Others will need to offer hands of kindness and friendship across the traditional political divide, as well as to those who may become targets because of who they are or what they believe. Those who understand the cause are called to the work, which I hope will unify and bless our nation in time.

Apps Can Cause Car Accidents

There are apps that can cause or contribute to car accidents if used improperly. Messaging app Snapchat allows motorists to post photos of a vehicle's speed. Waze is a navigation app which rewards drivers with points for reporting accidents and traffic jams. Pokemon is a game in which drivers search for virtual creatures on streets they drive. These apps are in addition to the granddaddy of distracted driving apps, text messaging. These apps when used while driving contribute to motor vehicle accidents, traffic injuries and deaths. In facts, after declining for four decades, in 2016 highway fatalities increased in 2016 10% over 2015 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Workers Comp Herniated Disc Causes

Herniated disc causes occur when the nucleus in the center of the disc pushes out of its normal space. The nucleus presses against the annulus, causing the disc to bulge outward. Sometimes the nucleus herniates completely through the annulus and squeezes out of the disc.

Workers Compensation Benefits for Disability

Disability under Wisconsin's workers compensation benefits law, Wis. Stat. Ch. 102 is understood to be wage loss or limitation as a result of a work-related injury or condition, defined in as "mental or physical harm to an employee caused by accident or disease." See Wis. Stat. Sec. 102.01(2)(c). Temporary total disability or temporary partial disability is wage loss during the time the injured worker is healing. The healing period is the time during while an injured worker is both convalescing from the injury and submitting to active treatment. The healing period is before the medical condition becomes stationary. The worker in the healing period is paid TTD. It is necessary that a doctor provide the worker with an off work slip stating the worker cannot work due to a work-related injury or has work-related restrictions, that the employer cannot accommodate. If at the end of the healing period, the doctor states the worker has a permanent disability, then PPD or permanent partial disability benefits are due to be paid out monthly to the injured worker.

Stopping on the Highway

An automobile stopping on the highway or street can be dangerous and create an unreasonable risk of harm to the driver, his passengers and others on the roadways. Wisconsin law on stopping has some specific rules of the road to help guide us in varying situations.

Workers Comp Herniated Disc

Although people often refer to a herniated disc 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 can happen to a worker on the job from a single traumatic lifting or twisting incident, or it can occur from job duties over time even without any single reported injury or accident.

Machinist or Tool and Die Maker Workers Comp

Machinist or tool and die maker workers set up and operate computer-controlled and mechanically-controlled machine tools to produce precision metal parts, instruments, and tools. At McCormick Law Office we represent machinists with workers compensation low back and neck injuries. Physical aspects of the work include aligning, securing and adjusting cutting tools and pieces as they monitor and feed the machines. Parts must be turned, milled, drilled, shaped and grinded to specifications. They may have to smooth and polish tool surfaces and dies.

Wisconsin Railroad Crossing Accidents

Among the most tragic pedestrian accidents occur at railroad crossings. To sort out the liability afterward is no consolation to the victims; it is necessary for the law to deal with questions of responsibility. Rules of comparative negligence apply, but there are jury instructions that act as guideposts. Wisconsin laws for pedestrian right of way do not by default favor the pedestrian. Every situation is different and a pedestrian at a railroad crossing are found in WCJI 1337.5:

Workers Compensation Spondylolysis Rehabilitation

Spondylolysis can be a work-related condition and form the basis of a workers compensation claim in some circumstances. It may be the result of a violent traumatic work incident or from job duties causing excessive, repeated strain on the low back. Workers who repeatedly bend backwards, can get it, as well as a worker who falls onto his or her back, or suffers a heavy blow.

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