Got a call from someone laid off with a back injury wanting to know if they had any workers compensation options. He was a construction worker in his fifties who had been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease including bulging discs and a possible herniated disc in his lumbar spine. He had low back pain, with occasional shooting pain down his right leg, doctors call this radiating pain or radiculopathy. He had done some physical therapy years ago and even had some work restrictions. But he continued to work, basically watching himself and his employer generally accommodated him when he had formal restrictions and even after they ran out. Reason being he was an experienced laborer foreman. He had the kind of experience you can't teach. Work was plentiful and it paid to have an extra man on site even if he couldn't do a lot physically.
Settling a Wisconsin workers compensation claim is complicated and an injured worker should only do so knowing all the issues. This is not an exhaustive list, but here are seven basic topics a worker should be considering before signing away his or her workers comp rights.
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:
A Wisconsin workers compensation settlement value depends on several factors. Is the work-related injury conceded or denied? Is the disability a scheduled or nonscheduled injury? McCormick Law Office handles mostly back and neck unscheduled injuries resulting in permanent work restrictions. Our clients usually have lumbar or cervical disc herniations, which can be caused by a traumatic accident or an occupational injury from job duties over time.
MVA whiplash injury occurs in so many car accidents because of the mechanism of injury relative to the forces applied to the body in the impact. Whiplash is a colloquial layperson's term better defined medically as 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. This type of neck or cervical injury causes damages including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering. Whiplash can become a chronic or permanent condition in some cases but a doctor must give an expert opinion on permanent injury.
In a Wisconsin MVA settlement case, what damages are caused by the car accident is composed of two concepts: (1) cause in fact and (2) public-policy considerations. See Morgan v. Pennsylvania Gen. Ins. Co., 87 Wis. 2d 723 (1979).
In a Wisconsin car accident settlement, the damages reflect compensation for several different types of harms or losses caused by the negligent driver. Compensatory damages are awarded to compensate an injured person for the injuries he or she sustained and to make good or replace the loss caused by the wrong of another. Compensatory damages are given in an attempt to "make whole" the party sustaining the loss. White v. Benkowski, 37 Wis. 2d 285, 290 , 155 N.W.2d 74 (1967). Except as authorized by statute, attorney fees are not awarded in addition to the damages, this means the injured party must pay his or her attorney out of his or her recovery. In personal injury cases, this is one-third of the recovery. Compensatory damages are not to be awarded to punish the wrongdoer, that would be punitive damages, which are rarely awarded due to the higher burden of proof. The term compensatory damages means actual damages. The injured party must prove actual losses, be they for medical bills, loss of earnings and pain and suffering.
Car accident settlement value is not determined by any secret formula or calculation. Anyone who claims to know or guarantee what a settlement in any given case is worth, is not being truthful, unless they are talking about value in the context of statutory or insurance policy limits.
An auto accident settlement includes several different types of damages for future losses. Loss of enjoyment of life, future loss of earning capacity, future pain and suffering, and future disability are related but different. First, lets define these unique types of damages and then fill in how Wisconsin courts have addressed them.
Wisconsin settlement for a rear end accident, requires attorneys to prove the rear ending car is negligent for causing the crash. Then the driver who rear ends you is liable to pay money for medical bills, wage loss, pain and suffering.