An on-the-job injury can happen at any time. Often a workplace injury happens while someone is working fast to try and get something done quickly for their employer. A wrong step off a platform or forklift can result in a twisted knee. If someone lifts a heavy item or is inadvertently careless with a tool, a sudden traumatic injury can occur. A trip and fall can result in head, back, or shoulder injury. However, there are other types of injuries. Sometimes a person can develop an injury and permanent disability by doing the hard labor or repetitive work over a period of time. Regardless of the type of accident or whose fault it was, an injured worker has certain rights. Remember, an injury at work is compensable and you are entitled to benefits if you are trying to get work done and further the interests of your employer, even if the injury isn’t anyone’s fault. This is why workers compensation is called a “no fault” law.
Permanent disability benefits are received after you complete your healing process and are released by your doctor to go back to work. Your doctor decides if you have a permanent disability, and if so, how much disability you have. The amount of permanent disability you receive depends on several factors. First, the Wisconsin Administrative Code outlines the minimum amount of permanent disability to be awarded for many different types of injuries and surgical procedures. Also, your doctor can increase this minimum rating based on the degree of your recovery and other medical factors such as your residual pain and range of motion. Based on your final permanent partial disability (PPD) rating from your doctor, you will receive a certain amount of weekly payments for a limited amount of time based on a formula developed by the State of Wisconsin. If you want to know how much you will receive in permanent disability payments (PPD), contact Wausau permanent disability Attorney John R. Jokela and he can discuss the specifics of your claim and tell you how much compensation for permanent disability you can expect.
If a person has an on-the-job injury and suffers permanent injuries so serious that he or she can never return to any productive work, then this person may be found to be permanently and totally disabled. If a working person in Wisconsin sustains a permanent severe injury anywhere on the spine, torso, or head, and this person is unable to return to any productive work due to the effects of their injury, then this person may be “permanently and totally disabled” for work purposes. In order to be permanently and totally disabled, you do not have to be permanently bed-ridden or confined to a wheel chair. If an administrative law judge determines that a person is so injured that he or she cannot reasonably find any continuing and gainful employment due to his or her permanent injuries to the spine or head, then the judge may find this person permanently and totally disabled and therefore entitled to weekly benefits for life. An injured person who sustains severe injuries to his or her arms, legs, or eyes can also be found permanently and totally disabled, but fortunately these types of injuries are rare. If a person suffers total impairment for work use, of any of the following: the use of both eyes, or the loss of both arms at or near the shoulder, or the loss of both legs at or near the hip, or the the loss of one arm and one leg, or other extreme conditions then this person can also be found permanently and totally disabled. Weekly benefits at the rate of two-thirds of the person’s average weekly wage will be provided for the life of the individual in cases of permanent total disability. However, claims for Permanent and Total Disability are often denied by workers compensation carriers. If your claim for any type of workers compensation benefits is denied, your case is NOT over. You can appeal.
The Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Act covers many different types of injuries that a working man or woman can suffer. These injuries can be temporary or permanent, and the amount of benefits received, as well as the length of time benefits are received, depend largely upon the scope of the injuries. Common physical injuries include:
Factory work, construction work, auto and diesel mechanics, road work, maintenance work, and even retail work demands a lot from your body day after day, for years. These jobs also demand skill and concentration. Thus, if a working person is injured, it is not always possible to keep up with the demands of a difficult job and allow your body to recover from an injury at the same time. This is not a choice by the worker, this is a fact of medical science. This is why doctors assign work limitations during recovery, which the employer must follow if the employee is allowed to return to work. Many of these injuries can be devastating to an employee who must perform manual or skilled labor each day. Even office workers will have a difficult time making it through the day with severe neck and back pain, and often must be off work due to the effects of their injury.
Worker’s compensation law provides for weekly benefit payments for temporary disability if you are unable to return to work during your healing period while you are treating with your doctor and other medical providers. However, employees must make sure to turn in to their employer the work restrictions the worker receives from their doctor.
Temporary disability benefits kick in if you are unable to work for over three days due to your injury. This is known as the three day waiting period. However, if you are off work for your injury for more than seven days, then the waiting period is waived and you will receive temporary disability benefits starting with the day after your injury.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a workplace accident and have questions regarding the benefits provided for physical disabilities, do not hesitate to contact the John Jokela Law Firm. John Jokela has almost 20 years of experience in handling Wisconsin worker’s compensation claims, and will work closely with you to resolve any issues with your claims. Contact our Wausau office today and we will begin examining the facts of your claim. There is no charge for the first phone call. There are no fees or costs until or unless we are successful.