Lieberman, Ryan & Forrest, L.L.C.
Somerset County
Hunterdon County

An employee's guide to seeking workers' compensation

With the various hazards surrounding workers daily, such workplace environments have become hotbeds of injuries bound to happen. Whether it's a construction site or a chemical plant, employees need to exercise adequate caution lest they become incapacitated from their daily source of livelihood. Most employers have strived to provide personal protective equipment to ensure the safety of their employees at all time. This does not mean that workers can't sustain injuries or suffer from an occupational disease in the worst case scenario.

In chemical plants, it is common for employees to experience toxic exposures in the event of occasional gas leaks. In the absence of immediate repairs, such exposures can inadvertently cause catastrophic consequences such as a failing nervous system and a back injury resulting from a slip and fall accident. In such a predicament, it's only basic instinct that intensive medical assistance should be administered to expedite the recovery process. Even when the treatment was a success, you might be left with permanent disabilities which effectively rule you out of employment. From lost wages to ludicrous medical expenses, it's undoubtedly clear that your recovery will be a daunting task.

Under Wisconsin law, you should know that Workers' Compensation is solely determined by your doctor and not the insurance company as widely perceived. As a victim of an occupational accident, you might be in line to receive the following benefits:

• Medical treatment expenses: Such costs cover hospital expenses from major surgeries to MRI tests. They also cater for prescribed medication, physical therapy, and accommodation costs.

• Loss of earning capacity: Partial incapacitation might prevent you from resuming your former job, but still provide you with an opportunity to perform an innovative activity. If your new earnings are lower, then you are entitled to benefits that make up for such a loss.

• Retraining benefits: A physician can evaluate the types of professions you can perform in your current condition while still receiving compensation for lost wages.

• Permanent total disability: Once a catastrophic injury has been sustained, your doctor might deem you unable to engage in any meaningful employment. Hence, you are entitled to disability benefits for the rest of your life.

If you intend on seeking Workers' Compensation from an employer, contact an experienced lawyer for legal guidance.

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