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Wauwatosa Workers' Compensation Law Blog

State may reduce workers' compensation insurance rates

People who live and work in Wisconsin are generally covered by workers' compensation insurance provided by their employers. This special and important type of insurance provides essential financial benefits to workers who are injured in on-the-job accidents and those workers who develop medical illnesses related to their employment. The employers in the state are required to make insurance premium payments for this coverage. 

Companies in Wisconsin have apparently seen the premium rates for workers' compensation be reduced in the last couple of years per a report from the Star Tribune. Now, there is a chance that the insurance premium rates will decline once again, this time by a margin of almost nine percent. If the proposal is approved, the new rate structure will take effect on October 1 of this year.

Understanding carpal tunnel syndrome

You hear jokes about jobs that can kill you and likely conjure up images of police involved in altercations, firefighters combating blazes, or constructions workers laboring in extreme conditions. Sitting at a desk all day on Wauwatosa likely is not something that you would classify as dangerous. Yet as many of those that our team here at Paul M. Erspamer, S.C. have discovered, on-the-job injuries that occur in the office can be just as debilitating as those that happen in other industries. Among the more common of these is carpal tunnel syndrome. 

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, carpal tunnel syndrome is characterized by a numbness or burning in the fingers (specifically in the thumb and index fingers). Over time, it can even lead to a complete loss of feeling in the fingers. Carpal tunnel makes it difficult for you to perform simple daily tasks, such as: 

  • Grasping
  • Pressing
  • Typing

Can an employer refuse to hire someone who made a past claim?

You were out of work for a workplace injury. You filed a workers' compensation claim and were awarded compensation. Now, you want to go back to work. You decided to leave your old job and are looking into new opportunities.

One of the things you're worried about is if you can get hired. After all, you had a claim in the past, so you could be seen as a risk, right?

Man loses foot, wins $10M settlement

There is no facet of work in the construction industry in which employees can or should ever take safety for granted. People in Wisconsin who work in construction know this, even if they are only on active job sites for a portion of the time they are at work. These locations can feature multiple hazards from heavy equipment to dangerous tools and more. A jobsite does not have to be related a large, complex project in order to be dangerous, either.

One man in Illinois knows this all too well after he lost his foot in an incident while working at a private residence in the autumn of 2016. As reported by ForConstructionPros.com, the man was only 28 years old at the time of the incident and he was hired as an independent worker by a general contractor who was overseeing a job at a home in Cook County. In addition to hiring individual workers, the general contractor also hired another company to deliver concrete for the work to be done.

What is pneumoconiosis?

Pneumoconiosis derives from the Greek words for "lung" and "dust." It translates to the condition of having dust in the lungs. Any job in Wisconsin that puts you in a situation in which you may inhale certain particles in large quantities can lead to pneumoconiosis.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the type of dust you inhale contributes to the variety of pneumoconiosis that you may develop. Black lung disease is a well-known form that affects workers in coal mines. Popcorn lung is a less commonly known form that afflicts people who work in movie theaters and breathe in the compound used to create buttery flavor. Other types of pneumoconiosis can result from breathing in particles of asbestos, silica, cotton or other fibers. 

Why should I wear safety goggles?

Safety goggles may not be the most fashionable thing to wear, but if you work in certain fields in Wisconsin, they can be one of the most important pieces of safety gear you wear. It is essential to understand just how much they protect you so you can understand why you should always wear them when your employer requires it.

There is a very good reason why you get safety goggles issued to you and that is to protect your eyes. It is that simple. According to the American Optometric Association, safety goggles prevent one of the most common injuries in the workplace: eye injuries. Not only can goggles prevent injury but they can lessen injury as well. They stop debris from flying into your eye and serve as a shield against anything that may come at your eye.

Understand the benefits of workers' compensation

When you're hurt on the job, one of the things you may be entitled to is workers' compensation. Workers' compensation provides several major benefits to those who are injured in Wisconsin.

Some of the benefits you should expect if you're injured and receive workers' compensation coverage include:

  • Payment for lost wages
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Death benefits
  • Medical coverage

What is a workplace illness?

It is fairly easy to understand what a workplace injury is, but you may be unclear of what a workplace illness is. These two categories explain the different health issues you may encounter as a result of an accident or a situation within your workplace. Injuries happen due to an accident whereas illnesses are usually a result of exposure to a substance or some type of toxin, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

There are a few different kinds of workplace illnesses that fall into categories. Hearing issues, such as loss of hearing, happen when you have exposure to excessive or loud noises at work. Skin issues are another category. They typically occur due to exposure to substances and can include allergic reactions. Poisonings are also a result of exposure to toxins, although it may not be through the skin. You could breathe in a toxin as well.

What causes rotator cuff tears?

Rotator cuff tears are among the most common shoulder injuries that occur. A sudden, traumatic injury has the potential to cause a rotator cuff tear, but they can also result from degenerative wear and tear on the tendons of the shoulder over time. Performing certain jobs can increase your likelihood of a rotator cuff tear. According to the Mayo Clinic, repetitive overhead arm movements are a significant risk factor for a tear. These types of movement are often necessary for jobs related to construction, such as carpentry or painting. Other risk factors include family history, age and playing certain sports.

If you have a rotator cuff tear, you may have difficulty performing activities that require you to reach behind your back, such as combing your hair. You may experience a dull ache in your shoulder that becomes worse when you lie on the affected shoulder, possibly disturbing your sleep. In addition to pain, you may also experience weakness of your arm. If you have arm weakness that comes on suddenly following an injury, you should see a doctor right away. 

Can slip-and-fall incidents happen at your work?

Wisconsin workers like you trust that your place of employment meets universal standards when it comes to safety matters. But did you know that a lot of big safety issues can be hiding in plain sight? Many slip and fall incidents come from problems that could have easily been avoided, but can also be easy to miss.

FindLaw takes a look at some of the most common reasons for slip and fall cases, particularly focusing on the incidents that occur indoors. Outside, most of the slipping is up to the whims of nature and how well workers handle the aftermath, especially concerning snow or ice. Inside, the conditions are almost entirely created and maintained (or not) through the actions of your employer or fellow employees.

Contact Us Today For Your Free Consultation

We invite you to contact our office today by calling 414-727-7003 or by sending us an email to schedule a free initial consultation regarding your workers' compensation claim. We are located in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and evenings and weekends by appointment. If we take on your case, we only charge fees when we obtain compensation for you.

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Paul M. Erspamer Law Offices, S.C.

Paul M. Erspamer Law Offices, S.C.
8112 West Bluemound Road
Suite 108
Wauwatosa, WI 53213

Phone: 414-727-7003
Fax: 414-727-7004
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