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Wauwatosa Workers' Compensation Law Blog

The most common workplace injuries

A large number of Wisconsin employees wake up every morning without a worry in the world about workplace safety. After all, not all industries present a plethora of risks. Although the majority of U.S. workplace injuries happen in fields such as construction and manufacturing, accidents can occur anywhere. The following reviews some facts about the safety of America's jobs, as well as a current outlook on workplace safety.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration shares the grave statistic that workplace fatalities claimed 5,190 lives in 2016. Out of the 4,693 deaths that occurred in the private industry, over 21 percent took place in construction. The most common culprit? OSHA points toward falls as the leading cause of accidents in this field, followed by accidents involving heavy objects. Electrocutions also played a role in this high number. OSHA notes that the most frequently cited standards included ladders and construction, fall protection and electrical and wiring methods. OSHA claims to have been the driving force behind safer working environments in recent decades. 

The nation's most dangerous industries

Most Wisconsin employees go through daily work shifts without a thought given to workplace injuries. Others do not have this luxury, with certain risks being an inherent part of the job. Although most companies enforce specific safety precautions, countless incidents occur each year. Out of the plethora of mishaps that occur in the workplace, which industries have the highest number of workplace accidents?

Surprisingly enough, not all dangerous jobs deal with heavy equipment or weather extremes. Wisc News shares that, of the 4,836 workplace deaths that occurred in the U.S. in 2015, a large majority involved transportation jobs. Slips, trips and falls followed closely behind, with 800 fatal work injuries taking place that year. Many employees may wonder, what specific jobs saw such accidents? According to Wisc, taxi drivers and chauffeurs saw the most fatal incidents in 2015. Other types of work with a significant number of fatal injuries included ground maintenance, electrical power-line installation and agricultural work.  

Understanding Wisconsin lost wages claims

At the Paul M. Erspamer Law Offices, SC, in Wisconsin, we understand the financial difficulties you face when you get hurt on the job and cannot go back to work until you heal. We also know that even though one of the purposes of Wisconsin’s no-fault workers’ compensation system is to provide you with compensation for your lost wages while you are off work, insurance companies do not always pay you what and when they should.

As explained by the State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, the first type of lost wages claim you file generally is for temporary total disability. You receive this type of compensation while you are off work receiving treatment, but before your doctor determines whether or not you have a permanent disability. TTD benefits pay you two-thirds of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum of $994 worth of benefits per week. These benefits last until your condition stabilizes and you are not likely to get any better with further treatment.

Workers' compensation, explained

Most Wisconsin employees are familiar with safety rules in their place of work. While the chances of experiencing an accident on the job can depend on the industry itself, there are many gray areas that can make the process that follows challenging. Because such accidents can occur when one least expects them, it is important to remain aware of not only workplace rules, but state laws surrounding workers' compensation.

The State of Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development provides an accessible outline of the state's workers' compensation laws. The Department first notes that, with the exception of farmers, all employees working under an employer with three or more workers receive protection under the Worker's Compensation Act. This law applies to both public and private employers, employees who are family members, part-time workers and minors. In the case of an accident, the Department adds that medical attention is always first priority. Following treatment, it is vital that employees also notify their employer of the incident. Depending on the situation, there may be many other steps involved in a worker's compensation claim, which are listed under this outline. 

5 things to know about workers' compensation claims

Imagine a lifesaver attached to a rope thrown from a ship to a drowning man in the ocean. For a catastrophically injured worker, this is exactly what the Wisconsin workers' compensation program is.

If you get hurt on the job, and you're not able to continue working while recovering from injuries, you'll be in serious trouble. Not only will you have steep medical bills to pay for, but your ability to earn an income will also be put on hold because of your injuries. However, a successfully navigated workers' compensation claim will pay for much of these costs.

Can technology improve construction worker safety?

Anyone who works in the construction industry in Wisconsin knows just how many dangers abound on a regular basis on the average jobsite. Despite the fact that construction is an inherently dangerous occupation, it nonetheless remains a right of workers to know that their employers will take appropriate steps to ensure their safety. These steps may involve a variety of things from the implementation of safety protocols, worker training, equipment inspections and more.

Some reports are taking a closer look at the role that technology may be able to play in keeping construction workers safe. Some of the technologies reviewed include the use of radar to more regularly and accurately call to a driver's or operator's attention people or things that may be in their blind spots. This can be useful also on work locations that are extremely dusty to the point of impeding visibility to see such things. Similarly the use of cameras on machines such as excavators might allow operators to have better visibility all around their vehicles.

Can temporary workers seek workers' compensation?

If you or one of your family members accepts work assignments through a temporary employment agency, you will want to make sure to learn about the various laws that are in place regarding temporary workers and agencies. One thing important to be aware of is what you should do if you or your relative is ever involved in an accident while working for a company through another entity.

According to the Claims Journal, a legal case regarding this exact situation was recently ruled on by a Wisconsin State Court of Appeals. At issue was whether or not a lawsuit could be brought against an employer by a worker or the family members of a deceased worker who was hired through a temporary agency. The case related to the death of a man a little over three and a half years ago. The man had been placed by an agency to work for a company and was riding in the company's vehicle when an accident occurred in which he was killed.

Reporting steps when seeking workers' compensation

If you or a family member in Wisconsin has experienced an injury or developed an illness related to a work situation or incident, you may need to file for workers' compensation benefits. There may be many steps involved in seeking these benefits and the process starts with a series of reports that must be made. Understanding these is an important step in learning how to get the help you need at this time.

According to the State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, the first reporting requirement is on the injured or ill employee who must inform the employer of the situation. This notification must be made within a certain timeframe but that timeframe depends on a few factors, one of which is when the employee first learns about the problem. Some injuries or illnesses may not appear immediately after an accident, for example. For certain injuries or occupational diseases, there is no limit on when an employee may file a report.

Workers with PTSD may find relief in Wisconsin laws

Many people assume that worker’s compensation is only available to those who suffer a broken bone or other physical injury. On the contrary, the law actually covers numerous conditions, including mental illness.

As with physical injuries, mental illness can impact your ability to work. Job-related PTSD in particular can make it emotionally difficult just to survive through your shift. Luckily, you do not have to suffer this pain silently.

Workers' compensation helps protect workers in Wisconsin

Workers shouldn't have to worry about what they are going to do if they are injured at work. The workers' compensation system in Wisconsin helps to protect workers from the financial impacts that come with an on-the-job injury.

People who have never dealt with the workers' compensation system might have some questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers about workers' compensation:

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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