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Wauwatosa Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Is a back injury from shoveling snow covered by worker's comp?

There is one thing that almost everyone in Wisconsin has in common: snow. You may work as a retail cashier, a barista, a construction site lead or an architect. Regardless of your walk of life, there is a good chance that you will shovel snow at some point in your life — even if it is simply to dig your car out of a drift.

This somewhat onerous pastime may even cascade over into your professional duties. This is especially common in small-business environments, in which your employer may expect you to pitch in with some maintenance or physical activity regardless of your primary work function. If you had an injury performing this surprisingly dangerous duty, you would probably still be covered under worker's compensation.

What is take-home toxic exposure?

Depending on where you work in Wisconsin and what your job entails, you may have to handle toxic chemicals and/or materials on a daily basis. While it is bad enough for you to face toxic exposure, it is even worse to think that your family might face it, too. As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, take-home toxic exposure remains a major problem in the United States.

Take-home toxic exposure happens when the toxins you come into contact with at work attach themselves to your clothing, shoes, etc. They then go home with you where they can build up on various surfaces, such as your floors, furniture, bedding, air ducts and virtually any other surfaces. Thus your family members become exposed to them, too.

5 things workers' compensation can do for you

Workers' compensation is there for people who get hurt on the job. Its purpose is to protect these workers by providing them with much-needed benefits such as coverage for lost wages and medical expenses.

Workers' compensation has benefits beyond paying for your medical care, though. For example, did you know that workers' compensation will cover your death, rehabilitation and retraining for a new position and pay you out for any permanent injuries?

What makes trench collapses dangerous?

Even when your job involves inherent risk, as it does if you are a construction worker, your employer in Wisconsin has a responsibility to provide a safe working environment. Nevertheless, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, every year more than 800 construction workers die, and many more receive injuries, due to work-related accidents, many of which are preventable.

Trenching is one of the most dangerous types of jobs in construction work. You may not think of soil as being heavy, but one cubic yard of it can weigh nearly 3,000 pounds, almost as much as a car. Another hazard of trench collapses is that becoming buried under the soil can cut off your air supply and cause you to suffocate. Bearing these facts in mind, it is no wonder that serious injury or death can occur from a trench cave-in within a matter of minutes. 

OSHA fines Wisconsin contractors for deadly explosion

Authorities urge residents and business owners alike to call utility companies or a special hotline before beginning any work that requires digging to confirm the location of gas lines and other potential underground hazards. An OSHA investigation has determined that two utility contractors allegedly failed to take these necessary steps before commencing work and that these serious violations contributed to a Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, natural gas explosion in July 2018 in which a volunteer firefighter lost his life.

Law enforcement also investigated the case and found that, although miscommunication between utility contractors and subcontractors allegedly led to the improper marking of gas lines, there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing. OSHA's investigation, concluded approximately six months after the explosion took place, nevertheless deemed the hazard a serious violation of safety standards due to its potential to cause an accident that would most likely result in serious physical harm or death. 

What rights does an injured worker have?

If you work in Wisconsin, you may be aware that a workers' compensation program exists and that this program is designed to help people if they are hurt while at work. The benefits available under workers' compensation may include financial compensation for time lost from work as well as medical treatment for any injuries. An employee has very specific rights granted by the workers' compensation program and every worker should know these.

As explained by the State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, when it comes to medical care, an employee has the right to choose their health care provider. This choice is allowed for a first or second choice if the provider is within the state of Wisconsin. The employee may also choose an out-of-state provider without prior approval from the insurer if they are referred to that provider by another provider, if the need for care is an emergency or if the out-of-state physician is part of the same practice as the in-state physician.

3 reasons to hire a workers' compensation attorney

There are a few reasons why you may want to consider hiring a workers' compensation attorney. After a workplace accident, you need to know that someone is in your corner. You need to know that someone is looking out for your best interest and not just looking at the cost of your care.It's a good idea to work with an attorney for several reasons. These are reasons including needing guidance, wanting to prevent a denial of your claim benefits and because hiring an attorney can help prevent stress. Here is a little bit more on three of the most important reasons to hire an attorney.

1. Get the guidance you need

Workers might be at disadvantage when injured

There are a few things that people in Wisconsin should be able to count on when they take a new job. One of these is that they will be paid for the time they work and a second is that they should be able to work in an environment free of discrimination or harassment. All workers should also be able to trust that they will be appropriately compensated if they are injured or become ill on the job. This is what the system of workers' compensation is all about.

According to The Capital Times, Wisconsin once led the way in protecting injured employees' rights. In 1911, the State Supreme Court upheld the workers' compensation program. Today, however, it seems that such leadership is all but forgotten and in its place is a program that favors employers and insurance companies.

Can you reopen your Wisconsin workers' comp case?

It is not uncommon for injuries to become more troublesome with time, especially when the injuries are more severe in nature. However, while most people must live with and accommodate the discomfort, parties who sustained their injuries in the workplace may be able to recover benefits via workers' compensation. Those individuals must have already filed a claim and received benefits for the same injuries that continue to ail them. To do so, they must first reopen their Wisconsin workers' compensation case.

If you wish to reopen your workers' comp case, you must be aware of the state's statutes of limitations for doing so, as well as under what circumstances the state allows a person to reopen a case. Per the State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development's Workers' Compensation Guide, you may reopen your case when you have stopped receiving workers' comp benefits for a permanent or temporary disability that was the result of a workplace accident. You may reopen the claim any time within 12 years from the date on which you received your last benefits check.

Asbestos explained

You may think that you are aware of whatever health hazards that you make encounter in Wauwatosa, yet one exists that you may recognize yet, like most, not fully understand: asbestos. Many of those that we here at the Paul M Erspamer Law Offices, S.C. have worked with on asbestos-related cases had no idea they were even being exposed it. That is because is relative rarity in today's world means that few are indeed familiar with it. Yet if you think that you have no chance of being exposed to asbestos as part of your job, you may be wrong. 

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fiber that was once widely used in construction materials. It was discovered, however, that inhaling asbestos could contribute to the development of lung disease and certain types of cancers. The Environmental Protection Agency implemented a ban on asbestos in 1989, yet that was later overturned in federal court and the use of asbestos was allowed to continue for those products that had historically used in in their manufacturing. These include: 

  • Automotive parts
  • Insulation
  • Building materials
  • Potting soils
  • Fireproof clothing

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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