In Wisconsin, the workers’ compensation program can provide benefits to those who have been injured on the job and to the eligible dependents of those who died at work. Ideally, there should be no need for such a program, but accidents happen even in the most safety-conscious work environments. Many workplace injuries, especially in the construction industry, are fatal.
The “fatal four” in construction
OSHA speaks of the “fatal four” causes of construction accidents. First are falls from ladders, scaffolding and any other elevated work surfaces. Second is electrocution, which is to be expected because construction employees often work around live electricity. Third, workers are often killed after being struck by dropped objects and other debris, even when wearing hard hats. Caught-in-between incidents, normally with heavy machinery, round out the list.
Four types of workers’ comp benefits
The workers’ comp program will first of all reimburse victims or their families for all medical expenses, including the cost of hospital and ER visits, treatments, prescriptions and medical devices like crutches and wheelchairs. It also pays out temporary disability benefits to those unable to return to work right away. These benefits come out to about two-thirds of the victim’s average weekly income.
Permanent disability benefits can be procured for workers who have suffered a disability that has reduced their ability to work at their previous capacity. Even if victims go back to work, they can receive PD benefits. The amount is determined once victims reach maximum medical improvement. Lastly, there are death benefits, which cover lost wages and funeral expenses. The benefits are adjusted according to the number of dependents and the decedent’s income.
Hiring a workers’ comp attorney
Even if you survived your injury, you may be far from ready to join the workforce again. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure that your workers’ compensation case is as strong as possible because employers have the right to deny payment on certain grounds. A lawyer may be of benefit to the filing process; he or she may even assist with the appeal if benefits are denied.