I get calls all of the time telling me that they just received a check from the worker’s compensation insurance company and they are wondering if they should cash it or if they do will they be limited in any further recovery. Of course, every case is different but in most situations insurance companies send checks on conceded disability claims meaning that you can cash the check and still seek additional benefits.
The real question is what was the basis for the insurance company’s determination of your permanency? In situations of back injuries it is considered a non-scheduled injury. This means that you could be entitled to an actual loss of earning capacity which would entitle you to more benefits than the standard formula which just takes the percentage of permanency multiplied by 1,000 weeks times your weekly rate.
For example, if you were injured in 2012 and your doctor gave you a 5% permanent partial disability rating for a back injury you would be entitled to 5% of 1,000 weeks or 50 weeks times your weekly rate of $302 or a total of $15,100. However, if your job is the type that a 5% permanent partial disability actually results in a 50% loss of earning capacity which sometimes can happen if you cannot return to your old job then you would be entitled to substantially more compensation. In order to obtain the increased compensation your medical records along with your permanency and your limitations would have to be provided to a vocational expert who would perform the earning capacity evaluation. Your experienced worker’s compensation attorney would then have to fight for you to convince the insurance company or hearing examiner if it is disputed that you are entitled to this increased compensation. The benefit to you is that you may need the increased compensation to offset your decreasing wages for the rest of your work life.
Worker’s compensation law in Wisconsin is complicated and requires the services of an experienced worker’s compensation attorney. We have been representing injured employees for almost three decades and represent these injured workers on a contingency fee basis which means we do not get paid unless and until there is a recovery.
If you have been injured on the job with an injury of any type and have any questions contact me for a no cost, no obligation consultation. Please call in the Madison area (608) 824-8540, Baraboo area (608) 356-3961 or statewide at (866) 455-2993. Please feel free to email me at email@example.com and check out our website at https://khtlawyers.com for more information.