The Legal Advisor You Can Trust When You Have Been Injured at Work

Frequently Asked Questions

Answered By Our Attorney in Milwaukee

If you have any questions or concerns about Cooper Law Group or how we can help you, please look on this FAQ page. Here, we provided answers to several of our most commonly asked questions. If you have more questions about the answer we provided or if you do not see your question listed, contact us today for a free consultation.

We will sit down with you and thoroughly review your case. Throughout the course of the consultation, we will provide you with well-informed legal counsel regarding your best options for moving forward. Once you hire us, we can immediately get started on creating an effective case strategy customized just for you.

You can reach us at (414) 240-0795 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with our lawyer in Milwaukee.

What is Workers Compensation?

Under the Wisconsin state statutes (Workers Compensation - Section 102), our state developed a process of administrative laws & procedures to protect injured workers. The Wisconsin Workers Compensation Act covers worker injuries. The Act provides laws governing work injuries in Wisconsin. The goal of workers' compensation is to protect the health of the injured worker and compensate him/her for economic loss. Depending on the type and severity of the injury, the law may provide permanent benefits or job retaining if a worker cannot return to work because of permanent limitations. Essentially, the Act provides rights to the injured worker and directs the employer (or insurance carrier) to make the worker “whole”.

Do I have a Worker’s Compensation Claim?

Under the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Act, an injured worker must prove three (3) things:

  • The injury occurred during your employmentyou were working and performing services for your employer;
  • The work injury was a result of your employmenteither your work directly caused the injury (i.e. a lifting injury) OR your work activities aggravated a pre-existing condition beyond expected progression (i.e. you already had a back injury but the repetitive nature of your work accelerate/aggravated your condition);
  • There must be a loss there must be loss - unpaid medical bills or permanent disability. In some instances, you may be entitled to job retaining benefits (if you cannot return to the same work) OR lifetime benefits (if you cannot work anymore).

What benefits am I entitled to receive?

Injured workers are entitled to “primary” and specialty benefits. A representative list of benefits includes:

  • Temporary Total Disability – 2/3 of your wages while you’re healing;
  • Medical Expenses – unlike health insurance, there is no “out-of-pocket” or “co-pay” expenses. Your employer must cover all of your medical expenses;
  • Permanent Disability – compensation for permanent loss or disfigurement;
  • Retaining Benefits – based on the type & severity of your injury, you may be entitled to compensation (including educational/training) to be retained to do other work;
  • Permanent Benefits – compensation to pay you if you cannot return to work. If you have permanent limitations precluding your return to work, you may be entitled to lifetime benefits;
  • Job protection – protection against harassment or termination related to your work injury;
  • Social Security Disability – federal social security disability payments if your meet disability criteria and qualifying thresholds.

Benefits entitlement depends on the type & severity of the work injury.

How long do I receive benefits?

You will generally continue to receive workers' compensation benefits until your doctor says you have healed enough to return to work or when you have reached "maximum medical improvement," meaning that your condition will no longer improve with treatment.

Can I choose my own doctor?

Yes. Your employer may only send you to its chosen doctor in an emergency, but you will have the right to see any other doctor after. You may need to see an employer-designated doctor for independent medical evaluation if a dispute arises, but you may choose who treats you for your injuries.

Can I be fired for filing for workers' compensation?

It is illegal for employers to retaliate against employees simply for being injured at work. Filing for workers' compensation is completely within your rights as an employee. Likewise, employers cannot fire you upon returning to work without a reasonable cause.

Why was my claim denied?

Generally, employers/insurance carriers deny workers compensation claims under 3 defense theories.

  • The injury did not happen at work (i.e. you injured your knee at home);
  • Your work did not cause your injury (i.e. a pre-existing condition);
  • The injury is not as severe as you claim (i.e. – they admit you were injured at work, but deny the severity of your injuries).

If a denial occurs, you may need to file for a hearing with a judge from the Workers Compensation Division.

Do I need an attorney?

Deciding to hire an attorney is an important and personal decision. Here are a few considerations.

  • There are state (WI Workers Compensation Act) and federal (Social Security Disability) to consider. Having someone skilled in navigating the laws and statutes is important;
  • The employer/insurance carrier will inevitably have attorneys representing their interests. The employer has attorneys protecting & defending their rights. You are at a disadvantage if you’re unrepresented;
  • Your “job” after injury is to heal. Having a skilled attorney managing your compensation payments, obtaining documentation & doctor reports, managing medical bills etc. allows you time to focus on the most important part of your case - your health;
  • Sometimes, employers take advantage of employees and harass or even terminate them after a work injury. It’s important you have a skilled attorney protecting your job.
  • If you’re denied benefits, you may need to file for a hearing with a judge from the Workers Compensation Division. These hearings can be complicated and you have the burden of proving the facts/circumstances of your claim. Knowing the hearing process, filing reports, knowing the Judges and drafting settlement documents requires knowledge and experience.

What is a Compromise Agreement?

Whenever possible, employers or insurance carriers encourage injured workers to sign settlements – also known as Compromise Agreements. Generally, the Agreements are final and preclude workers from filing or collecting additional benefits. These Agreements are drafted by attorneys representing the company. The goal of the employer or insurance carrier is to decrease exposure (payments) and make the Agreements binding (restrict future claims). We recommend speaking with a qualified attorney about your settlement options. Once signed and paid, there are limited (if any) options to “reopen” your claim and demand additional benefits. They are called “Full & Final Compromise Agreements” for a reason.

I Was Injured at Work. Am I Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?

Possibly! It varies from person to person but if you are eligible, we can help you get the compensation you need and deserve. To find out if you are eligible, contact our office for a completely free consultation. Individuals who receive workers’ compensation may get any number of benefits, including wage loss benefits, permanent or temporary disability benefits, vocational retraining, disfigurement benefits, penalty claims, and more.

What Should I Do if My Workers’ Compensation Claim is Denied?

If your initial claim for workers’ compensation benefits was denied, don’t worry! You still have numerous options available. The first step we will take after your initial denial is to submit an appeal to the Department of Workforce Development (DWD). This appeal is a request for a formal hearing and the paperwork is lengthy and complex. We can help you fill out the forms and walk you through the legal process. Next, you are supposed to gather all supporting evidence, including medical examinations, financial information, and more. After that, you need to fill out the Certificate of Readiness and then you will be able to file all the paperwork and schedule your hearing date with the Division of Hearings & Appeals (DHA). Once a date is set, we can start preparing you for the hearing to maximize your chance of success.

What Can I Do to Increase My Chance at a Successful Claim for Workers’ Compensation?

If you’ve been injured in a work-related accident or contracted an occupational illness, there are several steps you should take. First and foremost, document your injury/illness as thoroughly as possible. This includes taking notes on where it originated from, taking pictures of it, and, above all, seeing a licensed medical professional. A doctor will be able to accurately determine the extent of your injury while simultaneously providing you and the courts with indisputable proof of your suffering. The more information you have on hand, the better. Secondly, contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Milwaukee to make sure your rights are protected and your best interests are fought for. Cooper Law Group can take care of everything from there.

What is the General Process for Applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) Benefits?

First, you submit a claim for SSD but the time between when an individual requests a hearing and when they actually receive a decision varies greatly from case to case. Nationwide, it generally takes just over 15 months from the date a hearing was requested until a decision is made. The hearing takes into account medical information and examinations, personal finances, lost income-earning abilities, and many more factors. Make sure you prepare extensive documentation to prove your case. An experienced SSD attorney in Milwaukee will be able to effectively help you with all steps of the process.


Start Your Case with a Free Consultation.
  1. Attorney Patrick Cooper has over 13 years of experience managing workers' compensation cases and 20 years of experience in employment relations.
  2. When you need us to travel to you, we will gladly do so.
  3. Our firm's boutique feel ensures that every client receives the personalized attention they deserve.
  4. When you hire Attorney Patrick Cooper, you get him.
  5. Attorney Cooper's experience as a defense attorney provides him with unique insight into representing injured workers.
  6. We keep our clients updated throughout the whole process.
  7. Obtaining the highest favorable outcome for our clients is our priority.
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