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Nicolet Law managing attorney Russell Nicolet

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Workers' Compensation FAQ

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Workers’ Compensation FAQs

Looking for answers following a work injury or work-related illness? Read our question and answer section below, then visit our workers’ comp info center to get any additional information you need. If you still have questions, or if you’re ready to set up a free meeting with a workers’ comp lawyer, call us at 1-855-NICOLET. Check out our success stories section for real results that we’ve obtained for clients just like you!


What Is A Permanency Rating And Do You Need One?
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) oversees the state’s workers’ compensation insurance department. In order to receive benefits for a workplace injury resulting in a permanent partial or permanent total disability, the injured worker must receive an official rating by an approved medical provider. The permanency rating will be used to determine the level and duration of permanent total disability (PTD) or permanent partial disability (PPD). The DWD periodically updates the schedule benefits to be paid for specific permanent partial disabilities. In some cases, the scheduled amount may be used as the basis for a lump sum settlement.


Can A Permanency Rating Be Disputed?
Absolutely. Remember, most injured workers are forced into using a doctor approved by the state’s Department of Workforce Development, who oversees workers’ compensation insurance benefits. In short, doctors may be interested in getting a worker back on the job with as little cost to the employer or the insurance provider possible. Workers who receive a lower rating than they feel they deserve, or who are ordered to return to work with no permanency rating at all, have the right to appeal.


What You Need To Know Before Returning To Work
It is only natural that injured workers want to return to their jobs as soon as possible. But returning prematurely can mean additional injuries or turning a temporary disability into a permanent one. Here are some common-sense factors to consider before returning to work:

  1. If your workers’ compensation doctor says you have obtained your maximum medical improvement (MMI), make sure you agree before returning to any level of work for your employer. If you do not feel as if you are capable of returning to work, you have the right to challenge the report.
  2. If your doctor says you can return to work without restrictions, you have the right to challenge the decision. Remember, once you return to work in your old job capacity, you will stop receiving temporary disability pay benefits.
  3. If your doctor says you are fit to return to work with some restrictions, it is important to clarify with your employer whether you will return to your previous level of pay. If the restrictions mean reduced wages or earnings, you have the right to appeal the decision.

If you need to discuss appealing any decision regarding workers’ compensation medical care or benefits, talk to us right away.


What Is A “Healing Plateau” And How Does It Impact Benefits?
It is important to remember that doctors who treat injured workers must be approved by the Wisconsin Department of Workplace Development (DWD), which oversees the state’s workers’ compensation insurance program. That means they are under some pressure to treat the injury and return the worker to the job as quickly as possible. When the doctor decides the patient has reached a point when he or she can return to work in some capacity, it is called maximum medical recovery or the healing plateau.

The DWD will refer to the written doctor’s statement to determine the extent of temporary or permanent partial disability. At that point, the injured worker is often ordered to return to work at their prior level of work or in some reduced capacity. Pay benefits outlined above will be determined based on the DWD decision.


Can The Healing Plateau Be Challenged?
Absolutely. Many injured workers are ordered to return to work before they, themselves, feel comfortable with their level of recovery. The DWD provides a process for appealing the doctor’s report and the decision to order an injured back to work.


What If Your Workers’ Compensation Claim For Medical Expenses Is Denied?
The workers’ compensation insurance provider may deny reimbursement for medical expenses for a variety of reasons, including seeking treatment from an unapproved health care provider.

The most common reason an injured worker’s claim for medical costs is denied is due to the examining doctor reporting a related preexisting condition on the medical records. The worker has the right to seek a second opinion and appeal the insurance provider’s decision through the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD), which oversees the workers’ compensation program for the state.

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Awards & Recognitions

Nicolet Law Office is honored to have been nominated for numerous awards for excellence in service and client satisfaction. Our attorneys have appeared in such prestigious lists as Top 40 Under 40 and Rising Stars. While we’re thankful to have the support of industry peers and independent third-party organizations, nothing beats the feeling of gratitude we share with clients when we can make a positive impact on their lives.

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Contact us today to request a free case evaluation with a dedicated local attorney. With twelve convenient office locations throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin, accessing award-winning legal services has never been easier. If you have a medical condition that prevents you from traveling, we would be happy to meet you at your home or schedule a private virtual consultation.

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SEE HOW NICOLET LAW MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN OUR CLIENTS’ CASES

CAR ACCIDENT

Offer before Nicolet Law
$50,000.00

CAR ACCIDENT

Result with Nicolet Law 
$1,200,000.00

SEMI-TRUCK ACCIDENT

Offer before Nicolet Law
$75,000.00

SEMI-TRUCK ACCIDENT

Result with Nicolet Law 
$700,000.00

SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENT

Offer before Nicolet Law
$5,000.00

SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENT

Result with Nicolet Law 
$180,000.00

SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENT

Offer before Nicolet Law
$0.00 - denial

SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENT

Result with Nicolet Law 
$159,000.00

DRUNK DRIVING VICTIM

Offer before Nicolet Law
$0.00

DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENT

Result with Nicolet Law 
$815,000.00

UTV ACCIDENT

Offer before Nicolet Law
$5,000.00

UTV ACCIDENT

Result with Nicolet Law 
$250,000.00
(click to view results)

12 locations in Wisconsin and Minnesota to serve you

Wisconsin State Icon

Wisconsin Locations:

EAU CLAIRE:

402 Graham Ave.
Suite 305
Eau Claire, WI 54701

Phone: 715-226-4155
Map & Directions

HUDSON:

517 2nd Street
Unit #205
Hudson, WI 54016

Phone: 715-226-4155
Map & Directions

LA CROSSE:

119 N 19th St S
La Crosse, WI 54601

Phone: 715-226-4155
Map & Directions

NEW RICHMOND:

1500 Madison Ave.
Suite 220
New Richmond, WI 54017

Phone: 715-226-4155
Map & Directions

RICE LAKE:
337 North Main Street
Rice Lake, WI 54868

Phone: 715-226-4155
Map & Directions

RIVER FALLS
215 S 2nd St #20
River Falls, WI 54022

Phone: 715-226-4155
Map & Directions

SUPERIOR:
1200 Tower Ave.
Superior, WI 54880

Phone: 715-226-4155
Map & Directions

WAUSAU:
408 3rd Street
Suite 303
Wausau, WI 54403

Phone: 715-226-4155
Map & Directions

Minnesota State Icon

Minnesota Locations:

DULUTH:
306 West Superior Street,
Suite 606 West
Duluth, MN 55802

Phone: 651-427-3331
Map & Directions

HIBBING:
Howard Court Bldg.
302 Howard Street, Suite 123
Hibbing, MN 55746

Phone: 651-427-3331
Map & Directions

MINNEAPOLIS:
225 South 6th Street
Suite 3900
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Phone: 651-427-3331
Map & Directions

WOODBURY:
724 Bielenberg Drive
Suite 126
Woodbury, MN 55125

Phone: 651-427-3331
Map & Directions

Wisconsin and Minnesota’s Local Award-Winning Injury and Disability Attorneys.
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