Injuries to the head, neck, and back can be debilitating. They cause severe pain that often leads to missed time from work and, in some cases, might even cause you to lose your job. Fortunately, Wisconsin’s workers’ compensation law allows an injured worker to make a claim for loss of earning capacity benefits after an injury to the neck or back. Successfully recovering loss of earning capacity (LOEC) benefits can be complicated and often requires assistance from an experienced Wisconsin workers’ compensation attorney.
Luke Kingree has devoted his career to representing injured workers. He knows how the workers’ compensation system operates and can ensure you receive the maximum benefits you deserve.
Your spine supports the weight of your body and protects your spinal cord. An injury along your spinal column can cause tingling and numbness in your arms and legs, loss of strength in your hands and legs, and significant pain and discomfort when performing essential work functions. These symptoms can have a far-reaching effect on your ability to do your job.
Many people who suffer an injury to their neck or back at work are unable to return to work or cannot return to work performing the same job as before the injury. In these cases, an injured worker can make a claim for loss of earning capacity (LOEC) benefits.
The benefits available in an LOEC claim can be significant. For this reason, worker’s compensation insurance carriers often deny claims for injuries to the back and neck or dispute them after surgery is planned.
Attorney Luke Kingree will help you recover the benefits you are legally entitled to receive.
Wisconsin workers’ compensation law recognizes two types of claims for neck injuries and back injuries: workplace accident claims and occupational injury claims. In either case, if your back injury caused you to miss significant time from work or required you to take a lower-paying job, you may be eligible for LOEC benefits.
A workplace accident causes sudden injuries. For example, if something heavy falls on your head and injures your neck or you pick something up and injure your back, you suffered a workplace accident.
Occupational injuries occur over time. You might have sustained an occupational injury to your back if you were an assembly worker or machine operator who spent a career bent over, pushing, pulling and lifting parts, a construction worker who had to repetitively lift heavy objects, or a machinist or grinder who had to repetitively use power tools or keep your neck in a sustained position causing repetitive stress.
Regardless of the cause of your back or neck injury, you might be entitled to LOEC benefits.
If you suffered an injury to your neck or back and were placed on permanent restrictions that prevent you from returning to your pre-injury job, you might be eligible for LOEC benefits.
LOEC benefits are intended to compensate you for the loss of wages over the course of your working life. To qualify, you must have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) and have permanent restrictions that prevent you from earning what you earned before your injury.
To prove your claim, you will need testimony from several experts. Your LOEC will be expressed as a percentage and is applied to 1,000 weeks of work. LOEC benefits are paid at the rate of a permanent partial disability (PPD).
If you are completely unable to work, you might be eligible to claim permanent total disability (PTD) benefits.
A workplace injury can have severe consequences and can dramatically affect your ability to earn a living. If you suffered a back injury or a neck injury at work and cannot return to work at your pre-injury rate, you might have a claim for loss of earning capacity. However, because LOEC claims can be significant, workers’ compensation insurance companies rarely inform you when you are eligible for these benefits.
Kingree Law can help you successfully present your claim for LOEC benefits. Attorney Luke Kingree knows the laws and legal precedents that apply to LOEC claims. He knows how to present these claims in a way that increases the likelihood they will be approved, and he will fight for your right to compensation.
To learn more about how Kingree Law can help, visit our FAQ section and our Information Center, then contact us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your situation and how we can help.
With offices in Madison and Eau Claire, Kingree Law proudly represents injured workers throughout Wisconsin.