When an injury occurs on the jobsite, it can be scary for a number of reasons. First, you want to assess the injury and deal with any immediate danger. Once that is taken care of, the unknowns of time away from work and any lost wages take precedent. Tabak Law has a lot of experience with worker’s compensation claims and putting worker’s minds at ease when it comes to being taken care of during any missed work time.
Recently, Tabak Law Attorney and Partner Alex Eichhorn sat down with WTMJ 620’s John Mercure to discuss worker’s compensation on The Sunday Sip. Listen to the full broadcast and check out the full transcript below.
JOHN MERCURE: I’m John Mercure, welcome to the Sunday Sip. We are joined by Alex Eichhorn, partner and attorney at Tabak Law.
Alex, so good to catch up with you. Thanks for being with us.
ALEX EICHHORN: Well, thank you so much for having me, John. It’s always a pleasure.
JOHN MERCURE: Hey, we’re going to talk a lot about some very important issues including worker’s comp, but I want to start with a general question: When you’re talking about these issues, it can be really complicated, so it’s essential that you hire someone like guys at your firm, gals at your firm, to help navigate this, because it can be pretty complicated, can’t it?
ALEX EICHHORN: Yeah, it absolutely can. You know, especially if you get into a situation where a work injury results in you being unable to continue to do the work that you were doing at the time of the injury, then we need to get you in for a functional capacity evaluation; we need you to see a vocational expert. And these are all kind of specialized fields that, if in deed you’re not represented, it’s very unlikely that you would, one, have the connections and, two, know that it would be necessary to move your claim forward. And these are actually the larger loss of earning capacity claims and vocational retraining claims that can result in larger settlements.
So, yes, they certainly can be extremely complex, but a lot of claims, we — we receive calls from people, they tell us about their injury, and we’re able to kind of give them a general guidance as to what they should do to avoid needing an attorney involved, and we’re always happy to do that. So, I always encourage injured workers to give my office a call as soon as an injury occurs. They may not need us, but I can guarantee they’re going to get valuable information by the end of the call.
JOHN MERCURE: And the easiest way to do that is to check out the website. I was just on the website, it’s easy to navigate; great information, it’s tabakattorneys.com.
Alex, what’s the most common type of injury you see in a work comp claim?
ALEX EICHHORN: I would say that we represent a lot of occupational injury claims, meaning that an individual works for an employer for a number of years, generally doing some level of heavy lifting or bending or squatting or crawling, and over time, they notice that their back is worse than maybe they anticipate it should be. Generally, you know, these are males and females around the age of 40 to 60 years old that go see their doctor and they say, you know, “Doctor, my back is really having a lot of problems lately.” And, ultimately, an MRI may be performed which reveals that they’ve got very advanced degenerative changes that would not be expected in someone their age. So, it’s not as though this injury happened acutely, you know, they bent down and felt a blowout, but rather due to the years and years of working and continuous activity, repetitious activity, their back wears down. And that is, in fact, a very compensable claim. We simply need to show that the individual’s back was made worse than it otherwise would have been had they not worked. And, you know, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to say that if you’ve been lifting heavy objects and bending and squatting and sitting for 30 years, 10 years, 5 years even, that it can affect your back negatively and cause an acceleration of the natural degenerative process.
JOHN MERCURE: We’re talking to Alex Eichhorn, partner attorney at Tabak Law.
It can be scary, Alex, when the injury is so severe that someone can no longer work. How can you help them in that situation?
ALEX EICHHORN: So, that’s really what we specialize in. These are called either loss of earning capacity claims or vocational retraining claims. So, if someone comes in our office and their doctor says, after they had a fusion or laminectomy, discectomy, that they’re going to be unable to lift over 10 pounds or 20 pounds, and they’ve been working in construction or they’re a certified nursing assistant or an RN that really requires daily lifting in excess of the 10 or 20 pounds, and they present their employer with these restrictions and they’re employer says, “Sorry, we’re unable to accommodate this work, we don’t have work for you,” the State of Wisconsin just doesn’t leave these people out there to dry. What occurs then is, they are eligible to either be retrained in a position that they would make comparable wages, and the work comp company is to pay their lost wages while they’re back in school and pay for their schooling expenses.
Alternatively, if the individual is strictly not able to return to work at all and is going to be filing for social security disability, which our office helps — and we’re one of the largest social security disability law firms in the nation, we help thousands and thousands of people get those benefits, then we can do the vocational loss of earning capacity claim, which means that you are unable to do the work. And someone who has no injuries has a higher earning capacity than someone who — the same person who has, you know, a 10-pound lifting restriction, there’s a lot less jobs available and generally less high paying jobs. So we can send that individual to our experts to get an opinion that they’ve suffered this loss of earning, and then go after the worker’s compensation company to make that injured worker whole again.
JOHN MERCURE: You need to get in touch with our friends at tabakattorneys.com, Alex’s team over there. They can help you navigate the system. If you’re injured, reach out immediately. If you’re denied or disputed benefit, reach out immediately.
Why should an injured worker retain an attorney, Alex?
ALEX EICHHORN: You know, you don’t pay my office a single dollar unless we’re successful in getting you benefits that you otherwise would not have received. So, it’s extremely low risk. This is an area of law that I’ve focused on for nearly a decade now. I’ve helped thousands of individuals either get the benefits that they should get or get on the right track to receiving the benefits that they should get. And it is a convoluted system, you know, something you may not think is a big deal. Missing a form, missing an independent medical examination can ultimately result in you not receiving additional — or the injured worker not receiving benefits. And if you give my office a call, we’re going to be able to give you cues to watch out for to ensure you do continue to receive those benefits.
And, again, the call is absolutely risk free. Give us a call. You maybe won’t need us or likely won’t need us, but if you do, we’re going to be here to have your back to fight the big insurance companies.
JOHN MERCURE: They help injured workers around the entire State of Wisconsin. If you or a loved one can use their services, they’re the best in the business. The phone number is 414-351-4400 — 351-4400, or check out the website: tabakattorneys.com.
Alex Eichhorn, partner attorney at Tabak Law, thank you for what you do for people in our neck of the woods, Alex, and thanks for being with us on the Sunday Sip.
ALEX EICHHORN: Hey, thanks so much, John, it’s always a pleasure. And thank you and you have a wonderful rest of your Sunday.
Transcription provided by eCourt Reporters.