In Wisconsin, if your finger get's chopped off at work, state law says you only can get a maximum of $5,640 | WisCommunity

In Wisconsin, if your finger get's chopped off at work, state law says you only can get a maximum of $5,640

According to Wisconsin's Worker Compensation Laws, it depends on which finger, but the pinky finger, for example, is worth only $5,640. 

When I say $5,640-- that's it.  It doesn't matter that the employer was grossly negligent and caused the accident. It doesn't matter that the finger was smashed paper-thing in a press and it took four hours to free the man.  $5,640 is what you get, period, according to Wisconsin statutes.  And that's if its your whole finger-- they pro-rate it based on how much of your finger is left!

Approximately 50,000 Wisconsin workers file workers compensation claims every year for injuries they have sustained in the line of work.  Because Wisconsin's worker's compensation system is an “exclusive remedy,” the limits in the worker's compensation rules are the final word –injured workers can't sue in court, even where the employer was negligent.


If, as is the case about 20 percent of the time, the worker's compensation insurance provider denies coverage, the worker is put in a grave circumstance where they often have a significant medical bill and unpaid leave from work.  The worker may have health insurance, but the health insurer usually refuses payment, saying it is not covered by the health insurance if it is a workplace injury. Furthermore, an employer in Wisconsin is not required to continue paying its portion of the health insurance premium when a worker is off work, even due to a conceded workplace injury. 


 The worker can go to an attorney to challenge the worker's compensation coverage denial, but because Wisconsin limits attorney fees in worker's comp cases to 20% of the recovered amount (excluding any fee for medical costs), finding a qualified attorney can be difficult. When an injured worker's biggest loss is the cost of medical expenses, often they are actually unable to hire an attorney, because attorneys are not permitted to accept a fee on medical expense claims. This leaves injured workers without the right to legal counsel (an attorney can not even accept an hourly fee, even if the worker is willing to pay by the hour) to fight to get their sometimes huge medical expenses paid.


If the worker has non-medical-expenses, and is able to hire an attorney, and “wins” the case, the  worker still ends up 20% short, because he has to pay his own attorney fee –even when the insurance company loses, it doesn't have to pay the workers legal fees.

So, tell me again exactly how Wisconsin is an anti-business, worker-pandering state?  


December 16, 2010 - 8:35am