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Hayward WI Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Tow truck drivers are at risk from negligent drivers

When people see a tow truck on the side of the road, it's only natural to take a look. It may be there for an inoperable vehicle after a crash or just helping a stranded driver.

If that vehicle (and the tow truck) are in the road, it can be frustrating for drivers who are trying to get somewhere and running late. However, just like first responders and road construction workers, tow truck drivers are at risk of being struck by negligent, distracted or reckless drivers while they're doing their job.

Which should come first - your bankruptcy or your wedding?

You're seriously in debt and considering bankruptcy. However, you're also engaged to be married. The key question is whether you should file for bankruptcy before or after your wedding. The related questions are whether your marriage will impact your bankruptcy and how the bankruptcy will affect your spouse if you file after you're married.

If the person you're marrying doesn't have serious debt issues, it's likely best to file for bankruptcy before you say "I Do." They aren't legally responsible for any debt you've incurred on your own prior to the marriage. However, since Wisconsin is a community property state, they will be responsible for debt you take on after you get married. If you still have problems with spending above your means, that's going to impact them.

You can help your child prevent being bitten by a dog

As the weather starts to get warmer, kids will be outside more. So will dogs.

Dogs and children can be a dangerous combination. Kids often make quick, unexpected movements that can frighten a dog and cause it to react out of fear or possessiveness of its person or territory. Even when a dog thinks it's playing, it may be big or strong enough to hurt a child. The majority of kids who suffer dog bites are under 14.

Can bankruptcy help you with overdue alimony and child support?

If your debt is overwhelming, you may be considering bankruptcy. But what if part of that debt includes alimony and/or child support? Getting behind on those payments -- particularly child support -- can have serious legal ramifications.

If you're already behind on those payments, filing for bankruptcy won't eliminate what you owe your ex. You can't discharge what the bankruptcy code calls "domestic support obligations" (DSO) as you can some other debts. These are obligations for spousal or child support that are part of a legal agreement or court order.

What are some common issues with titles?

Buying a home is one of the most complicated personal transactions someone can make. If you're purchasing a home that's had multiple owners over many years, you can't always know its full history. There may have been damage long ago that you're not aware of.

There may also be past issues with the title involving the current or previous owners. That's why a thorough title search is crucial.

Be careful how you leave a foreclosed home

Sometimes, filing for bankruptcy can help people keep their homes. However, perhaps you can't or choose not to save your home from foreclosure. Maybe the foreclosure is a done deal when you begin looking seriously at bankruptcy and all that's left to do is move out of it.

Be careful when leaving a foreclosed home. Don't think you have nothing to lose, so you may as well take what you can get from it. If you strip the home of everything in it in an effort to walk away with things you can sell or reuse, you could pay a big price.

Can you sue an employer rather than seek workers' comp?

Typically, when someone suffers an injury in the workplace, they cannot sue their employer -- even if the employer could and should have prevented it. One of the primary reasons that businesses have workers' compensation insurance is so that employees can receive compensation for injuries and illnesses without taking their employers to court.

There are, however, instances in which an employee can sue if they've suffered harm in the workplace. They can sue for what are considered "intentional torts." These are injuries (physical and/or emotional) that were intentional on someone's part. They can include criminal behavior, like assault and battery, theft and false imprisonment.

Firefighters, occupational cancer and workers' compensation

People who don't have a firefighter in the family often assume that the most dangerous part of the job is fighting fires. However, the number of firefighters who die from cancer caused by their occupation may be as much as thirty times greater than the number who die in fires, according to Boston's fire chief. He says, "We have about 13 members right now who are battling various stages of cancers, active members. And we have a number of retirees in that fight."

Lung cancer is certainly one type of occupational cancer linked to firefighting. Firefighters have also contracted brain cancer, thyroid cancer and other forms of the disease. The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) reports that nearly two out of three deaths related to that occupation since 2002 have been from cancer.

Wisconsin may recognize PTSD as a workplace hazard

When is an injury related to someone's work? This is easy to judge when someone is hit by a forklift or slips on a run in a carpet at their place of employment, and these injuries are rarely challenged when victims claim workers' compensation. But some people cannot help but bring their work home with them, and that means the danger comes home as well.

Lawmakers in Wisconsin are concerned about the toll that work is taking on the state's first responders. Police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians already bear a lot of weight when it comes to the gravity of their work. Now, studies show that suicide is becoming a higher risk for these people.

Workers' compensation case complicated by claims

Workers' compensation insurance is one of the few guarantees in a world full of risks. Wisconsin's requirement that employers can pay for workers' injuries on the job helps make sure that employees aren't an injury away from financial ruin.

The process of determining whether an injury or illness is covered by workers' compensation is relatively simple: If a worker was doing something related to his or her job at the time, the ailment is usually covered. But some cases may end up confused from the point of view of those who decided if compensation applies.

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