I have been representing people injured in the workplace for 27 years. Over the course of that time there are many similar questions. Hopefully, this blog will answer some of yours.
In Wisconsin, worker’s compensation laws cover injuries from either a single accident or that develop from job duties over time. These, repetitive type injuries, often are linked to shoulder or back problems of which the worker does not recall one specific incident but the wear and tear of the repetitive duties of his or her job ultimately cause the serious injury. On the other hand, many injuries are caused by a single event. Either way, worker’s compensation benefits are available to you under both scenarios. In Wisconsin, even if your injury was your fault there is still likely to be coverage afforded you.
Both your temporary as well as any permanent compensation as well as your medical payments are based on medical reports. Most often, these medical reports are from your own doctor. Without prompt and regular reports to the worker’s compensation insurance company and/or your employer, your benefits may be delayed. In some cases, they may even be denied. If the insurer denies your claim, they must inform you within seven (7) days of the decision and advise you of your rights to a hearing.
Now that you know what injuries are covered, what do you do if you are injured? You should immediately report your accident to your supervisor. Sometimes in rare circumstances, you are seriously injured with little or no opportunity to tell anyone what happened. In those rare circumstances, as soon as you are able or have someone on your behalf advise your supervisor that you were injured and that you were injured while working. In the event of a repetitive type injury that happens over time because of your job duties, tell your co-workers and your supervisor that you are having problems. If it is a situation where these repetitive actions over time ultimately cause a “snap” and you are seriously injured definitely tell your supervisor of your injury.
Of course, upon injury you should seek first aide and/or medical attention and then report the accident. Make sure you report how the accident happened or how the injuries developed if over time. This should be reported to the emergency room and/or your doctor so that your medical records clearly set forth when and how your accident occurred.
After reporting your injury and seeking appropriate medical attention, keep your employer informed. If you need to be off of work, get the documentation from your doctor or chiropractor and make sure you give it to your employer. Do not leave your employer wondering if and when you are going to return. Make sure to regularly communicate with your boss.
Every time you visit the doctor or chiropractor, make sure to get an off work excuse as discussed above and keep a copy for yourself while giving the other to your employer. If necessary, make sure the insurance company gets a copy. Finally, if you are represented by an attorney make sure your attorney gets a copy.
It is important that you make every effort to get back to work as soon as possible, within any medical restrictions placed upon by your doctor or chiropractor. Sometimes, you will be returned to work doing something completely different than your pre-accident work. Again, as long as within your restrictions cooperate with your employer. Once you doctor has cleared you to return work with or without restrictions get that information to your employer to see if work is available within those restrictions.
If you have any questions or concerns about worker’s compensation benefits, rights and/or obligations of your employer or their insurance carrier please contact me for a free, no cost, no obligation consultation. Make sure to take all necessary steps to protect your rights under Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation laws.
These cases are handled on a contingency fee basis with no fees paid unless and until there is a recovery. I would be glad to discuss your rights at no cost or obligation to you. If you or a loved one have been injured please contact me to discuss your rights. You can contact me by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (866) 455-2993.