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You’ve Been Injured at Work. Now What?
What to do after you’ve been injured at work
Whether you will be treated fairly when you are injured at work is largely determined on the date of the injury. In general, workers’ compensation insurers view claims skeptically and will transform any misstep into a basis to deny a claim, or prematurely suspend benefits.
(1) Report every injury. Do not try to determine for yourself whether your injury is serious enough to report. It may become serious at a future date and failure to report it at the time the injury occurred may defeat your right to workers’ compensation benefits later.
(2) Report the injury on the date it occurs, or when you first notice symptoms. A delay in reporting your injury can create a basis for the insurer to deny your workers’ compensation claim.
(3) Seek medical treatment immediately. As with a late report of injury, a delay in getting medical treatment may give the skeptical workers’ compensation insurer a basis to deny your claim. In addition, failure to obtain early medical treatment can make it difficult to prove that your injury led to a later disability. “Maybe it will get better” are dangerous words when it comes to work‑related injuries.
(4) Obtain treatment only from your personal physician, or from a physician you trust. An injured worker may receive services from any medical doctor, chiropractor, podiatrist or psychologist licensed in Wisconsin. An employer cannot restrict your choice of health care provider or clinic, except in certain unusual emergency situations. We recommend against submitting to treatment by the “company doctor” or at the “company clinic.” We also advise our clients that you do not need to use the services of the workers’ compensation nurse.
(5) Give both the employer and your physician an accurate and detailed description of the injury or condition. Give a complete accident and injury history, with as much detail as possible, including dates and times. Actual symptoms or medical complaints should not be minimized. Decisions on compensability or permanent disability may be influenced by your initial reporting.
We invite you to contact our Milwaukee workers’ comp attorneys if you have questions or are involved in a dispute regarding your workers’ compensation claim.