Wisconsin’s Workers’ Compensation Laws
As a worker, you want to feel that you are protected whenever you are on the job. Unfortunately, accidents can happen in several situations, and you may find yourself wondering what comes next. In Wisconsin, there are specific laws regarding workers’ compensation and how these matters are handled.
It’s vital for you to understand the workers’ compensation laws, including the following:
- Who is covered?
- What injuries are covered?
- When can you file a workers’ compensation claim?
- What benefits are you entitled to receive?
Our team is here to answer all of your questions and provide you with essential information, so you understand your rights and options every step of the way. We’ll help guide you through the process, so you can feel peace of mind about pursuing a favorable outcome.
If you suffer an injury on the job, give us a call at (414) 240-1185 to discover your options.
Who Is Covered?
According to Wisconsin law, you are covered under the Workers’ Compensation Act if you are an employee who works for an employer that has three or more workers. You are exempt from this act, however, in certain situations. These individuals may not be covered:
- Domestic servants
- Some farmers
- Religious sect members
- Some Native American tribal employees
Essentially, nearly all workers in the public and private employment sectors are covered under Wisconsin law and should receive compensation should your injury occur on the job. If you’re not sure if you are covered, be sure to speak with one of our lawyers.
What Injuries are Covered?
There are two primary categories covered under workers’ compensation laws in Wisconsin: accidental injuries and occupational diseases. These are broken down as follows:
- Accidental injuries: These generally are caused by a single incident easily identifiable in time and place. Examples would be a slip, trip or a fall; a blow or contact with an external object; or a heavy lift, push or pull causing injury.
- Occupational diseases: These are usually caused by exposure to injury producing factors in the workplace over an extended period of time. Included are occupational deafness from prolonged exposure to noise. In addition, body deterioration due to repetitive work activities can qualify as occupational disease. Examples are chronic back and spinal diseases, and other bone and joint diseases.
When Can You File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
A condition must arise out of employment. This has been defined in the law as “where, at the time of injury, the employee is performing service growing out of, and incidental to, his employment”. It must be more than merely being at the place of employment when injured. The activity at time of injury must be part of the employment. Courts have held, however, that an employee on a coffee break, on a lunch break, going to the restroom, getting a bit of fresh air (i.e., “personal comfort” activities) may also qualify. Pre-work preparation and post-work clean up may also qualify. Even if an employee has not punched in or has already punched out when injured, workers compensation benefits are probably payable if the injury occurred on company premises.
Injuries that occur while doing strictly private activities where an attempt to abandon the job temporarily may be inferred, during horseplay or fighting, or self-inflicted may not be covered.
What Benefits Are You Entitled To?
Medical Treatment – all necessary treatment is provided. It includes the services of doctors, chiropractors, podiatrists and hospitals; provision of medicines, prosthetics and hearing aids; dental work and appliances; and reasonable expense of travel for treatment at the appropriate mileage rate. Physical therapy or massages will be covered only if prescribed by a healthcare provider or agreed to by the employer.
Temporary Disability – during the time an injured employee cannot work and is subject to treatment or healing, he will be paid the compensation rate due on a weekly basis. If an employee is totally unable to work, he will be paid the full compensation rate; if he works part time while recuperating, he will be paid partial compensation.
Temporary disability benefits are payable on the fourth day of disability. If an employee is out of work only three days, he does not qualify for temporary disability payments. After seven consecutive days of absence, an employee receives the first three days of compensation. The day of injury is always excluded from compensation payment.
Permanent Disability – when no further treatment as a result of the injuries is advisable and no further healing will occur, an injured person who suffers some type of permanent disability will be entitled to permanent disability benefits.
Permanent total disability may be payable if the permanent injury is serious enough.
Permanent partial disability is payable in all cases where the injury is serious enough to produce permanent injury but not serious enough to cause total disability.
At The Previant Law Firm, S.C., we’re prepared to help you through the complex process. Our Milwaukee workers’ compensation attorneys are ready to explain your rights and options while pursuing the benefits you need to move forward after a workplace injury.
Call us today at (414) 240-1185 and learn how we may be able to help you.