Understanding what workers’ compensation can do for you as a worker in Wisconsin is not guaranteed to be straightforward. In fact, most workers in the state can probably admit that they were never given even a rough outline of workers’ comp from their employer when they were hired. If you are in the same situation and want to know more or how to file a claim, check out this brief Wisconsin workers’ compensation from The Previant Law Firm, S.C. in Milwaukee. To get information directly from an attorney, contact us today.
Frequently Asked Questions About Workers’ Comp
What is workers’ compensation coverage?Workers’ compensation is a system designed to provide lost wages and medical costs to a worker who is hurt on the job. Liability for a workplace accident is rarely a factor in workers’ compensation claims, which means you can get compensation even if you inadvertently caused your own injuries. The trade-off is that employers can rarely be sued directly by an injured worker who has been given workers’ compensation benefits./div>
What is an on-the-job injury?
“On-the-job” is actually an intentionally broad term. If you are hurt in your place of work or while performing a work-related task anywhere, you can get workers’ compensation benefits. For example, you are covered if you get hurt while on lunch in the breakroom, at a company holiday party hosted by a local hotel, or while traveling for work, like going to the store to get more printer ink for your supervisor.
What benefits can you probably get?
Wisconsin workers’ compensation laws require eligible claimants to be provided the full cost of all necessary medical treatments, reimbursement for traveling to medical appointments and prescription medicines, and about 66-1/3% of their typical wages or salary.
Can I get retrained if I can’t keep doing my job?
Some workplace injuries are severe enough to permanently prevent you from continuing your typical employment role. If this happens, then your workers’ compensation benefits should include retraining to place you in a “suitable position.” A position is considered “suitable” if it pays at least 90% of what you made previously and does not put you at risk of further harm. For example, if you worked in a stockroom moving boxes but hurt your back, then you could be retrained to work in your supervisor’s office as an assistant as long as your wages reflected a suitable amount.
When do I need to tell my employer?
You need to tell your employer or supervisor about your workplace accident within 30 days of it. However, the sooner you can tell them, the better. Ideally, your employer or supervisor will be told about your accident within the hour of it happening. Waiting longer than 30 days can invalidate your chances of filing a claim, but every day that passes will add to your employer’s suspicion about the legitimacy of your accident and injuries.
Do I get benefits right away?
You do not get workers’ compensation immediately after being in a workplace accident. There is a 3-day waiting period that must pass before you can make a claim to benefits. In other words, if your injury makes you miss less than 3 days of work, then you are not guaranteed wage-related benefits, but you should still be given medical treatment coverage. If you are unable to work for 7 days or longer, then you can be retroactively compensated for the first 3 days that went unpaid, though.
How can I be sure if I am covered by workers’ compensation?
Nearly every employer in Wisconsin needs to provide workers’ compensation for their employees. Any company with 3 or more workers, except farming companies in the agricultural industry, needs to purchase a workers’ compensation insurance policy that covers all of their employees. Coverage begins on the first day an employee works, too. Companies with 3 or fewer workers must provide coverage to any worker who has earned at least $500 in the last fiscal quarter or 3 months. Independent contractors are not considered employees and do not need to be provided workers’ compensation coverage by law.
Can I get fired because I got hurt?
No, your employer is not allowed to terminate your employment because you were hurt or because you filed for workers’ compensation benefits. If you are fired after an on-the-job accident, then it could be considered retaliation or employment discrimination. You should speak with both a workers’ compensation lawyer and an employment law attorney if you are in such a situation.
What type of injuries are considered work-related?
Virtually any type of injury suffered in the workplace or during a job duty can be considered a work-related injury covered by workers’ compensation. Most people imagine serious injuries being related to a workers’ comp claim, like a back or neck injury. The truth is many filings follow less visible injuries, like hearing loss experienced from working in a manufacturing plant or repetitive stress injuries suffered from using a keyboard in an office for 40 hours a week. Workers’ compensation can even be granted to employees who suffer mental health difficulties like anxiety or depression due to the scope of their work.
Can I choose my own doctor to treat me?
Wisconsin gives injured employees noticeable control over the medical provider they see after being hurt in a workplace injury. If your injuries are severe or you are unresponsive, then you should be taken to the nearest emergency care facility. Any other time or for follow up appointments, though, you can tell your employer where you want to go.