Workers Compensation in Wisconsin
You aren’t alone if you wonder how workers comp works. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides wage and medical benefits to people who have become ill or injured while at work. The extent of workers’ comp coverage an employer is required to carry is governed by Wisconsin state law. Thus, in trying to figure out how workers comp works, it helps to understand the laws on the books in the state where the business operates. If the injury or illness a worker sustains is eligible for compensation, the insurance carrier should help ease the financial burden the illness or injury created on the worker. Learn some of the basic principles of Wisconsin workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.
Workers Compensation Statistics in Wisconsin?
A press release from the U.S. Bureau of Statistics reported Wisconsin as one of the twenty-two states with a higher rate of workplace injuries in 2018. While it’s common to see younger people have more accidents or illnesses, men between the ages of 45 to 54 had the highest number of cases. Data from the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene identifies supersectors of incidents as manufacturing, utilities, and transportation. Out of over 70,400 reports of injury from the private industry, 36,800 were classified as severe cases. In fact, 1.9 out of every 100 Wisconsin workers had a serious injury at work. The unfortunate truth is that rates continue to climb.
How Does Workers Comp Work in Wisconsin?
There is a standard practice to follow when going through the Wisconsin workers’ compensation process. Unfortunately, it begins with you getting sick or injured on the job. The circumstances surrounding the incident that led to the injury are especially crucial. The injury had to occur during the course of your regular work duties. It could also occur while you were performing a special task at the request of your boss.
Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development states that businesses must carry coverage if they have three or more employees. Some exceptions do apply for federal employees, domestic servants, and real estate brokers. Beneficiaries receive ⅔ of their average salary for the last year, and the largest amount you can receive is $808 per week. The Department of Workforce Development also provides resources for workers and their employers about exemptions. There, you can also find more details about benefits. Including weekly disability payments, or payments for special circumstances like disfigurement.
The steps you take immediately following a workplace incident in Wisconsin are critical for purposes of filing a claim for compensation. Follow the following steps to preserve your rights and learn how workers comp works.
Get Medical Attention
After you get injured or feel ill, the first step is to see a doctor. Don’t delay receiving help from a Wisconsin healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines in the workers’ compensation process.
Even if you believe that your injury is minor, get a proper medical report detailing the extent of the damage and how it occurred. This is the first step in the workers’ compensation claim process. Absent a medical report, your employer cannot file a claim with the insurance carrier.
When dealing with a job-related illness, the symptoms and diagnosis may not happen right away. You may find yourself attending regular checkups and testing for weeks or months before a doctor finally associates your illness with your job. All of your medical records will become the foundation from which the workers’ comp carrier will launch its investigation. Your doctor may make the determination that the illness is the result of your work conditions or aggravated by them. Once they do, see your human resources representative to file a workers’ compensation claim.
File a First Report of Injury
Once you have a medical diagnosis relating your illness or injury to your job, you must file a claim with your employer. This is the next important phase of how Wisconsin workers comp works.
Wisconsinites injured on the job have two years from the date of the injury to file for workers’ compensation. It is your responsibility to notify an employer within 30 days of discovering a work-related incident. The company or organization that you work for must file an Employer’s First Report of Injury or Disease within seven days. The greatest amount an individual could receive in compensation in 2020 was $1,051, or ⅔ of a $1,576.50 weekly wage. Beyond the payment of ⅔ of your annual salary, the state also covers medical treatments, mileage, and vocational rehabilitation.
The first report of an on the job injury or illness will provide the workers’ compensation insurance carrier with the details of the events leading up to the injury. In this report, you will provide your physical injuries, the medical treatment you received and the facilities that provided it. It’s always a good idea to submit a copy of the doctor’s report with the report of injury.
Your employer should furnish you with information about the claims process. The adjuster or insurance carrier representative may want to speak to you at some point about the incident and any possible witnesses to the event. Wisconsin has a three-day waiting period before receiving cash compensation for a claim. However, if your disability from a work injury lasts longer than seven days, you are compensated for that time.
Why You Should Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
In learning how Wisconsin workers comp works, many people believe that the injury claims process is straightforward. While this may be the case in some instances, in others, it may be more of a hassle. For instance, your employer may question whether you were hurt on the clock or on your own time. The company may also start to question the extent of your injury. There may even arise pay disputes and long-term care dictated by the doctor. Don’t question how workers comp works and risk losing your claim. Hire a Wisconsin workers’ comp lawyer and ensure you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer in Wisconsin
Your health and wellbeing need to come first. If you are hurt while working or find out an illness you are suffering is the result of your job, you will want to seek compensation. Since the workers’ compensation claims process may be tricky, you should consider getting a local attorney well versed in how to deal with it. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Wisconsin state lines. They can guide you while you continue to learn how workers comp works.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!