Workers' Compensation in Wisconsin
Work compensation in Wisconsin (referred to also as workers' comp, workmans compensation, and workers' compensation) is a system through which injured or sick workers receive income for lost wages and medical benefits during the time they spend recovering from their injuries or sicknesses. The State of Wisconsin mandates that nearly all employers in Wisconsin have work compensation insurance to cover their employees. However, it is important to note that most of the time, independent contractors are not covered by workmans comp insurance. Your injury or disease must be reported to the Wisconsin >Worker's Compensation Division within specific timelines.
Certain workers' comp matters necessitate the assistance of legal counsel. For instance, if your boss does not have work compensation insurance, does not have enough insurance, or refuses to cooperate, having a lawyer at your side can be crucial to the success of your claim. Similarly, if your case becomes more complicated because a third person was involved in your injury, or because a defective product caused your injury and the manufacturer may be responsible, a Wisconsin workers comp attorney can discuss your options with you, recommend a course of action, and answer any questions you may have.
Illnesses and Injuries Covered Under Wisconsin Workers' Compensation Law
Accidental Physical Injuries
- Accidental injuries that happen at the site of employment will fall under the umbrella of Wisconsin workmans comp insurance. Such accidents may be caused by slipping, falling, or tripping at the worksite, among other causes.
- Sometimes, an injury that happens on-the-job will not be covered by work compensation insurance. For example, if the employee is intoxicated or on drugs at the time of the accident, or if the employee''s injury is self-inflicted.
- Occupational diseases are those which an employee contracts because of repeated exposure at his workplace in the course of his employment, or hazardous conditions at the worksite to which the worker is exposed. Examples are: black lung disease, radiation poisoning, carpal tunnel syndrome, and hearing loss.
- If an injured worker dies from his workplace injury, his dependents will be eligible for death benefits.
The Wisconsin Worker's Comp Claims Process
- Notify Your Boss
- Immediately notify your supervisor or manager that you are injured (and be sure to do so within 30 days of your injury at the latest). A delay in reporting your injury may jeopardize your ability to receive workmans compensation benefits. You boss must then report your injury to his insurance carrier, and the insurance carrier, in turn, will tell the Wisconsin Workers' Compensation Division about your injury. Claims must be filed within 2 years of the initial injury or from the first manifestations of the illness or they will be barred.
- Once filed, your claim will remain open for 12 years in Wisconsin.
- Seek medical attention as soon as you are injured.
- Get in touch with a Wisconsin workmans compensation Attorney for help with filing your claim, or if your claim has been denied.
Benefits Received in Wisconsin Under the Workers' Compensation Program
Counsel in Wisconsin who focuses on workmans comp law can help you understand the potential benefits to which you are entitled as an employee suffering from a job-connected injury or sickness. The following are potential benefits in Wisconsin:
- Medical Treatment: All medical expenses-including, but not limited to, hospital fees, doctor bills, and other treatments related to the work injury are covered by insurance, and the fees paid directly to the heath care provider.
- Wage Reimbursement: When an injured or ill worker must travel to and from his medical appointments, he will be paid for all time spent traveling to appointments and all time spent being examined in these appointments to make up for income he loses during this time.
- Funeral: Not to exceed $10,000.
- Death: Surviving spouses and dependent children of a worker who dies from his job-related injury or sickness can expect death benefits in varying amounts.
- Vocational Rehabilitation: If a worker suffers from a serious injury or illness connected to his job and it is impossible for him to perform the functions of his old job, he may be eligible to receive career planning, retraining, and/or job placement.
- Income Benefits: Workmans comp income benefits can be separated into four categories:
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD for short): Provided when the employee is completely unable to work and suffers a total loss of income.
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (or TPD for short): When a worker is working at a job that pays less, or when he is working fewer hours because of the effect of the injury or illness.
- Amount: 2/3 of the employee's average weekly wage, subject to a legal maximum.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD for short): The worker's injury or illness makes it impossible for him to find employment
- Amount: These benefits will depend on the employee's percentage of wage loss.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD for short): The worker has healed to his maximum medical potential, and is able to work, but is still impaired by his injury or illness and is unable to return to his original job because of the physical limitations caused by his disease or injury.
- Amount: The worker will be paid 2/3 of his average weekly rate each week subject to a legal maximum.
- Amount: Depends on the part of the body injured or affected.
Why Hire a Wisconsin Workers' Comp Lawyer?
The stakes inherent in filing a workers' comp claim are so high that it may be necessary to hire a Wisconsin work compensation lawyer to help you keep track of filing deadlines, navigate the complicated policies and procedures involved in Wisconsin workmans compensation law, and recommend a strategy or course of action if your claim has been contested or denied. A Wisconsin workers compensation attorney can also discuss with you, your possible recovery options and act as an intermediary between you and the Wisconsin Workers' Compensation Commission if necessary.
Wisconsin Workers' Compensation Act
- Employers Subject To Workers' Compensation
- Workers' Compensation Act, Chp.102 §§3-4.
- Covered Employees
- Workers' Compensation Act, Chp.102 § 7.
- Workers' Compensation Act, Chp.102.
- Claims Procedure
- Workers' Compensation Act, Chp.102 §12, 15.