Can I Still Get Worker’s Comp If Injury Was My Fault?
Imagine falling down the steps and injuring your back at work in Milwaukee. You cannot work for months, so how will you support your family? Wisconsin worker’s compensation insurance is a no-fault system, so determining fault is unnecessary to receive benefits for medical bills and lost earnings.
Learn more about worker’s comp benefits below, and contact one of our worker’s comp lawyers in Wisconsin at Gillick, Wicht, Gillick & Graf for questions and solid legal representation. Our attorneys tirelessly help our clients maximize their worker’s comp financial benefits.
When Does Wisconsin Worker’s Comp Cover Injuries?
Wisconsin is a no-fault state for worker’s compensation. Proving fault is not required to receive worker’s compensation. Generally, worker’s comp benefits in Wisconsin must be paid even if the injury was your fault. The law covers mental and physical injuries caused by accidents and occupational diseases. So, you should not need to worry about how the accident happened. If the injury occurred on the job, you should receive benefits in Wisconsin.
If you work in one location, such as an assembly line, office, or store, your injury is typically covered only if it happens at work. If the job requires you to travel, you will be covered at all times when you are on the road. This includes the time you sleep or eat unless you deviate from typical work duties for a personal matter.
Also, if the employer did not follow a federal or state safety law and you were injured, it must pay 15% more compensation, up to $15,000. This is on top of any other compensation you receive. Payment is required even if your carelessness led to the injury.
If you did not follow your company’s safety rules and an injury occurred, compensation can be reduced by 15%, but the reduction cannot be more than $15,000. If your injury was caused by your drug or alcohol use, the insurance provider may only have to pay for your medical expenses.
Who Qualifies For Worker’s Compensation In Wisconsin?
The vast majority of employees in Wisconsin are covered by the state’s no-fault worker’s comp laws from their first day at work. Almost 99% of employees are covered right away. There are a few exceptions for companies with fewer than three employees.
Which Injuries Are Covered By Worker’s Compensation?
The insurance system in Wisconsin is comprehensive, so you are entitled to payments for virtually any injury or illness during your employment. So, you could be eligible for benefits for:
- A one-time injury, such as a sprained back for falling in the employee parking lot
- A repetitive stress injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome from typing
- A preexisting injury made worse by your job, such as a back injury from sitting all day
- An occupational disease, such as asbestosis
How Are My Worker’s Comp Benefits Determined?
All medical payments and compensation are paid based on the medical reports your doctor provides. Their diagnosis of the type and severity of injury will directly affect the compensation you receive. If your doctor does not make regular and prompt reports to the insurance provider or employer, payments can be delayed. If the insurance company does not make payments because it is still looking into your claim, you must be informed within two weeks after it gets notice of your injury.
If your worker’s comp claim is denied, the insurance company must tell you within a week of its decision and tell you about your rights to an appeal hearing. It is recommended that a Wisconsin worker’s comp attorney represent you at any appeal hearing.
Can You Select Your Own Treating Physician?
Yes. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development states that injured employees have the right to get treatments from a doctor of their choice. However, if there is a medical emergency, your company can send you to their preferred medical facility or doctor. From that point, though, you are entitled to pick your treating physician.
What Benefits Can You Receive In A Worker’s Comp Claim?
Worker’s comp is no fault, so you can get paid even if you caused the injury. Depending on the case, you could receive benefits for the following:
- Necessary and reasonable medical treatments
- Temporary disability benefits
- Vocational retraining and rehabilitation
- Permanent disability compensation
Are Part-Time Employees Covered?
Yes. The worker’s compensation laws cover a part-time employee. Whether you work full-time or part-time does not matter for receiving benefits.
What Is An Independent Medical Exam?
The insurance company is allowed by law to perform a medical examination by its doctor to get an opinion on your injury or illness. This may be referred to as an Independent Medical Exam (IME). The insurance company can send you to this examination at reasonable intervals during your recovery. Usually, it should be the same doctor. You have not developed a doctor/patient relationship by attending this exam, so this doctor does not treat you. You are required to attend the IME or your benefits could be suspended.
What If My Company Does Not Have Work For Me?
If your injury caused a permanent partial disability or permanent restrictions, you could be entitled to benefits for job retraining. If you think you are physically able to do a job, but your company claims not to have such work available, talk to your worker’s compensation attorney for advice.
Can I Sue My Company?
No. You cannot sue your employer or a co-worker for a work injury in Wisconsin. But you can still sue a third party that contributed to your injury, such as the company that made the factory equipment that led to the disability.
Speak To Our Worker’s Comp Lawyers In Wisconsin Today
If you were hurt at work in Wisconsin, you likely qualify for worker’s compensation. Wisconsin is a no-fault state for worker’s compensation, so even if you caused your injury, you are entitled to compensation. Speak to our worker’s comp lawyers in Wisconsin at Gillick, Wicht, Gillick & Graf today by calling (414) 257-2667. Our attorneys have obtained fair worker’s compensation benefits for many satisfied clients in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin.