Know the Time Limits in the Claim Process for Workers’ Compensation

Workers' Compensation Claim Process

Were you injured in the workplace? If so, it is normal to feel anxious, stressed out, and overwhelmed by the situation. Workers’ compensation insurance offers much needed financial protection. You do not want to miss out on your opportunity to recover benefits.

If you fail to act before an important deadline runs out, your claim may not be allowed to go forward. Here, our Milwaukee workers’ comp attorney provides an overview of the time limits in the Wisconsin workers’ compensation claims process.

1. Report a Workplace Injury (Immediately or Within 30 Days)

First and foremost, injured workers have a legal obligation to report their accident to their employer. According to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, you should report your injuries to your supervisor without delay.

If you fail to report an accident within 30 days, you may not be denied workers’ comp benefits. This is one of the most important deadlines you need to know about. If you get hurt on the job, tell your employer right away. Under Wisconsin law, your company cannot punish you for reporting an accident. Also, your employer has a legal duty to notify its insurer within seven (7) days.

2. File a Claim or Seek a Formal Hearing (6 Years for Traumatic Event, 12 Years for Occupational Disease)

Reporting a work injury is not the same thing as filing a claim. Ideally, your claim will be handled fairly, and benefits will be given out without much delay. In most cases, injured Wisconsin workers receive an update on their claim within a few weeks. If you are not offered full and fair workers’ compensation benefits, you have the right to request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Under Wisconsin law (Wis. Stat. § 102.17(4)), how long you have to request this type of hearing depends, in part, on the nature of your case. More specifically, injured workers typically have:

  • Six (6) years to request a formal hearing after sustaining a ‘traumatic injury’; and
  • Twelve (12) years to request a hearing for an occupational disease.

There are some exceptions. You may be able to extend the time limit in certain cases. Never assume you are prevented from bringing a claim. If you have any specific questions about the time limit that applies to your case, call an experienced work injury lawyer for guidance.

3. Appeal an Adverse Decision from an Administrative Law Judge (21 Days)

Unfortunately, injured workers sometimes struggle to get access to the full and fair benefits they rightfully deserve. If the Administrative Law Judge rules against you, it is imperative you take immediate action to protect your rights. You still have legal options available. You have a very limited amount of time to file an appeal. You must appeal to the Labor Industry Review Commission (LIRC) within 21 days after getting an unfavorable decision from an ALJ.

Call Our Milwaukee, WI Workers’ Compensation Lawyers for Immediate Assistance

At Gillick, Wicht, Gillick & Graf, our Wisconsin workers’ compensation attorneys are experienced, results-oriented advocates for clients. We are proud to be The Injured Worker’s Law Firm. For a no-fee, no commitment review of your case, please contact our law firm at (415) 257-2667. We represent injured workers throughout the region, including in Milwaukee County, Racine County, Waukesha County, Ozaukee County, Washington County, and Kenosha County.