Most Important Components Of Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation
The people of Wisconsin are entitled to a safe workplace. Unfortunately, many workplace accidents happen yearly, with thousands of workers seeking medical care for job-related injuries. State law requires most companies to offer workers’ compensation, but getting a claim approved can be daunting. If your claim was recently denied, our Milwaukee workers’ compensation lawyers at Gillick, Wicht, Gillick, & Graf may be able to help.
Essential Facts About Wisconsin’s Workers’ Compensation Laws
If you were hurt in a job-related accident in Wisconsin, you could be entitled to benefits and medical benefits as you recover. Here are several things to understand about the state’s workers’ compensation laws:
Workers Must Provide Enough Notice
Wisconsin law states that the injured worker must provide the employer with sufficient notice that a workplace injury occurred. Generally, notice should be given within 30 days of the injury. If it is an occupational disease, notice should be provided as soon as the worker reasonably knows the condition is related to their employment. If you do not offer sufficient notice, it could complicate your ability to receive benefits.
Most Employers In The State Provide No-Fault Benefits
It is important not to confuse workers’ comp and personal injury claims. In a personal injury claim, you must prove that the defendant’s actions or inactions caused your injuries. However, workers’ compensation in Wisconsin is offered on a no-fault basis, meaning you can file regardless of fault. Most businesses and nonprofits operating in the state must provide no-fault workers’ compensation insurance.
Many Financial Benefits Are Available
Workers’ compensation insurance in the state offers coverage for medical treatments that are needed and related to your injury or occupational illness. You are entitled to comprehensive medical care and should receive weekly financial benefits if you must take off work after the accident. Your benefits are determined based on your pre-injury earnings. If you have a permanent impairment or disability, more compensation could be available.
You Can Appeal A Claim Denial
Injured workers are entitled under the law to financial support after a job-related accident. Unfortunately, not every employer and insurance company allows the claims process to go smoothly. If your claim was denied, you can appeal, and Gillick, Wicht, Gillick & Graf can help.
What to Do If Your Workers’ Comp Claim Is Denied
Imagine you are injured and unable to work because of a job-related injury. You filed for workers’ compensation and found out your claim was denied. A workers’ compensation claim can be denied for many reasons, ranging from clerical errors on the application to disputes over your diagnosis and treatment plan. If your claim was denied, do not panic, and follow these steps:
Go Over The Denial Letter
When a workers’ compensation claim is denied, you are entitled to a written denial letter explaining why the decision was made. The denial letter could be confusing; you may need to consult an attorney to understand it fully.
Talk To A Workers’ Compensation Attorney
An experienced workers’ comp attorney can offer legal guidance and explain the reasoning behind the denial. Your attorney can answer questions and provide your legal options going forward.
File An Appeal
You can file a workers’ comp appeal by asking for a hearing. Generally, this means you must complete and return Form WKC-7. Ensure that you start the appeals process quickly because you do not want to miss the opportunity to appeal what could be an unfair denial of workers’ compensation benefits.
Be Ready For A Long Process
The workers’ comp appeals system has several parts. You can continue the appeal process if the judge does not approve the claim at the hearing stage. The next step of the appeal process is overseen by the Labor and Industry Review Commission (LIRC).
The Injury Must Arise Out Of Employment
Another critical aspect of Wisconsin’s workers’ compensation laws is that the injury or illness must arise from the employment. What does this mean? Consider these aspects:
Most accidents that lead to workers’ comp benefits happened on the job. Examples include falls, being hit by a falling or moving object, tripping on steps, or overexertion and strains.
Injured While Traveling To And From Work
Usually, you can only be paid for an injury to or from work when it happens on company property. For instance, if you fall on the steps on company property when you are going into the office, this could be covered under workers’ compensation. Or, suppose you slipped on ice in the company parking lot. This accident also would be compensable under the law.
Injured While Meeting Personal Needs
Usually, a worker who is hurt at work while dealing with personal needs, such as going to the restroom, is covered by workers’ compensation. However, injuries off of company property, such as a restaurant visit at lunchtime, are not covered. But if you are injured at lunchtime in the company breakroom, that would be covered by workers’ compensation.
Injuries Off Company Property But Still Working
Suppose the injury happened off of company property, but you were still performing work for your employer. This would be a compensable accident. For example, if you are injured in the airport while traveling on company business, this would likely be covered by workers’ compensation.
If you are in a traffic accident while conducting company business, this would usually be covered. For instance, a delivery driver on the clock hurt in an intersection accident would be paid workers’ compensation. But if that same driver was doing personal business and hurt in the same accident, this probably would not qualify for benefits.
Contact Our Milwaukee Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Today
You should not be discouraged if your workers’ compensation claim was denied recently. Our Milwaukee workers’ compensation lawyers at Gillick, Wicht, Gillick, & Graf may be able to help, so call (414) 257-2667. You do not pay a legal fee until you are paid.