What You Shouldn’t Do While On Worker’s Comp
Worker’s compensation in Wisconsin is designed to provide financial support and medical benefits to employees who sustain work-related injuries or illnesses. However, it is essential to understand that specific actions and behaviors can jeopardize your worker’s compensation benefits. This report will explore what you shouldn’t do while on worker’s comp in Wisconsin, citing relevant Wisconsin laws and providing detailed explanations to help you protect your benefits.
Delay Reporting Your Injury
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to delay reporting your work-related injury to your employer. In Wisconsin, you must report your injury to your employer as soon as possible but no later than 30 days after the accident or diagnosis of the occupational disease. Failure to report your injury to your employer can result in denying your worker’s compensation claim. According to Wisconsin Statute § 102.12(1), timely notification is crucial for preserving your rights to compensation benefits.
Neglecting Medical Treatment
You must seek timely and appropriate medical treatment to avoid damaging your worker’s compensation claim. Wisconsin law (Wis. Stat. § 102.42) requires injured employees to cooperate fully with medical treatment and follow the treatment plan their healthcare providers prescribe. Neglecting medical advice or not attending scheduled appointments may lead to denying, reducing, or ending your worker’s compensation benefits.
Disregarding Your Doctor’s Restrictions
Ignoring your treating physician’s restrictions can negatively impact your worker’s compensation claim. You must adhere to these recommendations when a doctor provides work restrictions or orders you to stay off work temporarily. Returning to work against medical advice or engaging in activities that exceed your restrictions may jeopardize your health and sabotage your worker’s compensation claim, as it suggests you are not genuinely injured.
Failing to Document Your Injury and Recovery
Proper documentation is crucial when pursuing a worker’s compensation claim and while on worker’s comp. Keep detailed records of your injury, medical treatment, and recovery progress. Take photographs of visible injuries, keep copies of medical bills and prescriptions, and maintain a journal of your pain levels and limitations. This documentation can serve as valuable evidence to support your claim in case of disputes.
Discussing Your Case on Social Media
In today’s digital age, being cautious about what you post on social media is essential. Insurance companies often monitor claimants’ social media profiles to find evidence that could be used against them. Avoid posting photos or comments that could suggest you are not as injured as you claim to be, as it may jeopardize your worker’s compensation benefits.
Avoid Housework or Yard Work
It is very important to avoid engaging in any work, housework, or yard work within plain view during the course of your worker’s compensation claim. Such activities can be misconstrued as evidence that your injury is not as severe as claimed, potentially jeopardizing your case. It’s essential to remember that even seemingly minor actions can have significant implications when it comes to your claim.
Working a Second Job or Engaging in Unauthorized Employment
While on worker’s comp, engaging in a second job or any unauthorized employment can harm your claim. Wisconsin law (Wis. Stat. § 102.43) requires claimants to report any earnings from other employment while receiving worker’s compensation benefits. Failure to do so may lead to a reduction or termination of your benefits.
Ignoring Vocational Rehabilitation Opportunities
If your work-related injury or illness prevents you from returning to your previous job, vocational rehabilitation may be offered to help you find suitable employment. Ignoring these opportunities can negatively impact your claim, as it may be viewed as a refusal to cooperate with efforts to get you back to work. Exploring vocational rehabilitation options and participating actively when those rehabilitation treatments are provided is paramount.
Not Consulting with a Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Attorney
Dealing with Wisconsin’s worker’s compensation system can be complex, and insurance companies usually try to deny or minimize claims. Therefore, it’s very important that you consult with an experienced Wisconsin worker’s compensation attorney to avoid putting your financial interests at risk. An experienced attorney from Gillick, Wicht, Gillick & Graf can provide valuable guidance, protect your rights, and ensure you receive the full benefits you are entitled to under Wisconsin worker’s compensation law.
Moreover, never sign any documents without consulting an attorney. As a recently injured worker, you are facing various financial responsibilities, including medical bills, groceries, rent or mortgage payments, and numerous other immediate expenses that cannot afford to wait for a prolonged legal battle. Consequently, many injured workers might be tempted to hastily accept a settlement offer.
However, by doing so, you may inadvertently forfeit a substantial amount of compensation, the possibility of receiving top-notch medical care, and the opportunity for vocational training if your injury leads to permanent limitations. Collaborating with a Wisconsin worker’s compensation attorney presents numerous advantages and safeguards your best interests in this process.
A Final Word About What You Shouldn’t Do While On Worker’s Compensation
Understanding what you shouldn’t do while on Wisconsin worker’s comp is crucial to protecting your claim. Delaying reporting your injury, neglecting medical treatment, disregarding your doctor’s restrictions, failing to document your injury and recovery, discussing your case on social media, engaging in unauthorized employment, ignoring vocational rehabilitation opportunities, and not consulting with an attorney are all actions that can harm your worker’s compensation claim. By being aware of these potential pitfalls and following Wisconsin’s worker’s compensation laws, you can safeguard your rights and ensure you continue to receive the benefits you deserve. If you have questions or concerns about your worker’s compensation claim in Wisconsin, call the experienced worker’s compensation claim attorneys at Gillick, Wicht, Gillick & Graf. We can provide personalized guidance and representation.
Call Our Milwaukee Worker’s Comp Lawyers to Protect Your Claim!
If you or a loved one has incurred a workplace injury eligible for Wisconsin worker’s compensation, it’s very important that you comprehend the steps required to safeguard your legal rights. The experienced attorneys at Gillick, Wicht, Gillick & Graf are ready to handle your qualifying worker’s compensation claim. Contact our dedicated Milwaukee worker’s compensation attorneys at 414-257-2667 to receive your free consultation.