Understanding The Process
In Wisconsin, employers are required to purchase insurance for their employees from a workers’ compensation insurance company. It is this company, not your direct employer that pays the benefits according to formulas set by the state. If you are employed in Wisconsin, your workers’ compensation coverage kicks in the first day you go to work, even if it’s a training day.
I Got Hurt On The Job: Now What?
In a typical workers’ compensation claim, there are specific steps you can take:
- Report your injury or ailment to your supervisor immediately. Once you report your injury to your employer, your employer must report it to the company’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. If it is a repetitive stress injury, or medical condition caused by work over time, you should still ask your employer to fill out an injury report and get a claim started with the insurance company. Be sure to identify the work activities that are aggravating your condition.
- See your own doctor. Don’t see the doctor your employer suggests. If you need help, we can provide the names of good, independent providers.
- Meet with one of our attorneys. Do this if you are having any problems obtaining benefits for your work injury or illness.
What A Lawyer Can Do For You
We will obtain medical records to substantiate your workers’ compensation claim and file an application for a hearing with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. We bolster your case by gathering medical evidence, including specific reports from doctors. We also determine the percentage of disability sustained, and address when and whether you will be able to return to your job.
We advocate for you in the administrative law court, presenting evidence, calling witnesses, and conducting direct and cross-examination.
If we are successful, you are then issued payment; our fee is deducted from that amount. If necessary, we appeal your claim; we also respond to appeals made by the insurance company.
Administrative workers at Wisconsin’s state workers’ compensation office are too busy managing workloads to help individual workers navigate the system. Employers are not likely to be very helpful, either. This is why you should consider working with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to guide you through the maze of rules, regulations and bureaucracy.
How Long Will This Take?
If your case is not disputed, usually the first payment for lost wages will be made by the insurance company within two weeks of your last day worked. Your medical expense should be paid in its entirety regardless of whether you lose time from work. If payment is not received, call your employer or the insurance carrier to learn why.
Initially, you will not receive payment for the first three days of lost time. Compensation begins with the fourth day of lost time. If your disability extends beyond seven calendar days, the first three days of lost time will be paid retroactively.
Disputes Can Delay The Process
If your claim is in dispute, unfortunately it may take some time to recover the benefits to which you are entitled. Although workers’ compensation is not a “lawsuit”, a disputed case can take up to a year or more to resolve. This is quicker, however, than most lawsuits.
If your claim is delayed or denied, contact our firm at 715-318-2743.
You Can Trust Our Experience
At Siedow & Jackson, SC, our attorneys have spent the past three decades meeting injured workers, hearing their stories and working with them to obtain the highest possible compensation. To learn more or schedule your free initial consultation, call our Eau Claire office at 715-318-2743 or toll-free at 888-896-6174, or contact us online.