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Milwaukee Workers' Compensation Blog

5 frequently asked questions about workers' comp in Wisconsin

Wisconsin's workers' compensation laws can be difficult to understand. If you've been hurt in the course of employment, however, confusion about the benefits you're entitled to receive can only serve to aggravate your injury. With that in mind, here are answers to five of the most commonly asked questions following an on-the-job injury in Wisconsin.

1. What benefits are available to me if I'm hurt while on the job?

When you can file an injury lawsuit alongside a workers' compensation claim

If you were hurt at work, you may think filing a workers' compensation claim is your only option. In most situations, a work comp claim is the only recourse - paying lost time benefits, medical bills and potentially permanent disability or vocational benefits. That means no damages for pain and suffering or the impact on your family.

However, in certain situations filing a personal injury lawsuit is also a viable course of action!

Can I Get Workers' Compensation for My Heart Condition?

You may already be aware that workers' compensation covers most injuries and certain health conditions you sustain on the job. However, you might find yourself wondering if cardiac disease and strokes qualify.

Many employers and the medical community are aware of how taxing toxic work environments and stress are on employee health. They are also aware that heart disease and heart attacks can occur from other causes that have nothing to do with work.

Injury At Work: Is Anyone Else To Blame?

Even when you have the proper training, there are many occupations that come with inherent risks. After all, accidents happen in virtually any employment setting. If you sustain an injury on the job, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. Depending upon the factors surrounding the injury or illness, you may also be able to file a third-party claim against a non-employer. Specifically, if someone/something outside of your employer or coworker was responsible for your injury, you may explore a third-party personal injury lawsuit.

In order to file your claim successfully, you must understand all that it entails. There are a few different types of third-party claims you may file.

How workers' comp and social security disability work for you

For certain individuals who are unable to work, there is assistance available. If you are eligible for workers' compensation benefits, you may also be able to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

Some people may have the false notion that utilizing both benefits will result in "double-dipping." However, the benefits generally are separate from each other, and those individuals who receive both may do so in most instances.

PTSD After Work Accident

Work injuries are more than just the physical trauma--many workers suffer devastating psychological injuries following an accident.  In particular, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is a common diagnosis for many workers.  For more information, Charlie Domer recently commented on mental health claims under Wisconsin workers' compensation law.

Know the time limits in the claim process for workers' comp

If you have been hurt on the job, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. This can help both you and your family, which may alleviate some stress and help to expedite your healing process.

Though accidents happen all the time, some individuals do not receive the compensation they deserve because they did not follow correct protocol or be their own advocates. After a workers' compensation injury, make sure that you understand the process and what time limits you and your employer must meet.

Could posting on social media hurt your workers' comp claim?

If you're like many people, you share bits and pieces of your life on social media. If you've made a workers' compensation claim, you might want to be careful about what you post because more insurance companies are using social media posts to combat insurance fraud. Your claim could be impacted negatively or even denied because you are not acting consistently with your reported injury. 

For example, if you injure your back at work and submit a workers' comp claim, but then post on social media that you went hiking or helped your neighbor move, it could suggest that you were not injured. Many of your daily activities could raise flags or negative perceptions, even something as normal as grocery shopping. Having a work comp claim does not mean you must be bed-ridden or housebound, but the insurance company may try to paint any activities in a bad light in hopes of using it in front of a judge.

What to do if my workers' compensation claim is denied?

Many people in Milwaukee assume that if they suffer an injury on the job that their workers' compensation claims will automatically be approved. But there are many reasons why claims are denied. If you recently filed a claim for benefits only to receive a denial letter, you do have options available. 

You may challenge that denial by filing an appeal. Before you do, you should learn more about the process to avoid delays and complications with your case. 

Understanding brain injuries in the workplace

Workplace accidents are common, and that is why there is a safety net provided for in the law in the form of workers' compensation. Employers are required to purchase insurance to cover this eventuality so that when someone is hurt, there will be resources to take care of them. Sometimes, though, the injury can be more difficult to detect and treat because the symptoms are not as apparent. One case like this is when workers sustain moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries.

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