How To File A Workers’ Compensation Claim In Wisconsin

If you get injured on the job, it can have a severe impact on your health and your finances. The injury can lead to lost wages, lost earning capacity, short-term medical bills, long-term medical care costs and more.

At Domer Law, S.C., we use more than 80 years of combined legal experience to help our clients in Milwaukee,Waukesha, Racine, Kenosha, Green Bay, Appleton, Oshkosh, and all over the state of Wisconsin explore all of their legal options for workers’ compensation. As workers’ comp attorneys, we are dedicated to helping injured workers get the benefits they need and deserve. Our lawyers work tirelessly to help you every step of the way, from filing the claim to presenting medical evidence to starting an appeal.

What Steps Do You Need To Take To File Workers’ Comp?

The first step is to report the injury to your employer (if there was a traumatic accident), including the date and time. This should be done as soon as possible following the injury (even if you don’t think the injury is that bad or will heal quickly). Next, you also need to seek medical treatment, as this will help to provide the medical evidence for your claim. Be sure to document your injury and keep all paperwork—ask your medical provider for an off work or physical limitation note. Without medical treatment, you do not have a worker’s compensation claim. Try to obtain documentation from your medical provider that your condition is work-related.

A worker’s physically exertive job duties over a short or long period of time can also result in a work comp injury and claim. If you think your job duties over a period of time are causing your symptoms (occupational exposure), tell your doctor specifically about what you do at work. You can also ask your employer for a copy of your job description if it exists.

There is a six-year statute of limitations for traumatic injuries in Wisconsin for workers’ comp claims (there is a longer, 12-year statute of limitations for occupational exposure claims). If you’ve reported the incident to your employer, they should report it to the insurance company. The more details you can provide about how the incident happened and how the injuries relate to the specific costs you are facing, the greater your chances of being approved. The worker’s compensation insurance company is the one who pays the medical bills and the compensation to you.

Are You Eligible For Workers’ Compensation?

The vast majority of workers in Wisconsin are eligible, with a few exceptions related to the size of employer, as well as some exclusions for independent contractors, “domestic servants”, some members of religious orders, certain farm employees and unpaid volunteers at non-profit organizations. (Note that there is a stringent test to determine if someone is actually an “independent contractor” under the worker’s compensation law). Federal workers, railroad workers and maritime workers also have unique rights under the Merchant Marine Act, the Federal Employers Liability Act and other federal workers’ comp laws. It’s your right to file a workers’ compensation claim without fear of retaliation.

In general, if there is an employer-employee relationship, if the injury occurred in the course and scope of employment, if the injury arose out of employment, and if the injury was not self-inflicted, the employee is entitled to worker’s compensation benefits for their injury.

Missed Work Time

If you have been off work for more than three days following a work injury, you are entitled to lost time benefits moving forward (payable at 2/3 of your weekly wages, tax free). If you are off work for more than seven days, you are entitled to the full week of lost time benefits at 2/3 of your weekly wages—known as Temporary Total Disability (TTD). The worker’s compensation insurance company should begin paying you TTD benefits, along with getting your medical bills paid. The lost time benefits continue throughout your entire healing period—until a doctor says you are as good as you’re going to get (reached your end of healing).

If you have been off work for more than 14 days and the worker’s compensation insurance company has not paid, your case may be under investigation or denied. You should contact a worker’s compensation attorney to assist with your lost time benefits.

Getting The Process Started

If a worker’s compensation claim has been denied, a worker can file a Hearing Application with the state of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD).  This allows the worker to ask for a hearing date in front of a judge or to attempt a settlement of your claim.

Work with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to get the most out of your benefits or when appealing a denied claim. To get started with a consultation, email us or call 414-279-2647 today.