Frequently Asked Questions About Workers’ Compensation In Wisconsin
Workers’ compensation laws in Wisconsin are complex. If you are dealing with a work-related injury, uncertainty about the benefits for which you qualify is the last thing you need. The experienced legal team at Domer Law is ready to help.
On this page, we address some of the more common questions we receive from injured workers. Every case has unique aspects; however, it is important to meet with an attorney as soon after you are injured as possible. What you do in those first few days and weeks can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case.
Can I Choose My Own Doctor?
Yes. Your employer can only send you to its doctor in an emergency. Then you have the right to see any doctor. In a dispute, your employer can also send you to its doctor for evaluation but not treatment. Note: Choose a doctor who specializes in your kind of injury.
What Can I Do If I Have Hearing Problems?
After retirement, if your doctor says the noisy workplace caused your hearing loss, you get benefits, including hearing aids.
How Long Do I Get Benefits?
Until your doctor says you are done healing. If your employer cannot offer work within your temporary restrictions, benefits continue.
Can I Sue My Employer?
No, but you can sue some other person or company (machine manufacturer, truck driver, maintenance worker) if the person responsible for your injury is not an employee of your company.
What Should I Do If I Have A Breathing Problem?
See a lung specialist. If your breathing problems were caused by work, you can get benefits, including claims for asbestosis, silicosis and lung cancer.
What If A Work Injury Aggravates A Prior Nonwork Injury?
If the employer takes you “as-is,” you may be eligible for benefits for lost time, permanency and medical expenses.
What Benefits Do I Get If I Am Hurt On The Job?
While you are off work, you get two-thirds of your weekly gross pay and all medical expenses. The maximum amount changes yearly.
What If I Get Hurt So Badly, I Can’t Return To My Job?
If your employer cannot take you back under your doctor’s permanent restrictions, you may be entitled to retraining benefits. If a Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) counselor or vocational expert sets up classroom retraining, you can get paid weekly benefits, plus meal, mileage, parking, tuition and book expenses.
My Company Is Offering Me Sick Pay Instead Of Workers Comp – What Should I Do?
Choose workers’ compensation. Sick pay covers nonwork sickness, and worker’s comp covers injuries. Workers’ comp is not taxable, and you get future protection under workers’ compensation.
What If I Can’t Work Or Lift Anymore Due To A Back Injury?
If you have been doing heavy work for many years or if you hurt your back in a single accident, you may claim permanency, retraining and loss of earning capacity benefits.
What Happens If The Company Does Something Unsafe?
While you cannot sue your employer, your workers’ compensation benefits may increase by 15%.
When Should I Get A Lawyer’s Help?
You should seek the advice of a lawyer whenever you face any of these problems:
- Your doctor and the company doctor disagree.
- The insurance company asks you to give a statement.
- You cannot return to work because of your injury.
- You are asked to sign a settlement document.
- It is more than two weeks since your injury and you have no benefits.
- You are fired after your injury
Do I Lose My Benefits If I’m Hurt Because I Did Something Unsafe?
No, but your benefits may be reduced by 15%. If an alcohol or drug policy violation was causal to the injury, the worker’s entire compensation benefits (except medical) could be denied.
Are Benefits Different If I Have A Limb Injury Versus A Back Or Torso Injury?
Yes. If you have an injury to your torso (back or neck, head or lungs) and you cannot return to your job, you may qualify for loss of earning capacity (future wage loss) benefits in addition to your permanent disability.
How Much Are Lawyers’ Fees?
Lawyers’ fees are charged in workers’ compensation cases only if the claim is successful. By statute, fees are 20% of the amount in dispute.
What If My Company Fires Me Or Won’t Take Me Back After My Injury?
If your company has a job within your permanent restrictions, the company has to offer it to you or pay a penalty equal to one year’s wages. But if no jobs exist within your restrictions, the company does not have to take you back.
What Happens If I Have Permanent Restrictions?
If your doctor says your injury has caused permanent restrictions (like lifting, bending or standing), then you receive benefits based on the amount of disability the doctor states.
What Time Limits Are Important In Reporting An Injury?
You should report any injury right away. Reporting an injury (whether from a specific incident or from your job duties) allows your employer to start a worker’s compensation case. For most injuries, the claim is valid from the date of injury (or date of last work comp payment) for 6 years for traumatic injuries or for 12 years for occupational diseases or exposures.
Can I Get Workers Compensation And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?
Yes. There is a formula that entitles you to a specific amount of money monthly.
Can I Get More Benefits If The Injury Leaves A Scar?
If your injury or the surgery results in a permanent scar or limp, you may be eligible for additional benefits.
Answers To Other Common Workers’ Comp Questions:
- What does workers’ compensation pay?
- Why do I need an attorney?
- Can I sue my employer for a work injury?
- What do I do if my claim is denied?
- What can I do after I get hurt?
- How are workers’ compensation awards calculated in Wisconsin?
- Can a lawyer help me with my workers’ compensation claim?
- What are Dependent Benefits?
- What is insurers’ fraud in the context of workers’ compensation?
- What is a preexisting condition?
- What is provider fraud?
- What is the history of workers’ compensation in Wisconsin?
- Are volunteers covered under workers’ compensation?
- What is workers’ compensation?
- What are some other interesting facts about workers’ compensation?
- Is workers’ compensation available for mental or emotional stress?
- Is workers’ compensation coverage available for repetitive motion injuries?