The term “workers' comp” is often thrown around in relation to accidents that occur at a person's workplace. However, workers' compensation actually refers to a type of insurance that provides benefits and wage replacement to employees who are injured or hurt while working at their job. In exchange for these benefits, an employee cannot sue his or her employer for any negligence related to the accident. In Wisconsin, the Workers' Compensation Act serves as the guidelines for the workers' compensation system. Although workers' compensation may be the only way to recover for an injury that occurs at a victim's workplace, depending on the circumstances surrounding the injury, the process can be quite complex.
Eligibility for Workers' Compensation
The cornerstone of collecting workers' compensation benefits relies on whether the injury occurred while an employee was engaged in some sort of activity related to his or her job. The following are some examples of activities beyond doing your normal work duties that are considered to be “on the job” and thus covered by the Workers' Compensation Act:
Slips and falls, overexertion, or injury from falling objects that occur while the employee was working;
Injuries that occur on the steps of the employer's property or on the company owned parking lot;
Injuries that occur while the employee was attending to personal needs such as using the bathroom or taking a smoke break while at work; and
Injuries that occur while off of company property but while the employee is performing some sort of business for the company.
Steps to Take Following a Work-Related Injury
When an injury occurs while at work, a person should:
Seek medical attention immediately. Make sure the doctor provides documentation of all of the injuries related to the accident. It is also advisable to retain copies of all medical bills, surgical expenses, and bills for any hospital treatment.
Report the injury to your employer. A failure to report the injury in a timely fashion can result in a dispute regarding the nature of the injury. Even minor injuries should be reported in case they later develop into a more serious injury. The report should include the place of the injury, date of the injury, time of the injury, the circumstances surrounding the accident that caused the injury, where the injury occurred, and what type of medical attention was required.
Keep a written record of the details surrounding the injury. Since some workers' compensation claims can be complex and result in disputes, it is important to write down the details surrounding the incident that caused the injury immediately after it occurred.
Consult an Experienced Workers' Compensation Attorney in Wisconsin
If you or a loved one has been injured at work, contact one of our Green Bay workers’ compensation lawyers or Appleton workers’ compensation lawyers at [[title]] today. We have offices in Appleton, Oshkosh, and Green Bay and are knowledgeable about Wisconsin's Workers' Compensation Act. We will carefully review the facts surrounding your case to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.