Workplace accidents – also called traumatic work injuries – are one of two types of work injuries covered by Wisconsin law. When you experience a traumatic workplace injury, you can identify a specific moment in time when your injury occurred while you are performing work activities. These injuries should be reported to your employer right away, and you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible. It is critical that you inform your doctors how the injury occurred and ask that they note in your medical record that the injury occurred at work.
If the injury is serious, you may be given activity restrictions by your doctor which need to be provided to your employer. It is your employer’s responsibility to provide you with work that is consistent with those restrictions, and to notify the worker’s compensation carrier of your injury. If work within your restrictions is unavailable or is not provided by your employer, you are entitled to wage loss benefits from the Worker’s Compensation carrier. The carrier will also pay for medical expenses and for the permanent damage to your body once treatment is completed.
Pre-existing conditions do not prevent you from claiming a work injury. If a specific incident at work aggravates a pre-existing condition beyond normal progression, you can still claim Wisconsin worker’s compensation benefits. If the aggravation is permanent or accelerates the condition, the entire condition becomes work related and benefits are payable.
The carrier can raise a defense to your claim at any point in time. Late reporting or inconsistent stories on how the injury occurred can lead to a denial. However, most denials are based on medical defenses, which can take two forms: your doctors did not describe the work injury in your medical records, or the carrier gets a report from its paid doctor, called an “Independent Medical Exam” (IME) or “Independent Record Review,” which disputes your doctor’s determination as to the cause or severity of your injury. There is nothing “independent” about those doctors. They are paid to provide opinions for insurance companies. If your claim has been denied, call us today for a free consultation.