I got hurt at work and I am scared to tell my employer. What should I do?

We know it can be intimidating, but workers in Wisconsin are required to report their job-related injuries to their employer. You should do so promptly or your employer might suspect you were hurt outside of work. Once you make the report, your employer should complete an incident report. You should be involved in completing this report and request a copy of it, or make a copy of it with your smart phone. You have the right to a copy of this report!

Will I get in trouble or lose my job if I report my work injury?

If your employer fires you or otherwise "punishes" you for reporting your injury, they may be subject to a penalty. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against injured workers. If this happens to you, you could be entitled to up to a year's pay in damages. Try to document or memorialize any retaliatory behavior by your employer. Documentation is crucial as your employer is also documenting your injury.

What steps should I take to document my work injury?

To help your claim, get photos of your injuries, broken equipment, the scene of the injury and your actual injuries, if bruising, swelling, or lacerations are evident. Get medical treatment so you can begin building an accurate medical record of the harm you suffered. Finally, start a journal so you can document your day-to-day symptoms and experiences with the injuries.

I was hurt at work and I need treatment; can I choose my own medical provider?

Absolutely. Some employers will recommend you go to their doctor, but it is in your best interest to go to your own primary doctor. Some companies also have doctors on site. You can go there initially, but you should also go to your own doctor to make sure you get a fair and objective diagnosis. Any treatment that you get with the employer doctor, request copies of their records and review them for accuracy.

I was hurt at work and the workers' compensation insurance will not return my calls about paying me my benefits. What should I do?

This is a big red flag. If you are not getting benefits and no one is calling you back for at least two weeks, you should call an attorney. Once the insurance company knows you have hired a lawyer, they will be much more attentive to your claim.

What money can I get for my injury?

Lost time benefits are generally two-thirds of your average weekly wages (which is tax-free), plus medical bills, the mileage you must travel for medical care (51 cents per mile) and permanent disability damage. You can potentially also recover vocational costs, or loss of future earnings.

I was denied workers' compensation benefits. What are my rights?

You have the right to appeal the insurance company's denial, but without the help of an attorney who practices workers' compensation law, your chances of success are significantly reduced. Your lawyer can help you build a strong case for overturning the denial and represent you at the State appeal hearing.

When should I call a lawyer about my work injury? Will a workers' compensation attorney charge me to talk to them?

At Mays Law Office, LLC, we do not charge a legal fee until we have successfully resolved your claim, and we offer free consultations. You should contact us as soon as possible if your claim was denied or if the process is unreasonably delayed. Call 608-535-4719 or send our Middleton office an email to get started.