Can You File for Workers’ Comp if You Got Injured Working at Home in Wisconsin?

Can You File for Workers’ Comp if You Got Injured Working at Home in Wisconsin?

These days, more people than ever are working from home. While most employees who work at home spend their time in front of a computer, accidents can still lead to injuries. These injuries can be expensive, and they can make it difficult (if not impossible) to do your job.

So, if you got injured while working at home in Wisconsin, are you eligible for workers’ comp?

Employees Who Work at Home are Generally Eligible for Workers’ Comp

In general, employees who work at home are eligible to receive workers’ comp benefits when they get injured on the job. Employers cannot avoid liability for job-related injuries simply by having their employees work from home. While many work-at-home injuries result from slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents, accidents involving tools and equipment are common as well, and many employees are just as susceptible to repetitive stress injuries at home as they are in the office. As long as an injury is job-related (and an employee otherwise qualifies for benefits), it doesn’t matter where the injury occurs.

But, this does not mean that filing a successful workers’ comp claim will be easy. Among other issues, there is a good chance that your employer (or its insurance company) will question whether your injury is truly work-related. If you file a claim because you slipped and fell in the bathroom, for example, your employer (or its insurance company) may argue that you can’t prove you fell during work time. What if you fell before your workday started? What if you were taking a break from working (and not simply going to the bathroom in the middle of working)? If you can’t prove that you were “at work” when the accident happened, you will struggle to collect the benefits you deserve.

Another issue that can make it more difficult to obtain workers’ comp benefits for a work-at-home injury is that there aren’t any witnesses. When you get injured in the office or at a job site, there will often be someone there who can confirm that you got injured on the job. At the very least, you can report your injury right away; and, if you weren’t injured when you got to work, your injury report will help confirm that you did in fact get injured during the workday.

Steps You Can (and Should) Take if You Got Injured While Working at Home

With these challenges in mind, there are some important steps you should take if you have suffered a job-related injury while working from home. As soon as possible, you should:

1. Document Where and When the Accident Happened

When seeking workers’ comp for a work-at-home injury, it is important to have thorough documentation. Take photos of the location where you got injured, the issue that caused your injury (i.e. a slippery floor or dangerous tool), and the injury itself. If you take these photos with your phone, they should be accurately time-stamped. If you were working on a computer or tablet, save your work—as this will also create a timestamp that can help prove you were injured within the scope of your employment.

2. Report Your Injury to Your Employer

With work-at-home injuries, it is especially important to report your injury to your employer right away. Unnecessary delays will open up more opportunities for your employer (or its insurance company) to argue that you can’t prove that your injury is job-related.

When you report your accident, provide as much information as possible, and do not embellish any details. Stick to the facts. Make sure you have a copy of your report before you submit it to your employer.

3. See a Doctor

You will want to see a doctor as soon as possible. In Wisconsin, you are not required to see a company-approved doctor, and you should not let your employer tell you where to go for treatment. Tell your doctor exactly what happened, describe your symptoms in detail, and let your doctor know that you will be filing for workers’ compensation.

4. Follow Your Doctor’s Advice

Depending on the nature and severity of your injury, you may be able to go back to work right away, or you may need to take time off. Even if you are working from home, if your doctor says you should rest, you should rest. If you ignore your doctor’s advice, not only could it take longer for you to recover, but it could also become much more difficult to secure full workers’ comp benefits.

5. Talk to a Madison Workers’ Comp Lawyer

Given the challenges involved in obtaining benefits for a work-at-home injury, it is best to seek help from a Madison workers’ comp lawyer promptly. You can get a free initial consultation, and it costs nothing out-of-pocket to hire a lawyer to handle your claim. Your lawyer can deal with your employer (and its insurance company) on your behalf, and your lawyer can help you avoid mistakes that could jeopardize your recovery.

Are You Still Eligible for Workers’ Comp if You Could Have Prevented Your Injury?

A common question we get from individuals who suffer job-related injuries at home is whether they are still eligible for benefits if they could have prevented their injuries. For example, what if you slipped on a wet floor because you had recently taken a shower? Or, what if you were using your own tools and they weren’t in great shape?

In Wisconsin, workers’ comp is a “no fault” system. This means that employees can file claims for benefits regardless of who is at fault for their injuries (with only a few very narrow exceptions). Just as you could have filed a claim if you accidentally injured yourself at the office or on a job site, in most cases you can file a claim if you got injured at home even if the accident was due to an issue within your control.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Madison Workers’ Comp Lawyer

If you were injured working at home in Wisconsin and need to file for workers’ comp benefits, we encourage you to get in touch. To schedule a free consultation with a Madison workers’ comp lawyer as soon as possible, call 608-257-0440 or request an appointment online now.

When Can Employers Deny Workers Compensation in Wisconsin?

When Can Employers Deny Workers Compensation in Wisconsin?

When you get hurt on the job and you file for workers compensation benefits, you expect to receive the benefits you are owed. While this happens for some workers, for others, collecting benefits can be a challenge. If your employer denies your claim, you need to know what to do next. This starts with understanding why your claim was denied.

Employers (and their insurance companies) deny workers compensation claims for a variety of different reasons. Some of these reasons are valid, and some of them are not. If your employer denied your claim for an invalid reason, then you should still be able to collect benefits. If your employer denied your claim for a valid reason, whether you can still collect benefits depends on whether you can fix the issue that caused your denial.

7 Reasons Employers Can Deny Workers Compensation Claims

Here are seven valid reasons why employers can deny their employees’ claims for workers compensation benefits. Some of these issues can be fixed (as long as you address them in time), and some of them cannot:

1. You Waited Too Long to Report Your Injury

Under Wisconsin law, you have 30 days to report your injury or illness to your employer. This 30-day period runs from the date you knew, or “ought to have known” of your condition. For injuries sustained in falls, collisions, and other accidents, this generally means that you must report your injury within 30 days of the accident. For repetitive stress injuries and occupational illnesses, determining when the 30-day reporting period expires can be more complicated.

2. You Waited Too Long to File Your Claim

The deadline to report your injury or illness isn’t the only deadline that applies to your workers compensation claim. If your employer does not pay the benefits you are owed after you report your injury or illness, you then have two years (in most cases) to file a claim with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD). If you don’t file your claim within two years, this can justify your employer in denying your claim for benefits.

3. You Didn’t Provide Enough Information

An injury or illness only qualifies for workers compensation benefits if it occurs within the scope of your employment. In other words, you must have a job-related injury or illness in order to collect workers compensation benefits. If you didn’t provide enough information for your employer to determine whether your injury or illness qualifies, this could be the reason (or one of the reasons) why your employer denied your claim.

4. You Provided False or Misleading Information

Employers can deny claims for workers compensation benefits when employees provide false or misleading information regarding their injuries. This is true even if you provided false or misleading information unintentionally. Intentionally providing false or misleading information is considered workers compensation fraud, and it can provide justification for a permanent denial of benefits.

5. You Didn’t Seek Medical Treatment

When you suffer a job-related injury, seeking medical treatment isn’t just important for your health. It is also important for your workers compensation claim. If you haven’t seen a doctor, your employer isn’t going to pay benefits. If you waited too long to see a doctor, your employer might try to use this as a basis for denying your workers compensation claim as well.

6. Your Medical Records Don’t Indicate that Your Injury is Job-Related

When you see a doctor for treatment, it is important to tell your doctor that you suffered your injury or illness on the job. Your doctor should note this in your medical records. If your medical records don’t indicate that your injury is job-related, this could be why your employer denied your claim.

7. You are Not Eligible to Receive Benefits

Not all workers are eligible to receive workers compensation. If you are not eligible, then you are not entitled to benefits even if you got injured or sick on the job. If you are not eligible to receive workers compensation through your employer, you may have other options available.

3 Reasons Employers Can’t Deny Workers Compensation Benefits

As we mentioned above, in addition to denying workers compensation claims for valid reasons, employers will often deny claims for invalid reasons as well. Some examples of invalid reasons for denying workers compensation claims include: 

1. You Have a Pre-Existing Condition

In Wisconsin, employers generally cannot deny workers compensation benefits on the basis of a pre-existing condition. For example, if you had a bad knee and you reinjured your knee at work or your pain got worse from doing your job, you are entitled to benefits under Wisconsin law. 

2. You Caused Your Own Injury

Workers compensation is a “no fault” system. This means that you are entitled to collect benefits even if you caused your own injury.

3. Your Employer Wants To Avoid Paying

Finally, your employer cannot deny your claim simply because it wants to avoid paying. Unfortunately, this is all it takes for some companies to deny benefits. If your employer does not have a valid basis for denying your claim, then you should still be able to collect benefits with a lawyer’s help.

What To Do if Your Employer Denies Your Workers Compensation Claim

If your employer has denied your worker’s compensation claim, what should you do? At this point, you will want to speak with workers compensation attorney promptly. An experienced Wisconsin workers’ compensation lawyer will be able to determine why your claim was denied and what (if anything) you can do to collect benefits. If you have a valid claim, your lawyer can then fight to secure the benefits you deserve.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Wisconsin Workers Compensation Lawyer

Has your employer denied your claim for workers’ compensation benefits? If so, contact us promptly for a free, no-obligation consultation. To speak with a Wisconsin workers compensation lawyer at Mays Law Office in confidence, call 608-257-0440 or tell us how we can reach you online now.