What can you expect from your worker's compensation process? For many Wisconsin residents, being injured at work is the start of an ongoing medical and legal saga that can be fraught with peril at every turn. A qualified attorney can help those who have suffered a work accident navigate the claims process, improving their odds of recovering the money they need in the wake of a workplace accident.
How does the legal process work for a regular worker's compensation claim without any disputes or challenges?
For many workers, the compensation process is fairly straightforward because their employer acknowledges the injury and does not enlist the services of the insurance company to dispute the claim. First, the employee reports the injury to his or her employer within 30 days of it happening. The information is then passed to the insurance carrier within seven days of the employer learning about the injury. Insurance carriers report the claim to the WC division, and then payment will be on its way to the victim. This process can be delayed or hindered by an employer who fails to file appropriate paperwork, but it is otherwise fairly easy to navigate.
What about claims in which the injury is disputed?
This is where the legal aspects of the claim become more important. The process starts when the worker files an application for a hearing with regards to the injury. A hearing can occur even if the worker was already receiving compensation for the work accident. Hearings are then scheduled in front of an Administrative Law Judge, who will hear evidence from both parties with regards to the workplace accident. The judge then determines whether the person who was hurt on the job deserves further compensation.
What if I don't like the decision that is rendered?
If either party is not satisfied with the result, then a series of appeals may occur within first the Labor Industry Review Commission and then the court system. Further appeals may be heard by the Circuit Court, Court of Appeals and ultimately the Wisconsin Supreme Court.