Hudson, and Wisconsin as a whole, has experienced a decline in work-related injuries and illness in recent years, hovering at the lowest number of reported occupational injuries and diseases since it began counting injuries and illnesses in the workplace in 1973.
However, the state still sees more than 70,000 occupational illnesses and injuries each year. If you were one of those people who suffered a workplace injury or illness, you may already know that you can obtain workers’ compensation benefits, but you may not know how to properly file your claim or appeal a wrongful denial.
The Hudson workers’ compensation lawyers at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers remain committed to protecting injured workers by helping them to obtain the benefits they deserve. You can call us anytime, and we will evaluate your claim to see what we can do to help you. Meanwhile, read on for more information about the benefits available to injured or ill workers in Hudson and how we can help you access those benefits.
We Fight Hard for Our Clients
Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers is proud to serve as advocates for workers in the Hudson community. At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, we understand how vital a healthy workforce is to our local economy.
We also understand how a workplace injury can wreck your career, your finances, and your ability to recover. That’s why we bring our years of experience investigating, negotiating, and litigating workers’ compensation cases to the table, working tirelessly to ensure our Hudson neighbors receive the justice they deserve following a workplace accident.
Our firm prioritizes helping the Hudson community handle complex legal issues related to their health, their finances, and their overall wellbeing. We are proud to take on difficult cases that other Hudson attorneys may not want to take, and we strive to ensure that every member of our workforce receives effective legal counsel.
We know that you’re probably out of work, and may not know when you can get back to earning a living. That’s why we’re here: to make sure you don’t need to worry about providing for your family, while you focus on getting better.
If you or someone you love were seriously injured in an accident at work, do everything you can to get the medical care you need and the financial compensation you deserve: Partner with Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers.
We've Recovered Millions for Our Clients
We’ve helped countless neighbors throughout Hudson obtain justice following a workplace injury.
Past cases include:
- A younger man with back problems endured multiple fusions and surgeries due to his work in heavy manual labor. With our guidance and representation, he received benefits at the hearing level.
- An employee injured at work was eventually allowed to return to the job with light-duty restrictions in place. Unfortunately, the employer failed to follow the light-duty restrictions, which led to the workers’ comp insurer denying permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits. After we stepped in, we not only got the employee the lost wages, but also his PPD covered with additional funds to cover future medical care.
- An employee who suffered a head injury at work was denied by the workers’ comp insurance company. We got all of the employee’s out-of-pocket medical expenses covered and made sure that he was paid all of his lost wages. In the end, extra money was even leftover for him.
While these are only past results and can’t guarantee an outcome in any specific case, Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers are nonetheless proud of our long track record of achieving success for our Hudson clients in worker’s compensation cases. Consider more of our past case results online. For more information and a free case evaluation, call us today.
What Is Workers' Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance system created to pay for medical expenses, partial wage replacement, and rehabilitation for workers in Wisconsin who have suffered a work-related injury or illness. While all states have a workers’ comp program, the provisions of each program vary slightly.
All employers in Wisconsin must provide a workers’ compensation policy for their employees or else self-insure, with some exceptions. The policy is in place from the first day of the worker’s employment and provides coverage in most circumstances, regardless of who was at fault for causing the injury.
The exceptions to the requirement to carry this type of insurance for employees includes:
- Employers whose position is mainly to hire others to perform services.
- Certain volunteers. Volunteer work can sometimes require a workers’ compensation policy, depending on the scope of the work.
- Certain family farms and household workers
Workers’ compensation benefits generally cover conditions caused, aggravated, or accelerated by employment activities, including both traumatic injuries that occur due to an accident in the workplace; slow-forming, repetitive use injuries that worsen over time; and occupational diseases.
Different types of claims can result in receiving workers’ compensation benefits in Hudson, including:
- Permanent total disability: This designation applies when the worker is too injured to earn a living from work again. Workers on permanent total disability are eligible to receive wage-loss benefits equaling two-thirds of the gross weekly wage they were earning at the time of their injury, and this benefit will continue for life.
- Permanent partial disability: This designation applies to benefits assigned to an individual whose injury resulted in the loss of a major body part, system, or function but who can perform some work-related tasks. The compensation provided for the loss of a body part, system, or function is generally paid in a lump sum.
- Temporary total disability: If you cannot work at all following your work-related injury or illness, you can receive temporary total disability benefits, which will pay you two-thirds of your average gross weekly wage at the time in which the injury or illness occurred. The time a worker may receive temporary total disability wage-loss benefits depends on the type and severity of your injury.
- Temporary partial disability: This is the designation your claim will be given if the injury requires the employee to temporarily work in a position that requires different job-related tasks and does not pay as much as what he or she was making at the time the injury occurred.
The Benefits Available to Injured Workers in Hudson
The benefits for workers in Hudson through the state’s workers’ compensation program include:
- All reasonable and necessary medical care provided to treat the injury or illness.
- Wage-loss benefits that provide compensation for part of the income you have lost from being injured or ill and can’t work.
- Benefits to compensate you for permanent loss of a body organ or function.
- Benefits for your family if you die due to a workplace injury or illness.
- Vocational rehabilitation services if you can perform some work tasks, but not those related to the position you held before the injury or illness occurred.
- Travel mileage reimbursement for travel to injury-related medical appointments or certain vocational rehabilitation services.
Obtaining Workers' Compensation Benefits in Hudson
To obtain workers’ compensation benefits, you must:
- Report your work-related injury immediately. If you require emergency treatment, seek your treatment first but report the injury to your employer as soon as you were able. Not only does this ensure that you meet the statutory deadline for making a claim and receiving benefits, but it also begins the paper trail of connecting the treatment you are receiving for your injury to the specific workplace situation that caused the injury. Even if you do not need medical attention, you should report any injuries to your employer anyway to protect your right to workers’ compensation benefits in the future if the injury later requires treatment.
- When you seek treatment for a work-related injury, be sure to note that fact to your health care provider and furnish the provider with the name and contact information for your employer as well as your employers’ workers’ compensation insurance provider. Your doctor will then complete a Report of Work Ability form for the insurance company, which details the physical limitations you have incurred from your injury.
- If your injury involves more than three days of lost-time, your employer is then required to file a First Report of Injury form to report the injury to the state and notify the insurer who provides the company’s workers’ compensation policy within 10 days of receiving your report of your injury.
- Once you file your workers’ compensation claim, your employer will investigate the circumstances surrounding your work-related injury or illness and will report the findings of that investigation to the insurance provider.
- The insurance provider can require you to undergo an Independent Medical Examination (IME) as part of the consideration of your claim. The doctor of your employer’s or the insurance provider’s choice provides this exam. The IME serves as a second opinion on your ability to perform tasks related to your job. If you undergo an IME, you will be reimbursed for time and travel costs associated with the exam, but you do not have the option of not participating in the exam without jeopardizing your ability to receive benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hudson Workers' Compensation Claims
Do you have questions about filing a workers’ compensation claim? Our Hudson workers’ compensation lawyer can help you make sense of the process. Here are answers to some of the questions we most often hear about workers’ compensation claims.
How long do I have to report a work-related injury to my employer to obtain workers' comp benefits in Hudson?
In Wisconsin, you must report a work-related injury or illness to your employer within thirty days of when the injury or illness occurred or you became aware of the illness or injury.
If I obtain treatment from a chiropractor for my Hudson work-related injury, will workers' comp cover it?
Yes—provided your chiropractor is properly licensed or certified to provide the treatment, you can obtain coverage of chiropractic care through Wisconsin workers’ compensation. Many individuals prefer treating their back injury through chiropractic adjustments instead of invasive medical procedures or pharmaceutical methods or in combination with other treatments.
Can I see my own doctor through workers' comp, or will my employer choose a doctor for me?
In Wisconsin, workers’ compensation claimants may choose their own physician for treatment, with certain provisions. After you have sought treatment for a work-related injury or illness from the same provider two times, that provider will be considered your treating physician. He or she must be properly licensed or certified to provide your treatment.
You can change your treating physician at any time during the first 60 days of your treatment without informing your insurer. However, after that time, you must not only get the insurer’s approval to change treating physicians but must also show that the change is related to a loss of faith in the physician’s skill, a breakdown in communication with the treating physician, or a lack of medical improvement from the treatment provided.
It seems like I could obtain more money by suing my employer than through workers' comp. Can I just do that?
Generally, you cannot sue an employer for a work-related injury in Wisconsin, as the workers’ compensation program provides benefits to assist you with medical treatment of your injury and wage loss.
However, in some instances, you can file a lawsuit after a work-related injury or illness, such as if:
- Your injury resulted from a third-party’s reckless or careless actions. A third-party is someone who you came in contact with during the normal scope of your employment who is not your employer or your coworker. An example of third-party liability in a workplace injury would be a truck driver who was injured in a transportation accident during his or her employment and another driver caused the accident.
- Your employer was legally required to provide workers’ compensation for employees and failed to do so.
Are Hudson independent contractors eligible for workers' compensation?
Wisconsin only requires employers to purchase workers’ compensation for their employees. Independent contractors generally aren’t covered unless they obtain their own workers’ compensation policy.
Why would workers' comp deny a claim?
Yes. Workers’ compensation insurance can deny claims because:
- There was no witness to your injury.
- You failed to report your work-related injury within 14 days.
- Your injury did not take place at work.
- Your injury occurred while you were impaired by drugs or alcohol on the job.
- There is a discrepancy between your initial report of the injury and your medical records.
- Your employer has reason to believe that you faked the injury or intentionally caused your own injury to fraudulently obtain workers’ compensation benefits.
- You filed your workers’ compensation claim after you were fired or laid off.
- You failed to cooperate with the insurance company’s request for a statement, refused to sign medical authorizations, or you did not attend an IME that was requested or scheduled for you.
How can a Hudson workers' compensation attorney from Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers help with my case?
Many injured or ill workers obtain the treatment they need and access other benefits provided by workers’ compensation without any problems. However, when problems do arise, you need the experience and guidance of a workers’ compensation lawyer. Whether you need to appeal a rejected claim, you feel like you are being pushed into returning to work before you are ready, or your benefits payments have suddenly stopped for no reason, Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers can help.
Other issues that our experienced Hudson workers’ compensation lawyer can assist with include:
- Your employer is disputing your claim because he or she doesn’t believe you are really injured or that your injury occurred at the workplace.
- You lost a spouse or parent because of a workplace injury or illness and you want to access the survivor benefits that are available through workers’ compensation.
- You have reason to believe that you were fired because you filed a workers’ compensation claim or experienced other types of retaliation for filing your workers’ compensation claim.
- Your employer refuses to report your injury to his or her insurance provider, so you cannot access the benefits you deserve for your injury.
For your free case review, contact us online or by calling (715) 377-2141.