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November 23, 2015

A New Wisconsin Bill could be Detrimental to Injured Workers: Part 2

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Posted in Wisconsin Workers Compensation Related News

In a recent post, we discussed a new bill written by republican representatives Spiros, Knodl, and Senator Stroebel, to “address fraud and unfairness within the worker’s comp system.” We took a look at employer directed care, and how employees would be required to see only medical professionals that their employers work with when they are injured on the job, if the bill were to pass.

But another alarming change to the Worker’s Compensation system that the bill proposes is reducing the statute of limitations on traumatic injuries from 12 to 2 years. As Worker’s Comp law in Wisconsin stands currently, if the employer knows about an injury, the statute of limitations for an employee to make a claim is 12 years. In cases of certain traumatic injuries or occupational diseases, there is no statute of limitations. Reducing an employee’s timeframe to make a claim from 12 to 2 years, means a significantly lower potential of workers getting the benefits they deserve.

Who would this change benefit?

Like the majority of changes suggested in the bill, this shift would benefit employers, rather than employees. If the window of time shrinks for workers to make claims about injuries at work, employers would not need to spend nearly as much time or money to make sure employees are properly taken care of.

“That type of change would alter an act that has worked for over 100 years,” said David Turim. “Many times the full extent of an injury does not surface, and this proposal would foreclose important medical and other benefits for seriously injured people.”

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