When you are injured or made ill at work, it is helpful to speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin from Hickey & Turim, S.C.
I was injured at work, what should be my next step?
The first thing you should do after a work accident is report the incident to your employer as quickly as you can. If the accident is not reported within certain time limits, the claim could be denied. The amount of time you have to file a report can vary from state to state. Our team who is familiar with the local laws can provide the necessary legal guidance. In some situations, an injury may not be noticeable until days or weeks after the incident. That is why it is important to document the accident, even if you do not think you were hurt. Having documentation can help you get the maximum benefits under workers’ compensation.
I’ve sustained an injury because of work, but it was not from the result of an accident. Will workers’ compensation still provide me benefits?
We have worked many cases and helped clients that have sustained work related injuries or illnesses even if there wasn’t an accident. Workers’ compensation will cover injuries related to:
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Illnesses caused by the quality of the work environment
- Mental/emotional illnesses that can be created from a high-stress job
Each case is different, and there can be some uncertainty of whether or not you qualify for workers’ compensation. Speaking with a Menomonee Falls workers’ compensation lawyer who understands the legalities can help you gain clarification if you can obtain benefits from workers’ compensation.
The accident was my fault, can I still obtain benefits from workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is designed to have “no fault” system. This means that typically, the insurance pays workers’ compensation benefits no matter who is found at fault for the accident that resulted in injuries. However, a stipulation to the “no fault” system, is that benefits will be denied if the injuries were self-inflicted or the employee was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.
What benefits can I expect to receive from workers’ compensation?
The benefit duration and limits can vary by jurisdiction, but each state will essentially provide the same three “classes” of benefits:
- Medical benefits: Your medical expenses should be covered for as long as necessary.
- Disability/indemnity benefits: You should receive approximately ⅔ of your regular wages.
- Death benefits: This is extended to dependants to help cover funeral costs and weekly compensation.
The amount of coverage you receive will depend on the extent and type of your injury. It may also vary by your state. Speaking with our team can help you understand your rights and the type of benefits you can obtain.
Will I be able to work at my old job again?
After your injuries have healed and you are able to perform the same type of work, your employer must give you the next position that becomes available. During your absence, someone else may have taken your position and they cannot be fired after you are healthy again. However, your employer should offer you the next available job that you can perform. For more information on workers’ compensation, please reach out to our lawyers from Hickey & Turim, S.C. now.
When You Should Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you were hurt at work, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. However, you may be wondering if you should hire a Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin workers’ compensation lawyer to represent you or handle the matter yourself. Whether or not you hire a lawyer may depend on several factors, such as the complexity of your case and the severity of your injury. For example, if you suffered a minor injury and your employer admits that it happened at work, you may be able to handle the claim yourself.
Here are some instances when it may be necessary to hire a Menomonee Falls WI workers’ compensation lawyer:
Your Employer Has Denied Your Claim
Employers deny workers’ compensation claims for various reasons. They might refuse to believe that the injury occurred at work or believe that the employee somehow contributed to the injury. Many employees do not file appeals after their employer has denied their workers’ compensation claim, oftentimes because they don’t realize they have this option. If you believe that your employer wrongly denied your claim, you should hire our legal team to help you file an appeal.
Your Employer Has Retaliated Against You
Believe it or not, some employers become angry at their employees for filing a workers’ compensation claim and may retaliate against them in some way. If your boss has fired, demoted or cut your pay, you do not have to stand for that kind of treatment. Unfortunately, not every company operates its business with the highest moral compass. A company may retaliate against injured workers for either applying for or utilizing workers’ compensation benefits. Those who use these benefits may find themselves dealing with workplace harassment and discrimination. The targeting may be less obvious, or so apparent that it’s difficult to ignore.
If you feel that you may be the victim in retaliation for using workers’ comp benefits, then it’s time to consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer in Menomonee Falls, WI at Hickey & Turim, S.C. for immediate assistance.
What Harassment Looks Like
Retaliatory harassment after getting injured at work can take many forms. Perhaps your boss is verbally threatening you or trying to talk you down from accepting a workers’ compensation offer. Your employer may even discourage you from submitting a claim at all. You may find that you are no longer a candidate for a well-deserved and anticipated promotion. It is possible that your boss even took back a promotion due to your injury. An employee may get transferred to another department without cause.
Employees may feel that what is happening is wrong, but aren’t sure if there are legal repercussions for an employer acting this way. We suggest meeting with a workers’ compensation lawyer in Menomonee Falls for a thorough evaluation of your unique circumstances right away, before the matter can escalate.
An employer may harass an injured worker in various ways. They may force you into a choice regarding your injury claim that benefits them in some way, making the company look like the victim instead. Your employer may be motivated into this behavior to avoid having to pay money for your medical costs. An injured worker may start to find themselves the topic of ridicule, jokes, insults, and reduced responsibilities that are not associated with light duty recovery.
What To Do Next
If you aren’t sure whether you are experiencing employer retaliation or discrimination for pursuing wokers’ compensation benefits, then we advise meeting with a member of out team promptly. In the meantime, start taking notes and collecting evidence for the mistreatment. For instance, if harassment comes from an email or chat, then print it so it can be used as hard-copy evidence. If your coworkers or boss continually put your coffee mug on a shelf that is too high for you to reach because of your injury, take photographs or video.
Write down every instance of a threat, remark, name calling or other behavior of mistreatment. If you have coworkers who are your friends and have seen what is going on, your WI workers’ compensation lawyer can contact them for an official statement. The worst thing you can do is let the behavior continue without taking action.
Your Benefits Don’t Cover Your Medical Bills
Let’s say your claim was approved. Just because your workers’ compensation claim went through, does not mean that the settlement is enough to cover all of your medical bills. These bills can easily cost thousands of dollars, so you don’t want to get shortchanged. If you think your employer’s settlement offer is too low to cover your medical bills, you should talk to us about your options as soon as possible.
Your Injury Prevents You from Doing Your Job
If your injury is severe enough to prevent you from performing your job duties, you should definitely speak to a member of our team. If your injury resulted in permanent disability, you may be able to receive weekly payments.
You Suffered Injuries Because of Your Employer’s Misconduct
In some situations, you can sue outside of workers’ comp. For example, if you believe that your employer intentionally caused your injury, you may be able to file a separate lawsuit. These kinds of cases can be very complex, so it’s best to have us represent you instead of battling it yourself.
If you were injured at work, you should schedule a meeting with one of our dedicated team members right away for a case review. We can help you file the necessary paperwork in a timely manner and negotiate with your employer’s insurance company. Please reach out without delay if you are suffering from retaliation from your employer and/or coworkers. We are here to protect you.