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♦ Since I Got Hurt At Work, Am I Stuck With Workers’ Compensation?

♦ Since I Got Hurt At Work, Am I Stuck With Workers’ Compensation?

The answer to this question is that it depends, but generally yes. Worker’s compensation is your only option to sue your employer for personal injuries that occur on the job. This includes both physical and mental injuries from work – those that happen in a single accident, or that happen over a whole career. Thus everything from a knee sprain from a fall on the job to back pain from years of working with heavy products, even unusually high anxiety caused by work, can be a worker’s compensation claim. Over a hundred years ago, the Wisconsin Legislature decided that because work injuries are an extremely common thing in the everyday workplace, a system separate from the courts would be a better alternative than having employees always suing their employers. No jury trials, and to the extent possible, no lawyers. That system was called workmen’s compensation, and nowadays, it has been renamed to a more correct label of worker’s compensation. Because the purpose of this system is, in part, to avoid countless lawsuits of employee vs. employer, the courts have ruled that worker’s compensation has been the only option to pursue if you get hurt at work. With this same goal of efficiency in mind, the Legislature also decided that it generally would not matter whose fault it was when an injury happens at work. So long as work contributed to the cause and they did not hurt themselves intentionally, workers should be paid compensation to treat their injuries and some of their wage loss for missing work. The law requires that employers have enough insurance or funds on hand...
♦ Workers’ Compensation – Hurt on the Job? Now What?

♦ Workers’ Compensation – Hurt on the Job? Now What?

The short and simple answer is that you should tell your supervisor how you got hurt and then go see your doctor, or if it cannot wait, go to the nearest urgent care or hospital. Tell the doctor what happened when you get there. The employer should be filling out a report of injury, not the worker. If you are hurt, your focus is on getting better and getting back to work, not filling out the employer’s injury report form. The State of Wisconsin provides a standard form for all employers to report a work injury, which is available here from the Department of Workforce Development’s website. If your boss does not have the form, print one out and give him or her a copy. It cannot be used as evidence against them, so there is no good reason not to fill one out. If your injury is severe enough that you miss 3 workdays in a row, your employer is not only required to fill out a report, but then has to submit that report to its insurance company within one week or to the State within two weeks. Once the insurance company is involved, you may be asked, but you are NOT required to give a recorded statement. It is a common misunderstanding of many injured Wisconsin workers that a recorded statement is a necessary part of the process or reporting a work injury; it is not. All too often this statement will work against the injured worker in the long run, usually before the worker has had the chance to talk to an attorney. A worker’s compensation...