Tap Into Three Decades Of Knowledge About Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation
From helping injured workers for 30 years, I have a good handle on not only the law but also the questions and anxieties you may have. I try to educate clients and put them at ease. The frequently asked questions below can help you get started. If you decide you need a lawyer, reach out to the Law Office of Lisa A. Wiebusch LLC to discuss your specific situation in a free consultation.
What Benefits can I get under worker’s compensation?
Your employer pays all medical expenses related to your work injury. Your employer also pays temporary disability (wage loss) benefits until you can return to work. If you can’t go back to your job, or if part of your body is permanently damaged, Wisconsin worker’s compensation benefits may include permanent partial disability, permanent total disability or vocational retraining for a different occupation.
Do I have to see the employer’s doctors?
In some states, injured workers do not have a choice. In Wisconsin, you can see any doctor you want, including a second opinion or second doctor. After that, you need a referral to switch physicians. But you are under no obligation to seek treatment from your employer’s “preferred” physicians, who may not be objective.
I was scheduled for an independent medical exam. Do I have to go?
Yes, you must submit to an independent medical exam, but there’s nothing “independent” about it. It’s an insurance company evaluation, and 98% of the time, the recommendation is a termination of benefits. If you are summoned to an IME, that’s a red flag you need an attorney.
Can I get worker’s comp if I did not have a work accident?
Yes. An occupational disease is an injury or illness that develops over time from workplace exposures rather than a specific incident. Examples include herniated disc from heavy lifting, carpal tunnel from repetitive motions, hearing damage from workplace noise or lung disease from toxic materials. The trick is proving it was work-related. Always report any injury to your employer, even if you aren’t sure what caused it. Then seek medical attention to get it on the record
Can I get worker’s comp I have a preexisting condition?
Yes, you are still eligible for worker’s compensation benefits even if you had an existing medical condition or prior injury. But you must prove that a work accident or the rigors of your job aggravated the old injury or condition.
How long do worker’s compensation benefits last?
The short answer is until you are recovered (temporary disability) or for the rest of your life (permanent total disability). But the employer and/or insurer may try to deny your benefits at the beginning or terminate your benefits at some point, in which case you should seek legal help.