Workers compensation benefit programs were created to help cover the costs associated with the examination, diagnostics and treatment of an employee that has suffered an injury as a result of the work environment. For those who are new to workers compensation benefits, may want to know more information about eligibility. In this article to follow, we have answered many of the common questions employees have about the process behind a workers compensation claim.
What should someone do if they are injured while at work?
Immediately after an accident, an employee should report the injury to their supervisor. Many employees may shrug off the cut, wound or bruise as no big deal when in fact such injuries can develop into something more serious. Sometimes, injuries are not noticeable until hours, days or even weeks after an accident.
Are there any exceptions to workers benefit coverage?
While workers compensation was created to cover the medical expenses of an injured or ill employee regardless of who was at-fault, there are exceptions to this rule. If it is found that the employee self-inflicted the injury, or was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when it happened, a claim may be rejected.
Does workers compensation benefits also cover illnesses?
Yes, workers benefits can cover illnesses or conditions that arose due to performing job-related duties. Examples of conditions that may be covered under workers compensation include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome (from repetitive typing or motions)
- Digestive disorders (due to high stress & pressures of the job)
- Carbon monoxide poisoning (exposure to substantial amounts of exhaust)
- Breathing problems (from working around harmful chemicals or materials)
- Zoonotic diseases (contact with species that may transfer illness)
Is an employee permitted to see their own doctor?
After an injury or illness is reported, it is likely that the employee will then be sent to a pre-assigned doctor that was chosen to handle workers compensation injury claims for that company. Depending on state laws, an employee may be able to see their own doctor for a second opinion. Even if you are evaluated by your own doctor, the insurance company of your work may require a medical exam being done by one of their doctors as well.
When would the assistance of an attorney be helpful?
An employee may eventually consider meeting with an workers comp lawyer Milwaukee, WI trusts about a workers compensation claim if they are not receiving enough benefits to fully cover the costs of injury treatment. A person may be entitled to more compensation, but do not know how to go about fighting for what is needed for proper recovery. A worker may choose to consult with an attorney because a legal professional also has insight into legalities which often surpasses the average person.
What information should a worker bring along to their first meeting with an attorney?
A worker should bring along all information related to their injury. Obtain copies of medical evaluations, the injury incident report, and any other documentation that may be relevant. Pictures of the injury can be beneficial as well. An employee can either email or print copies of the work injuries as proof of their condition. An attorney can weave through the evidence to determine which information is most useful.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Hickey & Turim, S.C. for their insight into workers compensation benefits.