When you get seriously hurt on the job, paperwork and procedures are often the last things on your mind. You may feel so much pain that you can’t focus on anything until you receive medical care.
Even if the pain itself is manageable, you may have so much anxiety about the implications of the injury on your earning potential or immediate future that your primary focus is to just get to the doctor’s office or hospital, get treated and move on with life.
Thankfully, the Wisconsin workers’ compensation insurance program is good at accommodating injured workers and supporting them during their recovery and return to work. They do this in part by not demanding immediate reporting or quick claims. However, there are certain statutes of limitations that apply to workers’ compensation claims.
You generally have two years to file your initial claim
For those who get hurt on the job, they will need to request workers’ compensation benefits within two years of the date of their injury. For those who develop a work-acquired illness, whether it’s a repetitive motion injury like carpal tunnel or a sickness that requires hospitalization, they will typically have two years from the date of their diagnosis to seek workers’ compensation benefits.
Quick reporting of claims make it easier to get your benefits
While paperwork may not before front in your mind after a work injury, letting your employer know about what’s going on should be. Ideally, if you remain conscious and rational after a serious injury, you will let your supervisor or manager know about what happened.
They may take a report immediately or follow up with you several days later to complete the necessary paperwork for a formal report of the incident. You have up to 30 days to make the report, but the sooner you report the incident, the easier it will be for your employer to investigate and corroborate your claims. Co-workers will soon forget the details of what they witnessed, and it’s possible that the company could record over security footage if you don’t advise them of the issue quickly.
Beyond that, filing an initial claim with the workers’ compensation insurance program is something typically best done sooner rather than later. You will need the medical coverage and disability benefits to offset the cost of your care and lost wages as you recover.