Workers’ compensation laws are protection for people who are injured while at work. Most employees know that, although with a vague understanding of how that will be fulfilled. Injuries can be the result of an accident or cumulative, task-related physical distress as in development of carpal tunnel syndrome or back pain. The goal of these laws is to limit lawsuits by providing fixed monetary compensation. Wisconsin statutes establish the framework for the process, as does each other state in the country. Federal laws cover the military and government employees.

Although at first glance once would think the process is straightforward, that isn’t always the case. This is because each employee, injury, business and employer is unique. It’s helpful to understand the process thoroughly to assure proper compensation is awarded in your particular circumstances. It may be even more important if the accident or disability leads to a more permanent health issue.

Lost wages and medical expenses are usually the most critical financial burden a family faces. But there are other expenses that you may not realize are compensable. As we outline on our practice page, it may be that travel costs for driving to medical appointments should be considered. Psychological care after an emotional upheaval might be a very real, and expensive, part of the healing process.

It’s possible that work-related treatment coverage can continue for 12 years. Benefits fall into two categories. Temporary total disability is paid when someone is unable to earn any income. Temporary partial disability benefits kick in if wages are cut because the work-related injury limits the employee’s job participation for a limited period of time while healing takes place.

Because there are often many details involved with an on-the-job injury, it can be wise to discuss them with a professional who is familiar with both the process and the laws. There are times when claims are disputed, and other instances that lend themselves to exploring options. Well-informed workers are generally better able to make sound decisions.