You may not have planned to get hurt at work, but it still happened. In the wake of a work accident that results in an injury, you need to act in a thoughtful manner. Failing to follow the proper steps could end up causing issues for you at a later date.
Thankfully, with the right support and little education, you can most likely navigate the complicated worker's compernsation process successfully. Take a few moments to educate yourself about the mistakes others commonly make to avoid making them yourself. Proactive actions could help protect your rights as a worker in Wisconsin.
Report the incident to your employer right away
Unless you lost consciousness or were otherwise unable to communicate, one of your first steps after suffering an injury at work should be to report it to your manager. Whether there are on-site medical facilities or you need to leave to see a doctor, your direct supervisor should know right away. In some cases, you may also want to reach out to your union representative or even the company's owner. Making the mistake of failing to report an injury could cause significant problems down the road.
While you're at it, take a moment to create a personal record of what happened, where and why. You should also note if there were witnesses to the accident or if the event got caught on camera. All of that information could prove helpful down the road.
Take your injuries seriously and listen to your doctor
One of the worst mistakes you can make is refusing care or deciding to try to tough out your injuries. If symptoms get worse over time, failing to seek medical evaluation could prevent you from receiving the workers' compensation coverage you need.
You also need to carefully follow any instructions from your doctor. Requirements for physical therapy, rest and other treatments are not suggestions. Failing to follow medical orders could provide grounds for denial for coverage in the future. Have a doctor check your injury and comply with the treatment this professional suggests, even if it means missing work while you recover.
Don't take a denial to heart
It's all too easy to feel like you have to give up if your initial claim gets rejected. Many people receive a letter denying their claim, and assume that it is the end of their attempt to connect with the benefits they deserve. Giving up should not be an option. After all, these benefits are in place to protect people in your exact situation.
Instead of giving up, you need to look carefully at the denial letter. It should give you some idea of why the claim wasn't accepted. Perhaps you made a simple mistake when filling out paperwork. Maybe your employer tried to deny the accident or claimed that your injury was pre-existing. Once you know the root cause of the issue, you can plan your tactics for appealing the denial. You should start right away, as there are time limits in place on appeals.