Can I Choose my Own Doctor for a Workers’ Comp Claim in Wisconsin?
It's no secret that dealing with a workers’ compensation claim is overwhelming. Juggling all the calls, emails and forms can cause headaches of its own, not to mention the physical and emotional healing from your workplace injury.
To add to the confusion, there is a common misperception that if you are injured at work, you need to see your employer’s onsite doctor or one they recommend.
Thanks to the Wisconsin Workers Compensation Act, workers in Wisconsin have the right to choose their own doctor. Being able to choose your own doctor to care for your work-related injury or illness—one that you trust—is important to help get you back on your feet and back to work.
Learn more about choosing your own worker’s compensation doctor in Wisconsin.
How do I get medical care for a Worker’s Compensation claim?
After you are injured on the job, one of two primary actions will happen:
If your injury requires immediate medical attention, your employer will call for emergency assistance. After you have been cared for and are stable, you can choose your doctor(s) moving forward.
If your injury requires attention, but is not an emergency, you can choose a doctor and facility from which to seek initial and ongoing treatment from.
How do I choose my own doctor?
1. Get Treatment. First things first, seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries. It is important to get a medical evaluation and treatment plan as quickly as possible after you are injured to avoid injuring yourself further, as well as to begin documenting your workplace injury. In Wisconsin, you are not required to use your employer’s recommended doctor, though you are welcome to use them. Pick a doctor or medical provider that you trust, but be sure they are certified to practice medicine in the State of Wisconsin. Let your provider know you are being seen for a workplace injury and ask if they have experience completing workers’ compensation forms.
2. Collect evidence that proves your injury is work-related. Either take pictures of the accident site yourself or ask a co-worker to take photos. Take photos of your physical injuries as well. Write down the name(s) and contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident.
3. Report your injury to your manager, supervisor or HR department (preferably in writing) within 30 days from the date of the accident (the sooner the better). If you have a work-related illness, make sure to report it within 30 days from the date you started having symptoms. Failure to notify your employer within this timeframe may hinder your eligibility to collect benefits. Check with your employer for any forms or processes specific to your organization.
4. Keep copies of everything including out-of-pocket expense receipts, payment stubs, short- or long-term disability payment stubs, off-work or limitation slips. You will need proof of all expenses for completing your worker’s compensation claim.
5. See Your Own Doctor. The law doesn’t require you to see the company doctor. Aside from emergency medical care in cases where your injury prohibits you from making your own decisions (such as a slip or fall that knocks you unconscious), you are free to make your own medical decisions for treatment in your worker’s comp case.
Will my medical care and wages from missed work be covered if I don’t use my employer’s doctor?
Yes, your medical care and wages from missed work can be covered in your worker’s compensation claim, even if you don’t use your employer’s doctor. Your ability to have medical expenses reimbursed is not dependent on the doctor you use, but rather the type of injury, how it happened (if the employer is at fault) and the timeliness of submitting your claim. If your injury qualifies for a worker’s comp claim, your medical bills and wages from time off of work due to your injury may be covered by your employer’s workers’ comp insurance provider.
Common workplace injuries that are covered in workers’ compensation claims include:
Head, neck and back injuries
Carpal tunnel and other repetitive trauma injuries
Certain work-related emotional and stress problems
Work-induced heart attack or stroke
Occupational diseases such as asbestos and dermatitis
Disfigurement and scarring of the face, neck or hands
Asthma or other work-related pulmonary conditions
Loss of use of limbs
Coverage for workplace injuries begins on day one of working for your employer. There is no probationary period. You can expect to receive payment for missed wages within 14 days. The first three days of missed work are unpaid, with compensation for missed work beginning on the 4th day. View more details on what to expect with your workers’ compensation claim and typical timeline on the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development website.
What should I do if my claim is denied or disputed?
If your Wisconsin worker’s compensation claim is denied, you should immediately call an attorney at Di Renzo & Bomier to help you. We’re here for you every step of the way. And since worker’s comp cases are considered contingency cases, this means your consultation with us is always free and if we take your case, you won’t pay anything until we recover money for you.
Injured at work? Contact a trusted worker’s comp lawyer in the Fox Valley and Green Bay.
Being injured on the job can be overwhelming. Let the award-winning workers’ compensation lawyers at Di Renzo & Bomier take some weight off your shoulders and do the heavy lifting for your workers comp claim.
If you or a loved one have been injured on the job, Di Renzo & Bomier offers a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. Call (800) 725-8464 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment.
We represent injured workers in Neenah, Appleton, Green Bay and across Northeast Wisconsin.
The content of this blog was prepared by Law Offices of Di Renzo & Bomier, LLC for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to solicit business or provide legal advice. Laws differ by jurisdiction, and the information in this blog may not apply to you. You should seek the assistance of an attorney licensed to practice in your state before taking any action. Using this blog site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Law Offices of Di Renzo & Bomier, LLC.