Do I Have a Workers Compensation Case?

In many states, including the state of Wisconsin, you have a Workers Compensation case if you meet the five criteria enumerated below. Please note that additional explanation may be required before you know (for sure) if you have a Workers Compensation case.
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1)     You sustained a physical or mental injury
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You may have a Workers Compensation case if you sustain a physical or mental injury. A  physical injury can be either traumatic (a sudden, isolated incident) or occupational (repetitive job duties or exposure). If you are bringing a mental claim that does not involve a physical element, you will need to prove that you were under extraordinary stress. If you are unsure as to whether your claim is compensable, contact a Milwaukee WI workers compensation lawyer to see if you have a Workers Compensation case.
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2)     You were an employee (not an independent contractor) for the company you were injured at
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You do not have a Workers Compensation case if you are not an employee of the company you were injured at. In order to prove that you are an employee, you have to show that you are “under the control of the employer” and that you were not an independent contractor. While there are exceptions, in general, volunteers and independent contractors are not employees. If you are unsure whether you are an employee, contact a lawyer to see if you have a Workers Compensation case.
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3)     You sustained the injury in the course of your employment
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You may have a Workers Compensation case assuming that you were on the employer’s premises at the time in which you are injured. Please note that some employees, such as traveling employees, are also covered by Workers Comp assuming that they were going from “portal to portal” at the time in which they were injured. There are numerous exceptions to this rule so be sure to contact a lawyer to see if you have a Workers Compensation case.
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4)     The injury was not self-inflicted
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In the state of Wisconsin, we have what is called a “no fault system.” Therefore, even if the injury is the “fault” of the employee, the claim may still be compensable. With that said, if the injury is self-inflicted, you may not have a Workers Compensation case. If you are unsure about this, contact a lawyer to see if you have a Workers Compensation case.
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5)     The injury arose out of your employment
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The injury has to occur as a result of a hazard of your employment in order for it to be  compensable. For example, a concrete floor in it of itself is not a hazard. However, if you were to slip on something left on that concrete floor (i.e. oil, sawdust, etc.), the “hazard” caused your injury and thus, the claim is compensable. If you are unsure whether your injury arose out of your employment, contact a lawyer to see if you have a Workers Compensation case.
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Hickey and TurimThanks to our friend and contributor from Hickey & Turim, S.C. for their insight into workers’ compensation cases.