Workers' Compensation Insurance Laws in Wisconsin
Most employers in the state are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Out-of-state employers must also cover their in-state workers with a policy from an insurance provider authorized to write workers’ comp policies in Wisconsin.
Injured employees are permitted to seek treatment from a physician of their choice. If they do not have confidence in their treating physician, they may obtain care from a different doctor but must immediately report the change to their employer.
When an employer is made aware of a work-related injury or illness, they must report it to their workers’ compensation insurance company within seven days.
When an employer is made aware of a work-related fatality, they must report it to the Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Division within 24 hours.
Self-insurance companies and workers’ compensation insurance companies are required to report all injuries that result in more than three days of lost work time to the Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Division.
Employers who intentionally fail to report worker injuries and illnesses can face a penalty for bad faith of up to $30,000 or two times the compensation due. Employers can also face fines of 10% of the amount due to the employee if they delay reporting the injury or illness.
Employers may not fire, demote, harass, or retaliate against employees who file workers’ compensation claims or participate as witnesses in workers’ compensation proceedings.
Failure to carry required workers' compensation insurance can result in monetary penalties, including fines of two times the premiums the employer failed to pay, or $750, whichever is greater. Additionally, the employer can be held personally liable for expenses incurred by an injured employee while the employer was uninsured.
Common Workers' Compensation Claims in Wisconsin
Wisconsin was recently named among the most dangerous states to work in. Employees in Wisconsin report more than 75,000 workplace injuries in a typical year.
Five most reported worker injuries in Wisconsin:
- Back injuries
- Cuts and bruises
- Chronic pain conditions like tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome
- Sprains and strains
Insurance companies in Wisconsin pay out more than $400 million a year in workers’ compensation insurance claims.
Ten Occupations with the Highest Rate of Worker Injuries in Wisconsin:
- Couriers and messengers
- Sawmill and wood preservation workers
- Air transportation workers
- Nursing and residential care facility workers
- Wood product manufacturing
- Motor vehicle body and trailer manufacturing
- Water, sewage, and other systems workers
- Correctional facility workers
- Cement and concrete product manufacturing
- Warehousing and storage occupations