First Responders in Wisconsin Towns Find Troubling Lack of Workers Comp
A number of local government officials in Wisconsin are trying to determine how much money they will need to pay for their workers comp insurance premiums, which they believed the county was paying for them. This is a particularly troubling situation for first responders.
Two Wisconsin counties are currently reeling from the lack of workers comp insurance for their emergency medical staff. Towns in both Washura and Door counties believed that county government paid for workers comp insurance. However, in the other 70 counties, workers comp is the provision of local, rather than county, government.
Several people who had long worked for emergency response teams said that, in 1984, the county assumed responsibility for providing ambulance services, rather than local fire departments. They claimed that the agreement called for the county to pay $5 per year to emergency medical responders, which effectively makes them county employees.
Since emergency medical responders were county employees, said local government, that meant the county had to pay their workers comp insurance premiums.
However, town officials say that there is no record of of such an agreement on county files.
First responders learned about the discrepancy just a few months ago, when a Jacksonport first responder was injured on a call, and filed a workers comp claim that was denied. According to procedure for local first responders, only volunteer emergency medical responders are not covered by workers comp. Emergency Medical Technicians, or EMTs, who are paid for their work, qualify for workers comp insurance; paramedics are full-time county employees, and have the most training.
Firefighters and paramedics are covered by workers comp insurance through local government, according to records. However, it is EMRs who are in the coverage gap currently.
Denied Workers Comp Claims in South Carolina
Just because your employer, or your employer’s insurance company, denies your workers’ compensation claim does not mean that they are right to deny your workers’ comp benefits.
First of all, you need to ascertain that the denial for workers’ compensation is actually legal.
If the employer is using a legal reason to deny workers’ comp, you need to determine if the reason is valid, or if it is a false accusation against you (such as a work injury due to intoxication).
A legal denial could occur by not understanding the workers’ compensation laws, such as how to proceed following an injury. This type of denial should be resolved with a little negotiating and explaining.
Finally, the denial of workers’ compensation benefits can be solely at the fault of your employer who has no valid reason to deny your benefits.
The employee MUST notify his or her employer within 90 days of the injury or risk losing the right to benefits under workers compensation. (It is recommended that you record details of your accident and to whom you reported it.)
Any full-time employee (working for an employer with four or more employees) who has an employment related injury and needs medical attention should be covered under workers’ compensation insurance. It doesn’t matter if the injury was a complete accident or the fault of a co-worker.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Workers Comp Claims in South Carolina
The workers comp lawyers at The Strom Law Firm, LLC proudly seek justice on behalf of employees injured or killed on the job who work for private companies, as well as employees working for local county, city, and state government. We are licensed to practice throughout South Carolina, as well as Georgia and New York. If you are confused about worker’s comp laws, or have had your worker’s comp claim denied, contact us. We offer free consultations to discuss the facts of your case. 803.252.4800.