When to Claim Workers’ Compensation
Madison Personal Injury Attorneys Sue for Workplace Injuries
Worker’s compensation covers medical expenses, rehabilitation, and some lost wages after suffering an injury or illness as a result of your job. Whether you fall on a slippery surface, are injured by equipment, or become ill after exposure to toxic substances, any on-the-job injury makes you entitled to workers’ compensation.
In most cases, if you receive workers’ compensation benefits, you give up your right to sue your employer for personal injury as well.
It’s important to note that workers’ compensation and personal injury lawsuits cover different types of damages. Depending on your situation, you may be able to get a much larger settlement or award through personal injury than workers’ comp, or you may even be able to pursue both.
INJURED? It IS About The Money.®
Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Statute of Limitations
If you choose to file for workers’ comp, make sure you report everything properly and in a timely manner. Although Wisconsin has a relatively long statute of limitations for workers’ compensation, why wait to start collecting damages?
Within 30 days of the accident or of discovering the injury, report the accident to your employer.
In order to qualify for workers’ compensation, you must report the injury or illness to your employer within 2 years.
Provided your employer knew or should have known about the injury, the statute of limitations for making a claim is 12 years.
For some traumatic injuries and occupational diseases, there is no statute of limitations for filing a claim.
Filing for Workers’ Comp in Wisconsin
Your responsibilities as an injured employee include reporting the injury to your employee, getting any medical attention you need, and keeping track of all medical records, bills, and receipts.
Your employer should then report the injury to their insurance company, who then reports it to the Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Division. You should receive compensation from the insurance company within 2 weeks.
Your claim will remain open for 12 years from the date of the injury or the date of the last payment. Keep all medical and payment records during those 12 years in case your condition changes and you require further compensation.
For more specific questions, you can contact the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development at:
Madison WI USA 53703
Workers’ Compensation vs Personal Injury
The main difference between a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit is personal injury law is based on fault or negligence, while workers’ compensation is a no-fault claim. If you collect workers’ compensation, you give up the right to sue negligent employers or co-workers for personal injury.
In other words, if you are injured on the job or become ill due to the work you do, you’re entitled to compensation whether or not your employer or co-workers did anything wrong. Even if you were negligent and your own negligence caused your injury, you can receive workers’ comp benefits.
Another difference is in the types of damages included in each claim. Workers’ comp provides money for medical bills, vocational rehab, weekly compensation, and permanent impairment benefits. Unlike personal injury, workers’ compensation does not include benefits for pain and suffering. In a personal injury lawsuit, you could recover all damages, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost earnings and earning capacity
- Current and future medical expenses
- Permanent impairment
- Hedonic damages (loss of enjoyment of life)
Overlap between Workers’ Comp and Personal Injury
“What if I was injured at work due to the negligence of a third party, not my employer?”
In some cases, you may be able to file for workers’ compensation AND sue the third party with a personal injury lawsuit, such as if you were:
- Injured by defective product or equipment
- Injured by a toxic substance
- Intentionally injured by employer or coworker
- Injured in a workplace without workers’ compensation insurance
- Injured some other way by a third party
The workers’ compensation carrier has a lien on any awards from this suit to prevent you from recovering the same damages twice. In other words, you can sue the third party for damages not covered under workers’ compensation.
Get the Maximum Financial Compensation with Wisconsin Workplace Injury Lawyers
In a free consultation, our personal injury attorneys will assess your unique situation to determine the best course of action to get you the most money. In cases where no one is at fault, workers’ comp may be your best bet. However, our workplace accident lawyers have years of experience investigating accidents and determining liability.
If you decide to sue, we’ll completely fund your case all the way through trial and appeal if necessary. You don’t pay us until you get paid, and if you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid.