Individuals who have suffered a significant workplace injury often ask whether they can pursue a personal injury claim against their employer, as well as a workers’ compensation claim. Because the workers’ compensation program provides an exclusive remedy for injured employees, they typically cannot pursue both types of claims following a workplace injury.
Workers’ compensation does provide coverage for employees injured at work in terms of lost wages, medical expenses, and compensation for permanent disabilities. However, unlike personal injury claims, the workers’ compensation program does not allow the injured employee to seek compensation for pain and suffering.
If the employer acts intentionally, recklessly, or illegally in causing the employee’s injury, the employer is responsible for an additional 15% increase in overall compensation for the victim. In order for an employee to be entitled to this additional compensation in a workers’ compensation claim, the employer must have either violated a safety order or statute, failed to use safety devices, or disobeyed an established safety rule. Wisconsin law caps this 15% increase to a total of $15,000 in additional benefits.
Although you generally cannot maintain both a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury claim against your employer, you may have a personal injury claim against a third party who causes your injury. Third party personal injury claims can provide compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and damages for pain and suffering. For instance, if an employee delivering or picking up materials is injured in a motor vehicle collision caused by another driver, the employee theoretically could have a workers’ compensation claim against his or her employer and a personal injury action against the third party driver who caused the accident.
The intersection between workers’ compensation claims and personal injury claims is very complex, and you will need an experienced personal injury lawyer to guide you through the claims process as appropriate. Each type of claim has strict requirements and deadlines that a claimant must meet in order to maintain a successful claim. Boller & Vaughan are Wisconsin motor vehicle accident lawyers who dedicate their practice to protecting the interests of the injured and their families. Contact our office today to set up your free consultation and learn what options are available to you.
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We live in Friendship, Wisconsin, and Boller & Vaughan came to our doorstep to discuss our mother’s wrongful death claim on a Saturday morning. Not only were we pleased with the large recovery, we were so thankful to have lawyers who were willing to explain to us every twist and turn along the way. It is great to know there is a law firm that will fight for the rights of elderly people all over Wisconsin.
Mr. Boller and Ms. Vaughan were incredible in working on my case and my daughter’s case. I was out of work and in the hospital with a new baby. Mr. Boller and Ms. Vaughan protected our rights and it was a pleasure to work with them. I hope never to be in another motor vehicle accident, however, if I am and I am injured, I will contact Boller & Vaughan immediately.
I was referred to Michelle through a friend. I have never had a better experience. It took a little over a year to get my settlement but the staff there stayed in constant contact and kept me in the loop. Oh, and Michelle actually got me MORE money than we discussed. I will refer anyone to this firm. Words cannot do justice the thanks that I have for Michelle and her staff (Mary especially) thank you guys so much!
After my husband died as a result of a motor vehicle accident, Boller & Vaughan spent countless hours talking with me, meeting with me in person, and making sure that I was okay. The drunk driver who hit us did not have any insurance, and we had to make a claim through our own insurance. Boller & Vaughan was fantastic at explaining the law to me and the handling of our claims.
After my son was injured in a daycare setting, Ms. Vaughan took the time to thoroughly investigate our case and my son’s injuries. Michele was approachable and had answers to our questions. Talking with her helped to relieve many of our anxieties.