Are you suffering from a work-related injury in Wisconsin? You don’t have to face this challenging time without a reliable legal advocate.

Andrew Schwaba understands the physical, emotional, and financial toll a workplace injury can have on you and those who count on you. As a renowned Wisconsin work injury lawyer, he can work to take the pressure off you and let you get back to what matters most: your recovery. With a wealth of experience and a proven track record of securing millions in fair compensation for his clients, you can rest assured that Andrew knows what it takes to deliver meaningful results.

Don’t let a workplace injury set you back anymore. Let Andrew demand the compensation you are owed. Contact a Wisconsin work injury attorney from Schwaba Law Firm today for a free consultation.

What Are Common Types of Workplace Injuries in Wisconsin?

Every work environment has unique hazards, but there are specific injuries and work-related conditions that many workers suffer, regardless of industry.

Some common examples include the following:

  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Burn injuries
  • Fractures and dislocations
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Hearing and vision loss
  • Concussions
  • Contusions (bruises)
  • Fall injuries
  • Machinery accident injuries
  • Struck-by injuries
  • Entanglement injuries
  • Crushing injuries
  • Puncture wounds
  • Toxic exposure injuries
  • Electrical shocks
  • Heatstroke and hypothermia
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Traumatic amputations
  • Back and spine injuries
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Asbestos-related illnesses
  • Occupational cancers

What Does Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Cover?

Workers’ compensation laws in Wisconsin cover most employees when they sustain job-related injuries or illnesses. The Wisconsin workers’ comp system has various types of eligible employees, covered conditions, and available benefits.

Covered Employees

In Wisconsin, the Worker’s Compensation Act protects most public and private employees, including family members, minors, part-time workers, and corporate officers. However, there are specifics based on the size and type of the employer:

  • Those who work for employers with three or more employees are immediately covered.
  • Those who work for employers with fewer than three workers are covered if their employers pay $500 or more in wages in any quarter. They are covered 10 days after the end of that quarter.
  • Farm workers are covered if their employers have at least six employees for at least 20 days in a calendar year.

There are exceptions to the Act’s insurance requirement. Employers aren’t required to provide workers’ comp coverage for these categories of employees:

  • Certain workers covered by federal laws, such as federal government employees, railroad workers, seamen, and harbor workers
  • Domestic servants
  • Workers who are not in the occupation, business, trade, or profession of the employer
  • Particular farm workers
  • Volunteers, including those at non-profits who earn $10 each week or less
  • Religious sect members that qualify and certify for exemptions
  • Employees of Native American tribal enterprises, unless the tribes elect to waive their sovereign immunity and voluntarily become subject to the Act

Covered Injuries and Illnesses

Wisconsin’s worker’s compensation law covers any mental or physical harm from workplace accidents or diseases. The types of covered injuries include the following:

  • Physical harm, wounds, or loss of function
  • Mental harm with or without physical trauma
  • Accidental injuries from physical or traumatic mental harm
  • Occupational diseases from exposure to employment-related hazards

The injury or disease must be a result of the employment. Employees must prove that their injuries happened while they were engaged in job-related activities. Workers’ comp does not cover injuries or illnesses arising from on-the-job horseplay, self-infliction, or intoxication.

Types of Benefits

In Wisconsin, workers’ compensation benefits cover a variety of expenses and circumstances for employees who get hurt at work or suffer from occupational diseases:

  • Medical Benefits – Eligible workers are entitled to coverage for all bills related to their conditions, including doctor and hospital bills, prescription costs, and travel expenses for treatments or examinations. Workers have the right to select their first two healthcare providers, though employers can require workers to submit to reasonable exams by the employer’s or insurance company’s chosen doctor.
  • Disability Benefits – The law provides for weekly benefits in cases of temporary or permanent disability. There’s a three-day waiting period for temporary disability benefits when workers miss work for seven days or fewer. Employees who still can’t work after the seventh day can claim retroactive benefits for the waiting period. If a worker still has permanent limitations once their healing period is over, they could be entitled to permanent disability benefits, sometimes for life.
  • Rehabilitation Benefits – Wisconsin law provides retraining and rehabilitation benefits for injured workers, including training for the use of artificial limbs and vocational rehabilitation.
  • Death Benefits – Compensation is available to surviving spouses, parents, or other relatives if a work-related accident or occupational disease results in death. Burial expenses are also covered up to certain limits.

What’s the Difference Between a Workers’ Compensation Claim and a Third-Party Claim?

A workers’ compensation claim is an insurance claim you file against your employer’s insurance for benefits after a work-related injury, regardless of fault. Workers’ comp covers medical expenses, a portion of lost wages, and rehabilitation costs. It also limits your right to sue your employer.

A third-party claim, on the other hand, is an insurance claim you file against a party other than your employer, such as a contractor, manufacturer, or property owner, whose wrongful behavior contributed to your injury. With a successful third-party claim, you could recover money for losses not covered by workers’ comp, like the full value of lost income and subjective losses like pain and suffering. But it takes a skilled attorney who handles work injury cases to know how to prove a third-party was negligent.

Common Third-Party Work Injury Cases

If someone other than an employer or co-worker is responsible for a worker’s injury, the worker might have one or more of the following types of personal injury cases against that third party:

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Insurance Claims – If a third party contributes to a work injury, the worker could have a liability claim with that party’s insurance, such as their homeowners’ insurance or auto insurance. Health insurance could also play a role, particularly if workers’ comp benefits are disputed or delayed.

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Product Liability Cases – If an employee is injured by a defective product at work, they might have a product liability case against the manufacturer, distributor, or seller of the product.

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Premises Liability Cases – If an employee gets hurt on someone else’s property due to unsafe conditions, they might have a premises liability case against the property owner or manager.

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Wrongful Death Cases – If an employee dies as a result of a work-related injury or illness, their family might have a wrongful death case against the responsible third party.

Can I File a Third-Party Claim While Receiving Workers’ Compensation?


Yes. You can pursue a third-party claim while receiving workers’ compensation in Wisconsin. If a third party’s negligence contributed to your injury, you may sue them or file an insurance claim against them seeking additional compensation.

But keep in mind that if you win a third-party claim or lawsuit, your employer or their insurance company could have the right to seize money from your settlement to recoup the amount they paid you. Fortunately, Wisconsin law stipulates that you will receive at least one-third of the net recovery plus any balance remaining after you repay your employer or their insurance company.

Do I Need to Hire a Workers’ Comp Attorney After a Job Injury?

Dealing with the specific laws, procedures, and paperwork associated with workers’ comp claims can be confusing and time-consuming, particularly when you’re recovering from a painful injury or difficult illness. An experienced attorney can guide you through this process every step of the way and increase your odds of securing all the benefits you’re entitled to.

This includes not only wage replacement and medical treatment but also compensation for permanent impairment or the need for vocational retraining if your injuries prevent you from returning to your previous job. In addition, if you’re considering a third-party claim, your workers’ comp claim has been denied, or your employer has retaliated against you, then you should definitely consult an attorney.

Benefits of Hiring a Wisconsin Work Injury Attorney

Here are just a few key advantages of hiring a lawyer after a work injury in Wisconsin:

  • You’ll have a professional advocate who understands workers’ comp laws and legal jargon.
  • Your attorney can identify potential sources of compensation, including third-party claims.
  • A lawyer can manage case paperwork on your behalf, saving you considerable time and stress.
  • An attorney can calculate a fair value for your claim so you don’t settle for less than you deserve.
  • Your attorney can identify, gather, and preserve essential evidence to support your claim.
  • Your lawyer can communicate and negotiate on your behalf, reducing potential pressure on you.
  • In the case of hearings or appeals, you won’t have to face the process alone.
  • If you face employer retaliation, you have someone to protect your rights and provide advice.
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Can I Sue My Employer for a Work Injury?

It depends. Workers’ comp is designed to compensate injured workers without requiring them to prove fault, making it an “exclusive remedy” that negates the need for employee lawsuits. In most cases, you cannot sue your employer for a work injury if their workers’ comp insurance covers you. There are exceptions, however, such as if your employer intentionally harms you or doesn’t carry the required workers’ compensation coverage.

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Contact a Work Injury Lawyer in Wisconsin Today

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Ready to reclaim control of your future? Wisconsin work injury attorney Andrew Schwaba can help. Reach out to Schwaba Law Firm today for a free consultation and case review.