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
- Contusions (bruises)
- Fall injuries
- Machinery accident injuries
- Struck-by injuries
- Entanglement injuries
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.
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.