What’s the difference between a workers’ compensation claim and a third-party claim?

In Wisconsin and around the country, workers who are injured or fall ill on the job typically must obtain care and compensation through the state’s workers’ compensation system. Employers are required to provide these benefits, and employees are able to use them regardless of fault. At times, however, fault does matter. If a worker is involved in a vehicle accident while on the job, it may be the result of some other party’s behavior—not the employee nor the employer. In these situations, it can be possible for the injured worker to pursue a legal claim outside workers’ compensation against the responsible party.

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim for a Vehicle Accident

Wisconsin workers’ compensation does cover injuries sustained in a vehicle accident while on company business. This can mean while delivering or unloading goods, traveling to a job site or meeting, running a work-related errand, providing transportation for a co-worker or client, and more.

After the accident, the worker should report the injury to the employer and file a workers’ compensation claim just as he would for any other type of work injury. Medical care and wage replacement benefits are available to the employee through the workers’ compensation system.

Filing a Third-Party Vehicle Accident Claim in Wisconsin

For those involved in a vehicle accident, it may also be possible to file a third-party claim. This is a legal claim against the person responsible for the accident in civil court, outside the workers’ compensation system. In this type of case, the injured worker would be able to pursue compensation from the negligent party for:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Future medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage
  • Loss of enjoyment

Compensation From a Third-Party Claim and Your Rights

The compensation that can be awarded from a third-party personal injury case is typically more significant than that offered by workers’ compensation—especially if significant injuries are sustained. It is important to note that if an injured worker is successful with a third-party claim, Wisconsin workers’ compensation does have a right to be reimbursed for the medical payments and wage replacement they paid to the injured worker.

If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a vehicle accident while on the job in Wisconsin, you may be eligible to file a third-party claim. Even if you are not sure of your rights, contact the legal team at Wagner Law, LLC in our office in Menomonie or Eau Claire. We can answer your questions and help you pursue all the compensation you deserve.