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

In Wisconsin, employees who are injured on the job typically must obtain care and compensation through the Wisconsin's workers compensation insurance system. Employers are required to provide these Workers Compensation benefits and injured employees are able to receive them, regardless of whether or not the employer or employee is negligent. However, if the employee is injured by the negligence of a third party, the injured employee not only has a workers compensation claim, but also a potential claim for damages against the negligent third party. For example, if an employee is involved in a motor vehicle (car, truck, etc.) collision while on the job the employee would be entitled to receive workers compensation benefits from his/her employer's workers compensation insurance, but would also have a claim for personal injury damages against the negligent driver's insurance company who caused the motor vehicle collision.  

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.