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Can I have a personal injury claim and worker’s compensation?

| Apr 2, 2020 | Workers' Compensation, Workplace Injuries

A workplace injury can seriously affect your life in a variety of ways. Whether your injury is permanent or temporary, you are likely concerned about all the medical costs and the loss of wages while you’re on leave.

When people sustain an injury on the job, they may believe that filing for a worker’s compensation claim is their only choice. However, that’s not always the case. Depending on the situation, you may have the grounds to receive both worker’s compensation and compensation from a personal injury lawsuit as well.

The deciding factors

You’re probably wondering what exactly the difference is between worker’s compensation and a personal injury claim. Worker’s compensation covers accidents or illness developed while at work or due to work-related tasks such as severe back injuries from hauling heavy objects or from faulty machinery.

If you receive an injury while performing work-related duties, your employer can provide you with certain benefits under worker’s compensation law. In Wisconsin, physical harm, mental harm, accidental injury and occupational diseases are the main categories that fall under worker’s compensation.

When it comes to a personal injury lawsuit, you are filing a claim against someone else not related to your employer. Personal injury claims can occur in situations such as you slip and fall on a neighbor’s property, or you receive a dog bite from a careless owner while at the park.

When can I file both claims?

You can file for both worker’s compensation and a personal injury claim when your injury was the result of a third-party that does not work for your company. The following are some examples:

  • You are driving to a work-related conference in another city when you are in a car accident. Since you were still on the job when the accident occurred, your employer is responsible for providing worker’s compensation. However, you can also file a personal injury suit against the driver of the other vehicle.
  • You receive an injury due to faulty equipment that you use at your workplace. You can file a personal injury claim against the manufacturer of the machinery while also requesting worker’s compensation from your employer.
  • You slip and fall on wet floors in the office due to negligence from outsourced cleaning staff who did not put up proper signage. Since the cleaning staff is employed through a different company, you may have grounds to pursue both worker’s compensation and personal injury claims.

Under these circumstances, you may have grounds to pursue both kinds of compensation. If you’re not sure, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can determine the best course of action. A workplace injury can cause incredible pain and trauma, and you should receive proper benefits to help you through the challenging path toward recovery.

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