Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development reports suggest more than 600 workers’ compensation claims a year are filed for transportation accidents. Most involve collision with another vehicle, though many single-vehicle accidents are also reported.
That means several Wisconsin workers a day are injured or killed in traffic accidents. Obviously, if you are a truck driver, you are at increased risk; but many of us face risks. From picking up the donuts to start the workday to running to the office store for supplies, many employees discount the fact that such work-related errands are likely the most dangerous part of their day.
Never discount the legal complexity of these cases. Our Sawyer County injury attorneys can help you determine your rights. Such claims can result in multiple defendants pointing the finger at each other, with nobody willing to pay the claim.
Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Act, Wis. Stat. § 102.01, generally covers employees who are injured in traffic accidents while on the job. However, many of these cases occur in a grey area. What if you were attending a work lunch at a nearby restaurant? Or traveling to meet a client to start the workday? Or going to Office Depot on your lunch break?
Proper documentation can be vital to making a successful claim in such cases. A Hayward injury lawyer experienced in both car accident and workers’ compensation claims can best help protect your rights. Under Wisconsin law, most workers injured on the job, in a transportation accident or otherwise, should be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This includes medical expenses, temporary or permanent disability benefits, and workers’ compensation death benefits.
Workers injured in a traffic accident with an at-fault driver may be in a strong position to pursue a third-party liability claim, in addition to workers’ compensation benefits. Asserting your legal rights as early as possible can prevent defendants from using each other to deny or delay claims.
While workers’ compensation benefits generally prohibit negligence lawsuits against your employer or coworkers, third-party liability claims against other at-fault parties may be crucial to providing adequate compensation in cases resulting in serious injury, disability or death.
Under Wisconsin workers’ compensation law, such third-party liability claims are outlined in Wis. Stat. § 102.29. Consulting an experienced Sawyer County injury law firm can best help you identify all responsible parties. A successful injury lawsuit could impact payout under the workers’ compensation system. In some cases, insurers or medical providers may have rights to a lien in order to recover certain paid benefits.
You may still be entitled to collect additional damages, even if a traffic collision was partially your fault. Wisconsin laws on contributory negligence, Wis. Stat. § 895.045, allow a plaintiff to seek recovery from any at-fault party as long as the plaintiff’s negligence was not greater than the defendant’s. Fault should not factor in your claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Although, employers may use a traffic collision as an excuse to fire an employee and deny benefits.