December 17, 2017

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Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Law

Milwaukee Workers Compensation Law Firms

If you have been injured on the job or incurred a work-related illness, there are several possible avenues of compensation which should be pursued. Most injured workers are entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits, without the need for a lawsuit. You may also be able to recover compensation for your injuries through a third-party personal injury lawsuit.

Family members of those who have died of their injuries may be able to collect Workers’ Compensation death benefits or compensation through a wrongful death action. Wisconsin also has a special fund for the children of deceased workers, which pays additional benefits that kick in after the primary Workers’ Compensation death benefits have been paid.

Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Law Basics

Most employees are eligible for mandatory coverage under Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Law. There are a few exceptions, and workers who are not employees are not protected by Workers’ Compensation law.

Employers are required to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance to cover their employees in the event of a work-related injury. A Workers’ Compensation claim is an insurance claim. You do not need to prove fault, and in most cases you can receive benefits even if the injury was your fault.

If you are eligible for Workers’ Compensation you are barred from suing your employer for your injuries, but you can still sue a third party, such as the manufacturer of a defective tool or piece of machinery, where applicable.

Benefits if Your Employer Was Not Insured

The state of Wisconsin maintains a fund to protect workers whose employers break the law and fail to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance. If you have a valid Workers’ Compensation claim, and your employer is uninsured, the fund will pay your benefits as if you were covered.

Work Injury Supplemental Benefits

Wisconsin also maintains a fund called the Work Injury Supplemental Benefit Fund (WISBF) which has four benefit programs:

  • Supplemental Benefits – has the effect of a cost of living increase by paying additional benefits to injured workers with older claims, who are permanently or totally disabled or who have been on continuous temporary total disability
  • Second Injury Fund – covers workers with pre-existing injuries when they sustain certain work-related injuries
  • Barred Claims Fund – pays benefits to workers with occupational injuries or occupation disease whose claims are barred by the statute of limitations (because too much time has passed), but otherwise have valid claims
  • Children’s Fund – additional benefits paid to minor dependent children and older handicapped children of deceased injured workers after Workers’ Compensation death benefits have run out