What Happens When your Workers’ Comp Doesn’t Cover your Needs?

What Happens When Your Workers Comp Doesn't Cover Your NeedsThe general rule is that when you’re injured at work by an expected and known risk of your job, filing a workers’ compensation claim is the sole and exclusive remedy available to you. Workers’ compensation benefits are usually sufficient to cover an injured worker’s losses. If those benefits aren’t enough, here are some ways that you might be able to collect an additional amount to cover your needs.

Disability
As part of your workers’ compensation claim, you can raise a disability issue that’s ordinarily paid as a lump sum. Aside from temporary total disability while you’re off work recovering from you’re injury, you can seek compensation for permanent partial disability. You must have been disabled by your injury, and unable to perform part of your job description. If you’ll never be able to return to work again, you can make your claim for permanent total disability. Be careful about trying to receive workers’ compensation permanent disability and disability from the Social Security Administration at the same time. You’re only allowed one recovery for an injury.

A third party claim
If you’re hurt at your job through the negligence of somebody else who wasn’t a co-employee, you might be able to make a third party claim at the same time that you’re making your workers’ compensation claim. Third party claims are exceptions to the workers’ compensation sole and exclusive remedy rule. For example, you’re a concrete finisher for Fast Dry Concrete in Milwaukee, and you were injured by the negligence of an employee of Nail It Carpentry who was also working on the job site. At the same time that you’re bringing your workers’ compensation claim in Milwaukee, you can bring a lawsuit against Nail It Carpentry and it’s employee in Milwaukee County Court. Since the law of negligence permits damages beyond those of the scope of workers’ compensation, you might be able to cover your needs through a third party claim.

Secondary injuries
Sometimes other conditions result from the primary injury. These are usually compensable. Even an infection that developed in the hospital after a surgery can be claimed. Depression, anxiety or other disorders might be claimed if they result from the initial injury, but these are more difficult to prove.

After you’ve been injured at work, you’ll want to consider all of your alternatives to make sure that you’re fully compensated for your injuries. It’s possible that workers’ compensation might not be your sole and exclusive remedy.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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