Injured by Coworker: Can you file a lawsuit in Wisconsin?
If you were injured by a co-worker, it might seem like a logical first step to file a personal injury lawsuit. In the state of Wisconsin, while suing your co-worker or employer may ultimately be an option, it is beneficial to file a Worker’s Compensation claim first.
Steps of Worker’s Compensation
If you are injured by a coworker, it is important to complete these steps without delay. Any delay may be detrimental to your health and to the amount of compensation you may receive.
- Immediately report the injury to your supervisor. Seek medical attention. Update your supervisor on the status of your injury.
- Your employer reports your claim to the insurance company.
- The insurance company reports the claim to Worker’s Compensation Division office.
- If approved, your employer’s insurance company pays your medical costs. If you miss more than three days of work, you may be eligible for compensation of lost wages.
- You must make every effort to return to work as soon as possible, within medical limitations. Your doctor and employer must agree to your return to some type of work. If you cannot return, other options may be available.
- Your claim will usually be open for 12 years. Maintain your medical and payment records until the 12 year mark, in case your condition changes.
In Wisconsin, Worker’s Compensation takes the place of suing your co-worker and/or employer. While it typically pays your medical bills, the Worker’s Compensation model does not pay for pain and suffering. If pain and suffering have resulted in a considerable loss of wages, you may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.