Today’s post comes from guest author Charlie Domer, from The Domer Law Firm.
Another sad day at a Wisconsin workplace. The news came out that a worker was killed in a traumatic incident at a major Wisconsin employer: Oak Creek man killed in Caterpillar accident.
Such tragedies are becoming more and more common in Wisconsin and around the country. Recent statistics show that workplace deaths are rising with every passing year.
In Wisconsin, “death benefits” under the Worker’s Compensation Act are payable to a deceased worker’s dependents. If an injury kills a worker, a surviving dependent is entitled to a death benefit that is equal to four (4) times the worker’s annual wages. A “dependent” generally is a spouse living with the deceased at the time of death, or if there is no live-in spouse, any children under the age of 18. If there is no live-in spouse or minor children, other family members could bring claims for partial dependency benefits.
Most of these tragic claims are accepted and paid without question, but disputes might arise (requiring attorney involvement) when family connections are involved.
Funeral and burial expenses (up to $10,000) should also be paid by worker’s compensation.
Today’s post comes from guest author Todd Bennett, from Rehm, Bennett & Moore.
Do you drive a company vehicle as part of your job?
Many find themselves in the situation where they travel regularly, or on a special errand from time to time, as part of their job.
In the unfortunate scheme of things, if you are involved in an accident while driving, whether it is your fault or not, you are covered by and entitled to workers’ compensation benefits just as any other employee who suffers an accident on the premise of an employer.
More importantly, if the cause of the accident was not due to negligence of your own, but that of a third party, you have a right to bring a third-party negligence action against the party responsible for causing the vehicle accident. This right is separate and distinct from the workers’ compensation benefits that you are entitled to. Further, you also potentially have the right to bring an underinsured motorist coverage claim under your employer’s motor vehicle coverage as well as your own underinsured motorist vehicle coverage. These, too, are separate and distinct from the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to.
It is important to note that the employer would have a subrogation right to be reimbursed for workers’ compensation benefits paid on your behalf against that of any third-party negligence claim where you obtained a recovery. However, as underinsured motorist coverage is typically viewed as contractual benefits in nature, there is no subrogation right from your employer if underinsured benefits are obtained in Nebraska.
If you or someone you know was injured in a motor vehicle accident that arose out of and in the course of one’s employment, there are significant issues to be aware of in order to obtain a recovery that meets your needs. If you have any questions or uncertainty when dealing with this point of law, please seek the advice of an experienced attorney who can help steer you in the best course of action.