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How Workers' Compensation Differs from a Personal Injury Claim

Milwaukee Workers’ Comp and Personal Injury Lawyers

What Workers' Compensation Is Not

It is not unusual for injured individuals to discover in workers compensation cases that they have a claim for a much smaller amount that in a personal injury case.

Workers compensation isn’t a pain and suffering system. For instance, in the typical personal injury case, such as an auto accident, the injured person is entitled to make a monetary claim for “pain and suffering and disruption of life.” That type of claim is not available in our workers' compensation system.

In the typical personal injury case, a party is entitled to:

  • Actual wage loss, past and over the course of a working lifetime – if the person is unable to go back to a former job and suffers a wage loss
  • A spouse’s claim for loss of society and companionship
  • Lost pension rights, if the person is unable to return to his or her former employment in which pension contributions were made,
  • And other types of lifetime disruptions.

Again, none of this is available in workers' compensation.

Workers compensation is a formula system in which benefits are paid according to a mathematical formula for very specific types of claims, such as temporary disability, permanent disability (over a limited time period), retraining benefits, loss of earning capacity (for a limited number of payments), and death benefits.

Under the workers' compensation system, if a person is unable to return to any work and is totally disabled, benefits are payable for life. Additionally, that person is eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. Learn more about SSD.