Workers’ compensation insurance exists to protect both employers and workers. Ultimately, Wisconsin employers are responsible to pay for the medical care and other expenses incurred by their employees who were injured while performing their job duties. However, without workers’ compensation insurance, these expenses can be so exorbitant that — without insurance — paying for medical costs and income replacement could be enough to bankrupt a small company.

After devoting time — and risking life and limb for the sake of the employer’s benefit — workers’ compensation insurance is there to make sure a worker is always covered in the event of a serious injury. This is true no matter the financial capabilities of the company that employed the worker, and no matter the circumstances of the work-related health issue.

Here are the primary types of coverage benefits that workers’ compensation provides to employers and their employees:

Injury benefits: These pay for the costs related to medical care needed to treat serious injuries and the loss of limbs that happen while the worker is performing his or her job duties.

Illness benefits: If a worker contracts a serious illness as a result of his or her job duties, workers’ compensation will pay for the medical treatments for the illness. Emphysema, mesothelioma, allergic reactions, heart disease, hypertension and other illnesses could all be caused by workplace conditions.

Rehabilitation: In addition to direct treatment of injuries, workers’ compensation benefits will also pay for physical rehabilitation that may be required long-term by the worker on his or her “road to recovery.”

Lost wages: Injured and ill employees who can’t return to work for long periods of time because of an employment-caused condition can seek tax-exempt wage replacement benefits, which will amount to approximately two-thirds of their previous wages.

Death benefits: The financial dependents of workers who die at work or because of a work-caused condition can receive death benefits that offer wage replacement and assistance to pay for end of life expenses.

Liability insurance: Many employers with workers’ compensation insurance receive liability coverage to pay for personal injury claims filed by an injured worker.

If you have suffered a work-related injury, or if you’re an employer with multiple employees, it’s important to learn more about Wisconsin workers’ compensation laws. This knowledge will assist you in navigating any matters related to liability protection, injured worker benefits and workers’ compensation coverage in general.