Term Of The Day – Tort
A tort is rare in Workers Compensation insurance. The word originates from Old French and Medieval Latin tortum, meaning twisted. In modern English, a tort is a civil wrong that is committed by a tortfeasor, or wrong-doer.
Whether committed intentionally or through negligence, if it results in injury or death to another party, the injured party may be eligible to file a claim. A defendant would then have a legal right to a civil action, in which they may be eligible for monetary compensation.
Update – In 2018, a Wisconsin Appeals Court ruled that torts do exist in Workers Comp. This decision altered the term exclusive remedy for Workers Comp. Exclusive remedy basically means that WC benefits offered to a claimant is their only source of remedy against their employer.
However, this does not mean that a claimant is barred from pursuing a third party other than the employer for benefits beyond workers compensation. Then again, the employer usually has the right to join in the third party lawsuit.
The third party situation often involves an automobile accident the injured employee sustains while driving for this/her employer.
Most court decisions do not allow a tort between employee and employer.