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Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury
Workers' compensation claims and personal injury claims, though related, are very different. Understanding the difference between the two can make the process of seeking compensation after an injury much easier. It is always a good idea to discuss the events that led to your injury with an experienced personal injury attorney and/or workers’ compensation attorney, but the information below outlines the basic differences between workers’ compensation and personal injury.
WORKERS' COMPENSATION CASES ARE NO FAULT
One of the main differences between workers' compensation claims and personal injury claims is ‘fault’. Workers' compensation cases do not require that you prove that anyone has done something wrong in order to receive workers' compensation benefits. In workers' compensation, fault is irrelevant.
Personal injury claims on the other hand, are quite the opposite. In the event that you are involved in a car crash, for example, you must prove the other driver was at fault for the crash in order to receive compensation for damages.
A PERSONAL INJURY COMPENSATION CLAIM FOR PAIN AND SUFFERING
Another difference between workers' compensation claims and personal injury claims is the damages you are qualified to recover. For example, in a workers' compensation case you are not entitled to benefits for pain and suffering. You will receive benefits for permanent ailments, medical bills, and rehabilitation, etc. In a personal injury claim, you are entitled to recover any damages you may have suffered. This includes lost earnings due to time out of work, all medical bills, loss of future income, pain and suffering, as well as lost quality of life due to the accident.
THE ROLE OF CO-WORKERS AND OTHER EMPLOYEES UNDER WORKERS' COMPENSATION
Workers’ compensation laws were put in place to allow anyone injured on the job to receive compensation for their injuries. Employers are responsible for handling workers’ compensation claims. Injured workers cannot sue co-workers and/or other employees.
THE ROLE OF NEGLIGENT INDIVINDUALS IN PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS
Unlike workers’ compensation, if an individual was injured due to the negligence of multiple parties, each at-fault individual can be held accountable.
PURSING A WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CLAIM AND PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM
If a third party was responsible for your injuries, your attorney may suggest you pursue a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury claim.
Here are a few examples of situations that would warrant a personal injury claim and a workers’ compensation claim:
- A delivery driver was rear ended by a driver who was texting and driving
- A construction worker suffered a fall down injury due to a defective ladder
- An employee is walking into work and slips and falls on ice, the company he/she works for rents space, and the landlord neglected to salt/sand.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER
While the information outlined above provides an overview of personal injury and workers’ compensation, it is extremely important for injured individuals to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney. An injury that initially doesn’t seem very serious can over time worsen, limiting your ability to work and retain the quality of life you’re used to.
WHY CHOOSE JACOBY & MEYERS, LLP?
Our attorneys have collected millions of dollars in compensation for injured workers. Our dedicated team fights for each and every client, ensuring negligent parties are held accountable. Click here for a free workers’ compensation/personal injury case evaluation.