If you were recently involved in a workplace injury, you may be confused about whether you should file a personal injury or worker’s compensation claim.
These are two distinctly different claims, so it is important to know the difference.
Simply, the difference comes down to who is at fault for the injury. A personal injury claim must involve some sort of negligence on behalf of someone.
Can you claim both? What will the outcome of each be?
Did you recently suffer a personal injury at the workplace? Continue reading to find out the difference between personal injury and worker’s compensation.
Determining Fault for Personal Injury at the Workplace
The main difference between a personal injury and worker’s compensation claim is whether or not the claim is based on fault. A personal injury claim must involve someone being at fault.
A personal injury claim will aim to prove that another person was negligent. Negligence is defined as a failure to act with the necessary care that is required of them.
Worker’s compensation will cover specific injuries regardless of whether or not the employer was at fault.
Can I File a Personal Injury Claim if I File a Worker’s Comp Claim?
In short, you cannot file a personal injury claim if you have already filed a worker’s compensation claim.
However, if there was a third party involved in the injury, it’s possible to file both. In such a case, a separate claim would be filed against the third party.
You Can’t Sue Your Employer
Worker’s compensation laws are specifically written to benefit both employees and employers. An employee cannot sue an employer for an injury if you file a worker’s compensation claim.
When you do file a claim, you forfeit your right to sue.
In exchange for forfeiting your right to sue, as an employee, you receive weekly benefits for workplace injuries.
Damages and Benefits
If you file a worker’s compensation claim, you may receive weekly benefits based on your wages and degree of injury. You should be able to recover lost wages and any necessary medical expenses.
If you can prove negligence in a personal injury case, you would receive damages. These are usually paid in a lump sum and calculated according to your injuries. The damages should cover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
In worker’s compensation claims, you are not entitled to pain and suffering damages.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
If you were involved in a personal injury at the workplace, contact an attorney immediately. They will help you determine which type of claim you can file.
If you hire an attorney, you are more likely to get the benefits and damages you deserve.
Most cases will be settled without going to court. An attorney can help in the event that the case goes to litigation.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation and find out if you need a personal injury attorney on your side.