Learn about the key differences between workers’ comp and personal injury claims
Have you been hurt on the job? Depending on the circumstances of your injury, you may actually have the option of filing a personal injury claim or a workers’ comp claim. So which is better and which should you file?
The first thing you need to figure out is who is responsible for your accident.
If someone other than your employer caused your injury, you may be able to file a personal injury claim. For example, if you were hit by a drunk driver while out in a company vehicle, you could sue that driver. Or, if you were injured on a construction site due to a defective tool, you could sue the manufacturer of that tool. You must be able to prove that the at-fault party was negligent in order to win your case and secure compensation.
If you caused your own injury, if your employer caused it, or if your injury was the result of a simple accident with no negligence involved at all, your only option is to file a workers’ compensation claim. In workers’ compensation cases, there is actually no need to prove liability at all. Regardless of who caused your injuries, you can receive workers’ compensation benefits so long as the injury took place at work or during the scope of your employment.
If you were injured at work due to someone else’s negligence, you’ll want to consider the risks and rewards of filing a personal injury claim versus a workers’ compensation claim.
Personal injury claims are more challenging to prove, so you may risk losing the case and getting nothing. But, if you do win your case, you could receive a larger amount of damages. Why? Because personal injury claims allow you to recover damages for pain and suffering in addition to medical bills and lost wages. Pain and suffering can be a very large portion of the award in a personal injury case.
Workers’ comp claims are easier to prove, since there is no need to establish liability. This means that if you can prove you were injured on the job, you are virtually guaranteed benefits such as medical treatment and weekly compensation, as well as vocational rehabilitation or permanent impairment benefits as appropriate. However, you cannot receive anything for pain and suffering.
Ultimately, the best way to determine if you need to file a personal injury claim or a workers’ compensation claim is to consult an attorney. To learn more about your rights and options following a work accident, please contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 and request your free initial consultation.