How Different Are Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Claims?
Did you slip and fall and injure yourself at work?
Do you wonder what you should do? And if you should file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim?
If yes, you could know that you should choose wisely because there are significant differences between them.
Whose Fault Was It?
The fault is the most significant difference between the two.
In case of a personal injury claim, the employer has to compensate you only if the injury was his or her fault. You will have to prove that it was the defendant’s negligence and breach of legal duty, which led to your injuries.
However, in the case of workers’ compensation, you receive your payment no matter who is at fault. So there’s no need to establish responsibility in workers’ compensation cases.
You would receive benefits even if your negligence or another employee caused the accident.
Your damages like medical bills for received and anticipated treatment, lost wages, pain, suffering, and emotional distress depend on the injury in a personal injury claim.
You may even receive punitive damages for punishing the defendant and prevent future mishaps. However, punitive damages and pain and suffering damages are not available in a workers’ compensation claim.
In workers’ compensation, the amount of the benefit depends on the percentage of your average salary. It includes statutory damage for certain injuries, wage replacement, and compensation for medical expenses.
You may even sometimes be eligible for rehabilitation services and vocational retraining.
Your Employer Suing Rights
While workers’ compensation provides benefits regardless of who is at fault, you have no right to sue your employer. You can, however, sue any third-party responsible for the accident.
In case of personal injury claims, there are no prohibitions against using the employer directly responsible for the accident.
Some states and instances even let you sue the employer instead of pursuing a workers’ compensation claim.
You could sue your employer if their actions were intentional or due to gross negligence. Even maritime and interstate railroad workers’ can sue their employers for damages. These damages include the pain and suffering of a workplace injury.
Who Pays You Your Benefits?
In the case of workers’ compensation, the employer’s insurance company pays you your benefits. However, your employer may be covered by a business or automotive insurance policy in case of a personal injury claim.
Some of them may even opt to pay you for damages incurred personally.
In case of personal injury claims, you and your lawyer can bring forth a request to the defendant’s insurance company. Your lawyer will work at negotiating and reaching a fair settlement.
Your lawyer may even file a lawsuit against the defendant and litigate the case if your claim is denied. They may even resort to it if you do not receive a fair settlement.
In the case of workers’ compensation, you can file a claim with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company.
There are some protocols to follow, like reporting the injury to a supervisor within a fixed time. You will also have to get examined by a physician your employer hires.
It is when your claim is denied that your case next proceeds through an administrative law judge.
Your Glendale Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help
It is also better to first consult your workers’ compensation lawyer in Glendale if you get injured while at work.
Your lawyer will explain any limitations you have, and if you should file a personal injury or workers’ compensation case.