Personal Injury Vs. Workers’ Compensation: Which One Should I File?

Have you been injured at your workplace or while performing your work duties, such as a slip and fall? If so, you may be thinking of filing a workers’ compensation claim to pay for your medical bills and help to recover your damages. However, did you know that you may also file a personal injury claim, which could provide you with a better settlement than workers’ compensation?

Generally, workers assume that when they are injured at work, the only option they have is through workers’ compensation; but in some situations, it’s possible to file a personal injury claim as well. Many believe that this is considered ‘suing’ your boss, when in reality a third party may be responsible, such as the owner of the building. In this scenario, the third party’s insurance would be responsible for handling the cost of their safety shortcomings.

When Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim

When you are injured at your workplace or off-site while carrying out work-related tasks and decide to file a workers’ comp claim, you don’t have to prove that your employer, co-worker, or any other party caused the injury. Instead, you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits even when the injury was your fault in some way. This is exactly what this type of coverage is for. It’s meant to protect workers who become injured in any way, since even if the injury was their fault, they would not have been injured if they were not on the job working for someone else.

If you decide to go with workers’ compensation, you will not receive anything outside of economic costs, but you may recover damages such as medical expenses, weekly compensation for wages, permanent impairment benefits, and vocational rehabilitation. You will not, therefore, be able to claim for pain and suffering. This is because workers’ compensation is actually a form of insurance, or a trade between the business owner and the providers of labor.

When Filing A Personal Injury Claim

The biggest and most important difference is that a personal injury claim is based on fault and a workers’ compensation case is not. In order to recover damages against someone for a car accident, a slip and fall, or indeed any type of negligence claim, the other person must be negligent, meaning that he/she must have done something wrong.

Another difference between a workers’ comp claim and a personal injury claim is that the latter are not limited to any specific set of people (i.e. workers). In fact, anyone who is injured due to the negligence of another is eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit, including workers. But in order for an injured worker to recover damages through this more broad route, they must be able to prove that another person or party was at fault or negligent, and caused the injuries.

Unlike workers’ comp damages, personal injury damages are compensatory, which can include medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, and damages for pain and suffering resulting from the injury.

If you have been injured in a work setting, you may wish to consider the following factors when considering legal remedies:

  • Who is liable for the injury?
  • Was the injury was directly caused by performance of work tasks?
  • Was the injury a one-time event or a recurring condition?

If you have further questions regarding an injury, it may be necessary to discuss more with your employer, or hire a lawyer for more advice.

You’ll Probably Need To Hire An Experienced Attorney

It’s unfortunate when you’re injured on the job, but there are options available to you. Injury and workers compensation laws have a special relationship that is often difficult to understand. You may need to hire a qualified personal injury lawyer to better understand and handle your case. Your attorney can inform you of the different options available to you with regards to an injury that occurred in a work setting. Also, if you need to appear in court or before a judge, your lawyer can help represent you in those times.

Gordon & Gordon Law Firm has been representing clients in the Northwest Louisiana area for over 30 combined years of experience. Attorneys Stephen Gordon and Daniel Gordon founded the law firm of Gordon & Gordon to provide legal representation for people who have been personally injured due to the fault of others. They both work and live right here in the Ark-La-Tex area and will provide a free consultation to you if you call our offices today.