Getting injured on the job is a traumatic event. And although Louisiana requires employers to have workers’ compensation insurance, sometimes workers’ compensation benefits do not offer full compensation for lost wages. For example, if you have a second job to make ends meet and you can no longer work due to the same injury, workers’ compensation will not cover those lost wages. This is an unfortunate situation that causes a lot of stress and financial issues.
Sometimes the only remedy is to file a personal injury lawsuit. A lot of people are unaware, but in certain cases, a workers’ compensation claim may be made at the same time as a personal injury claim. In fact, a successful personal injury claim can help supplement your workers’ compensation benefits and get you back on your feet. However, workers’ compensation and personal injury claims have a lot of overlap, and it can be tricky to navigate these complicated cases. That is why you need experienced personal injury and workers’ compensation lawyers by your side to help you with this situation. Call Gordon & Gordon Law Firm today at 318-716-HELP.
What’s the Difference Between a Personal Injury Claim and a Workers’ Comp Claim?
The biggest difference between a worker’s compensation and a personal injury claim is the need to prove fault. With a workers’ compensation case, there is no need to prove fault. If the injury happened at work, the injured employee can claim workers’ compensation without the need to show how the employer or company acted negligently.
With a personal injury claim, at least one party must be at fault. The injured party needs to be able to prove that the injury was due to the negligence of the other party. At Gordon & Gordon Law Firm, we will work with you to make sure you get the compensation you’re entitled to.
Examples of a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Workplaces are fraught with ways workers can injure themselves. Education and proper safety training are important, but knowledge can only go so far. Slip and falls, repetitive motion injuries, and overexerting yourself are all ways that injuries in the workplace can happen no matter how many safety measures are put in place. Workers’ compensation covers any employee injured during “the course and scope of your employment.” This means that if you are doing anything related to your job, you are entitled to workers’ compensation.
If you or a loved one has a work injury, seek immediate medical attention and let your employer know as soon as possible. Operating in a timely manner is important to take care of lost earnings and future medical expenses. Need more information on how workers’ compensation works? Give Gordon & Gordon Law Firm a call today!
Examples of a Personal Injury Claim
Personal injury cases happen when a negligent third party injures you. Car accidents, dog bites, and accidental amputation accidents are just a few of the practice areas that Gordon & Gordon specialize in. To file a personal injury lawsuit, you need to seek immediate medical attention to document your injuries. In cases like car accidents, sometimes injuries are not immediately noticeable. Injuries like whiplash and head injuries can become apparent after the shock of the accident has worn off.
Have you been injured by negligence? Contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Gordon & Gordon today for a free evaluation of your case!
Examples of Both Workers’ Comp and a Personal Injury Claim
Say you are delivering goods or materials between two work sites and you get into an auto accident. This work-related car accident would be considered both a workers’ comp claim because you were performing a job duty and a personal injury case because another party injured you.
If you have any questions about whether this applies to you, contact the knowledgeable and experienced lawyers at Gordon & Gordon. We are well versed in workers’ comp claims and personal injury claims arising out of the same accident.
How is Workers’ Comp Paid Out?
Workers’ compensation insurance pays lost wages in the form of weekly compensation, medical expenses, and covers vocational rehabilitation. Unfortunately, worker’s compensation only pays a portion of your weekly wage until you can return to work.
Louisiana’s workers’ compensation benefits are limited to 75% of the average weekly pay for everyone in the state. If you file a worker’s compensation claim, you will be paid 2/3 of your normal weekly pay. An injured worker can usually only receive benefits until maximum medical improvement is reached–this is when the individual reaches a point where no further medical treatment can heal them further. Sometimes the injury causes permanent impairment or permanent partial disability–in this case, the worker will receive permanent impairment benefits.
How Much Will My Personal Injury Settlement Be?
Personal injury settlements can help bridge the financial gap. You should only settle your claim after treatment of all injuries. Recovering your losses is the point of settlement in personal injury cases, and trying to settle before your injuries have fully healed won’t give you the full scope of your loss. The easiest way to guess the amount of personal injury damages is to add up your lost wages, medical bills, and any necessary repairs to property and multiply by 3. Of course, this will only be a rough estimate, as non-economic losses like pain and suffering cannot be calculated and won’t factor into your settlement prediction.
Damages for Pain and Suffering
As we just mentioned, pain and suffering is not generally quantifiable. If you have been injured, you have been in pain both physically and mentally as you try to figure out how to provide for your family and cope with your losses. The sudden and unexpected cost of medical treatment alone can cause a family to suffer, not to mention the cost of lost wages. Traumatic accidents can also cause issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Injuries like this that cause permanent impairment can have a direct effect on injured workers’ earning capacity and should be appropriately compensated for.
Does Workers’ Comp Pay for Pain and Suffering?
Medical bills and lost earning capacity are expensive losses on their own. Unfortunately, worker’s compensation claims only cover medical expenses, a portion of weekly compensation, and vocational rehabilitation. Pain and suffering are not calculable, and because of this, a workers’ compensation insurance company does not pay for pain and suffering damages. This is why you need the experienced lawyers at Gordon & Gordon Law Firm. In cases of third-party negligence, we will make sure you receive proper compensation for your pain and suffering along with the appropriate workers’ comp benefits.
Can I File a Personal Injury Case Against an Employer?
An injured worker typically cannot file a personal injury case against his or her own employer unless the employee can prove the employer was negligent in some way. These are usually limited exceptions. However, if you were injured in a car accident while on the job, you can bring a personal injury case against the other driver. If the other driver was also on the job when the accident occurred and they were at fault, you may be able to bring a personal injury case against their employer.
What’s the Most Common Injury Claim for Workers’ Comp?
There are many ways someone can be injured in the workplace. The most commonly claimed injuries come from overexertion. Strains and pulled muscles are related to everyday movements like reaching, lifting, pulling, pushing, and throwing. It is important to let your employer know if you or a co-worker is injured as soon as the accident happens. Proper documentation is key for both workers’ comp cases and personal injury claims.
Workers’ Compensation Lien on Personal Injury Settlement
It is possible to get both a workers’ compensation and personal injury settlement, but whoever paid for the workers’ compensation claim originally will need to be reimbursed. For example, if your medical bills were $10,000 and you get $25,000 in a personal injury lawsuit, you will receive a $15,000 settlement. You’ll have to pay back worker’s compensation for all the medical benefits that you received due to the injury.
Northwest Louisiana Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Gordon & Gordon have over three decades of combined law experience with a specialization in personal injury and workers’ compensation claims. You don’t have to pay us unless you receive a settlement. Interested in a free consultation? We are available 24/7! There is no need to wait until normal business hours to reach us. Give us a call at 318-716-HELP or complete our online intake form today for legal assistance on your workers’ comp and personal injury cases. We look forward to establishing an attorney-client relationship with you.