It’s challenging to tell the difference between a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit. In fact, most people perceive workers’ compensation claim as a personal injury lawsuit, when technically these two issues are different.
Injuries can happen while you are on official duty. Filling them as a worker’s compensation claim or personal injury claim depends on many factors. For example, a slip and fall while at work can be either a worker compensation or personal injury claim depending on the circumstances associated with the incident. El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers emphasizes the importance of working with a trained, professional personal injury attorney to make the right decision.
Many employees in California State hold workers’ compensation coverage. This is no-fault insurance coverage. Note that it doesn’t cover some types of workers such as farm workers, day laborers, and contract employees.
This insurance policy also covers medical costs associated with an injury at the workplace. Additionally, it can cover part of your lost wages and probably other expenses incurred during recovery. Worker’s compensation doesn’t cover noneconomic damages such as suffering and pain.
Personal injury lawsuit
In any personal injury lawsuit, there is always an at-fault. The at-fault party may be partially responsible for the accident. In some cases, that ‘party’ is a workplace condition for which your employer is responsible. In other instances, it may be a specific person such as a car driver. A successful personal injury claim can recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, specific lifestyle adjustments, and emotional suffering.
Personal injury or workers’ compensation claim?
The truth is, your choice will depend on many factors. The primary benefit of filing a workers’ compensation lawsuit is that it’s a no-fault situation. That means you don’t need to prove that a specific person or entity was responsible for a specific accident that resulted in your injuries.
These claims are easy to prove because there is no need to establish liability. That means if you can prove that you were injured while on official duty, you are virtually guaranteed for various benefits including medical expense and weekly compensation. You may also get vocational rehabilitation or even permanent impairment benefits when appropriate.
On the other hand, most personal injury claims result in greater payouts. This is because the law allows you to include damages associated with emotional breakdown, pain, and suffering in your claim. In most cases, you will be required to prove that the offender (employer) was responsible for the accident that resulted in the damages.
Note that you cannot file a personal injury lawsuit once your worker’s compensation claim has been accepted. The bottom line is; the best way to determine if you should file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim is by working with a trained and experienced lawyer. These professionals have been handling cases similar to yours for a couple of years or decades and can help you identify the most viable option.