If you have been involved in a workplace accident, you might be confused about what to do next. You may be aware that filing a workers’ comp or personal injury case can help you collect compensation that is owed to you to cover your expenses. But, you might not be sure what is the best approach for your situation.
To help guide you through a workplace accident, consider the difference between workers’ comp and personal injury and see what is right for you.
What Is Workers’ Comp?
Workers’ comp, or workers’ compensation, is a type of insurance an employer has to cover expenses if a worker gets sick or injured on the job. Workers’ comp typically covers the cost of medical care and lost wages for the injured or sick employee. It may also pay out funeral costs and death benefits to the family if the employee is killed.
Employees can file a worker’s comp claim only if their injury or illness was caused by the duties of their job. For example, a worker can file a workers’ comp claim if they slip and fall from a ladder while performing an on-the-job task.
Employers are responsible for carrying workers’ comp insurance. Each state has varying rules and regulations regarding workers’ comp and an employer’s responsibility for providing it.
Workers’ comp offers some protection to both the employer and employees. It protects employees by ensuring that they receive compensation if they are injured at work. It protects employers by protecting their assets in the event that an employee is injured. Workers’ comp insurance protects an employer from their employees filing a lawsuit against them (or other workers).
What Is Personal Injury?
Personal injury is a type of legal case that involves a party who was injured (the plaintiff) due to the negligence of another party (the defendant). In a personal injury case, the plaintiff was injured and incurred expenses such as medical costs and lost wages as a result of the injury. The injured party may have also incurred damages related to pain and suffering, loss of future income, and long-term care costs.
In a personal injury case, the plaintiff must prove that the injury was a cause of negligence and that it directly led to the injury and damages. There are many types of personal injury cases such as auto accidents, medical negligence, product liability, and animal attacks.
The personal injury cases that have a blurry line with workers’ comp cases often relate to slip-and-falls and premises liability. In these cases, a worker was injured at work, but it may also fit some of the criteria for a personal injury case.
What’s the Difference Between Workers’ Comp and Personal Injury?
There are a few primary differences between a personal injury case and a workers’ comp case.
You must be able to prove fault in a personal injury case. If no one is at fault (or you cannot prove that someone’s negligence led to the accident), you do not have grounds for a personal injury case.
You do not need to prove fault in a workers’ comp case. In most situations (there are some exceptions), workers injured on the job are eligible for workers’ comp regardless of who is at fault. The injured party does not need to prove that there was an at-fault party.
Workers’ comp does not cover pain and suffering damages. Personal injury does. Pain and suffering damages refer to non-monetary harm such as physical disfigurement or deformities, emotional trauma, loss of consortium, damages to lifestyle, and debilitating long-term physical impairments. A personal injury case may provide damages related to pain and suffering, whereas a workers’ comp case will not.
Should I File a Workers’ Comp or Personal Injury Case?
If you were involved in a workplace accident, you might be wondering if you have a personal injury case or a workers’ comp case.
In most cases, you will have a workers’ comp case if you are injured at work, but you may also have grounds for a personal injury case if:
- There was intentional or malicious activity that caused your injury.
- The negligence that led to your accident was linked to an illegal or intoxicating substance.
- A third-party not affiliated with your employer caused the accident.
- Your employer did not carry workers’ comp insurance.
- Your injury was caused by a defective product used while at work.
How to Move Forward with a Personal Injury Case
If you believe your accident was not a case for workers’ comp and you are looking to sue for personal injury, TJ Grimaldi is here to help.
TJ Grimaldi is an experienced personal injury and slip and fall attorney who knows what it takes to go up against insurance companies and fight to get what is rightfully yours. Don’t let insurance companies nickel and dime you in your settlement. Work with TJ to get the full compensation you deserve.
All consultations are free. Call today to see how TJ can help. Schedule your free consultation or call 813-226-1023.