January 27, 2023

Should I File a Worker’s Compensation Claim or a Personal Injury Claim: Which is Better?

You may have suffered an injury at work or while carrying out your tasks, like a slip or so. You might be considering whether you ought to lodge a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim. These claims are to cover your medical expenses and aid in recouping your losses. 

It can be difficult and intimidating to pursue legal action after being hurt at work. Everything you need to know about filing a lawsuit is covered in this article.

What is a Personal Injury Claim?

In a personal injury lawsuit, you are qualified to get compensation for all losses you have incurred. A personal injury insurance or claim differs from a workers’ compensation claim in that the former is not restricted to a certain group of persons (i.e. workers).

Anyone who sustains injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence is qualified to bring a personal injury claim, even if they are employees.

However, to do so, an injured worker must be able to demonstrate that someone else’s negligence was what led to their injury. In such cases, a personal injury lawyer can be helpful in better understanding of your case, and can aid you get the entitled compensation.

Personal Injury Claim Entitlement

In personal injury claim, you are entitled to the following:

  • Lost income
  • The medical expenses you’ve racked up since becoming hurt
  • Future medical expenses necessary while you are still injured

Pain and Suffering in Personal Injury Claim

This expression, based on personal injury law, refers to the pain and suffering you have had as a result of your injuries. It involves both physical and emotional suffering.

Physical Pain

Some types of injuries might leave you in chronic or long-lasting discomfort. Such Injury examples include:

  • Neck pain
  • Nerve damage
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Fractured bones

Emotional pain

It is important and should not be disregarded if you experience mental suffering as a result of an accident. A few instances of emotional suffering are:

  • Psychological trauma
  • Fear
  • Worry
  • Anger
  • Grief
  • Insomnia
  • PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

What is Workers’ Compensation Claim?

The major distinction between workers’ compensation and personal injury claims is demonstrating culpability. You don’t have to show that your employer, a coworker, or any other party was at fault when you make a workers’ compensation claim.

Instead, even if the harm was partially your fault, you are still entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The insurance coverage is obtained to compensate workers who got hurt on duty regardless of who is at fault.

Pursuing workers’ compensation benefits only means you will not be compensated for losses like pain and suffering. Unless you opt for insurance for personal injury, which will also require you to hire a personal injury lawyer.

However, you may be able to recover damages including medical bills, weekly pay replacement, etc.

Worker’s Compensation Claim Entitlement

 The amount claimed in workers` compensation mainly covers:

  • The medical expenses you’ve racked up since becoming hurt
  • Future medical expenses necessary while you are still injured
  • Travel costs for medical appointments that are at least fifteen miles away from your place of residence or employment
  • Wages you might have forfeited due to having to take time off work or go to a doctor’s visit.

When a Personal Injury Lawsuit Applies to Work Injury?

When the following conditions are met, a person may be successful in filing a personal injury claim:

  • Injury is caused by a faulty product, claiming the product’s manufacturer is possible.
  • Employer’s actions were deliberate or manifestly predisposed to result in significant injury or death.
  • A hazardous or illicit substance causes harm.
  • Because it was not strictly needed, the employer either failed to carry workers’ compensation insurance or did not obtain it.
  • A third person, who is not an employee of the corporation, was negligent and caused the injury.

Difference Between Personal Injury and Work Compensation

The key distinction in damages between a personal injury lawsuit and a workers’ compensation claim is that in a workers’ compensation case, you are not eligible for benefits for pain and suffering.

In a personal injury case, you are qualified to get compensation for all losses you have incurred especially when you get yourself a professional personal injury lawyer.

However, you are only eligible for weekly pay, permanent impairment benefits, and medical expenses, in a workers’ compensation case.

Steps Involved in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

There are three steps involved in a personal injury lawsuit. They include:

  • Litigation Phase: Rather than the defendant’s insurance adjuster, your attorney will primarily communicate with the defendant’s defense attorney.
  • Discovery Phase: In this phase, your attorney asks the other side for evidence and then attempts to collect it by questioning the defendant while he or she is under oath.
  • Civil Trial: If a settlement cannot be reached, your case will be tried in court. Civil trials can last anything from a few hours to months. The judge will make a final determination and verdict following the hearing of all the evidence from both sides.

What’s Personal Injury Protection?

This is an automotive insurance policy’s personal injury protection (PIP), commonly referred to as “no-fault insurance.” Personal Injury protection covers the medical costs incurred as a result of a car collision. 

Even if some injured passengers lack health insurance, personal injury protection will pay for their medical costs.

At What Point Should I Hire A Lawyer for a Personal Injury or Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Hire a lawyer to assist you if your illness or injury was brought on at work and your employer contests your claim.  Additionally, if your claim is complicated or has a high value, you should hire legal counsel if your workers’ compensation claim has been refused and you wish to go for appeal.

The majority of states have regulations that forbid workers’ compensation attorneys from collecting a fee unless your case is successful. Personal injury lawyers have the liberty of fixing their fee schedules, although many often collect payment only if they win the case.

Conclusion

With all that has been said, you should know that to sue someone for damages after a slip and fall, a car accident, or any other kind of personal injury claim, the other party has to be at fault. You should be aware that you are eligible for a larger variety of damages in personal injury claims than in workers’ compensation claims.

If you are still confused about everything, it will be best to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer or workers’ compensation attorney for consultation.

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