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Workers Comp vs. Personal Injury Compensation Lawsuits: 5 Differences

The difference between personal injury and workers’ compensation claim may be difficult to tell as some people classify one for the other whereas they are technically not the same.

Workers’ compensation is a mandatory insurance indemnification that employees receive from their employees in case of an accident during work. On the other hand, personal injury compensation is a legal payment that is made when an individual is injured or has an accident yet it’s another person who is responsible for the loss incurred.

Private industry employers reported about 2.9 million nonfatal work-related injuries and complaints in 2016.

When you get injured while at work you could file for a personal injury compensation claim or a worker’s compensation claim depending on factors that led to the injury. They both have different procedures that must be followed and payments available.

Do you know the differences between a personal injury compensation suit and a worker’s comp lawsuit? Learn all about them here.

1. Fault

Workers’ compensation claim provides money and medical benefits to workers when they are hurt or fall sick during employment duties. In case of death of an employee, the workers’ compensation offers benefits to the dependents of the worker killed on duty. It does not matter who was at fault.

Whereas the personal injury lawsuit is formalized through a civil court to determine whose fault it was for the accident or injury. In this case, the victim must prove that the defendant is guilty of negligence that led to the accident.

2. Damages

In a worker’s compensation claim, the value of benefits is based on your average salary. You are entitled to receiving both permanent impairments and medical bills. Vocational rehabilitation to enable you to get back to work is also covered on this compensation claim.

In a personal injury claim, the damages are based on the gravity of the harm. This will include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, as well as treatment expenditures already incurred or are yet to be incurred.

Additional compensation on personal injury is of pain and suffering damages. This is not available in the workers’ compensation claim. In extreme cases, victims in the personal injury claim may receive punitive damages as punishment to the defendant and discourage future wrongdoing.

Punitive damages are not available in the workers’ compensation claims.

3. Ability to Sue

As the workers’ compensation insurance covers for damages incurred by the victim, it may be difficult to sue the employer.

In the personal injury claim, the victim can sue the employer as long as they can provide evidence of direct involvement or responsibility for the accident.

4. Pursuing the Claim

In personal injury compensation, the victim’s lawyer brings a claim through the defendants’ insurance company. The attorney for a personal injury case will negotiate for a fair settlement or file a lawsuit on behalf of their client.

Whereas in the workers’ compensation, the victim files for claim through the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company.

5. Financial Obligation

In the workers’ compensation case, benefits are paid by the employer’s insurance company. In the personal injury claim, damages are covered by the business insurance policy or the defendant may personally pay for the damages.

Know When to File for Personal Injury Compensation and Workers’ Compensation

When injured at work, consider legal remedies. Determine who is liable for your injury – if it directly occurred during a work assignment, it’s a recurring accident or a one-off accident.

This action will help you determine whether to go for personal injury compensation or the workers’ compensation claim.

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