When it comes to taking action after an injury, it’s worth exploring the main differences between personal injury and workers’ compensation claims.
Personal injury claims are based in fault. When you file a personal injury claim, you allege that your accident resulted directly from the negligence of another person or entity. This type of claim allows you to recover damages by proving that the other person’s negligence led to your injury. For example, if you are injured at a store because someone failed to sweep up broken glass, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the property owner.
In contrast, fault does not come into play when you file a workers’ compensation claim. With the exception of ship crewmembers and interstate railroad workers, if you are a legally recognized employee of your company and were injured while performing your job duties, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. If you, your employer, your coworkers or even no one in particular was responsible for your job-related accident, you may still receive monetary compensation.
Differences in the compensation provided
In a personal injury claim, the plaintiff may seek compensation for all damages stemming from an accident. This may include past and future medical bills, lost income, lost earning ability and physical and emotional pain and suffering.
In a workers’ compensation claim, the injured individual cannot seek funds for pain and suffering. However, he or she may still receive compensation for lost wages, impairment benefits, medical bills and career rehabilitation.
If you are unable to settle a personal injury claim with the entity at fault or an insurance provider, you have the ability to escalate your claim to a lawsuit. In a workers’ compensation case, you typically are not permitted to sue your employer.
If you would like more information on the differences between personal injury and workers’ compensation claims, work with a knowledgeable Bradenton attorney at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh today.