Work injury: Should you seek a lawsuit or a workers’ comp claim?

If you are injured in accident while driving to the grocery store, you might pursue a personal injury lawsuit to seek financial compensation from the party who caused the crash. If you are injured at work, you might file a workers’ compensation claim.

Personal injury lawsuits and workers’ comp claims both seek fair compensation for the victim, but they are not the same.

Differences between workers’ comp and personal injury

There are many ways a workers’ compensation claim differs from a personal injury lawsuit.

  • The first difference is the need to establish fault. A personal injury suit requires that the victim prove the alleged at-fault party was negligent. Workers’ compensation claims do not require a worker to prove anyone did anything wrong, only that the injury was work-related.
  • Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that an employer carries; personal injury cases go through the court system.
  • Compensation structures are different. A personal injury lawsuit can result in an award that reflects your economic losses, as well as emotional distress and pain and suffering. Compensation benefits are limited to wage losses, medical benefits and permanent injuries.

Another possibility is a third-party lawsuit; this may be done when a work injury is caused by a party who is not the employer.

Every situation is different

Seeking workers’ comp can be a good option for eligible employees who suffer a work-related injury or illness. Collecting these benefits prohibits an employee from suing their employer.

If you get hurt while working, it is important to consider all your legal options. Every situation is different, and an experienced workers’ comp lawyer can analyze your case and give you proper advice.

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