Which One Should I File?
Getting injured at work can be a huge nuisance, not only physically but also financially, emotionally, mentally, and psychologically.
No matter how careful you are at work, accidents and injuries can occur when you least expect them. After an injury, the immediate response may be to apply for a workers’ compensation claim that can help you with any medical expenses and provide you with enough support while recovering from the injuries you sustained.
Taking advantage of the benefits of your workers’ compensation insurance is a great first step. Still, depending on the circumstances surrounding your injury, you may also want to look into filing for a personal injury claim.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
Workers’ compensation is not your only option when you get injured at work. There are situations where a personal injury claim can be submitted as well. This does not necessarily mean suing your immediate supervisor or having them take accountability for what happened to you. There are instances where a third party is involved and liable for what happened to you. Examples of the third party would be the building owner where your office is located or a private individual who hit you while at work.
In these cases, the third party becomes the one accountable and would take over all responsibilities of helping you with the financial distress during this period of time.
Workers' Comp or Personal Injury Claim?
To better understand your options, both claim possibilities are explained below so you can identify which claim you should be filing. Regardless, it is always a good idea to seek legal assistance from a personal injury attorney.
Workers' Compensation Claim
Workers’ compensation is different from a personal injury claim solely in the principle of proving who is at fault.
When you sustain an injury while working at your workplace or even if you are offsite so long as you are doing some work-related responsibility, you can conduct a workers’ compensation claim. In such a scenario, there is no need for you to prove or find evidence that the injury was caused by your employer, workmate, or any third party. Even if you were partly at fault for your injury, you are entitled to receive the benefits of your workers’ compensation.
This is what the workers’ compensation is intended for, ensuring that workers are covered and protected when at work. Even if it was your fault, if you would not have sustained the injury if you were not on the job and doing your responsibilities for your employer or company, you are eligible.
Note that when you opt to process a workers compensation claim, you won’t receive anything beyond the medical and loss of work costs. Pain, trauma, and any other type of suffering will not be compensated. You will only have a chance to recover damages such as medical bills, weekly compensation for payment, and impairment benefits, and professional rehabilitation.
Personal Injury Claim
Personal injury claims are not restricted to workers at the workplace. Anyone who sustains an injury because of the carelessness of another person can process a personal injury lawsuit with their legal counsel’s assistance.
What is imperative, though, is that you prove that the injury was caused by another individual or third party. You need to be able to provide evidence that your injury was due to the negligence and/or intent of another person.
Unlike workers’ compensation, personal injury claims are 100% compensatory, which means that medical expenditures, wages that were lost, the cost of future earning capability, and even the damages for your pain and suffering will be covered. These are the non-economic aspects of your healing and recovery.
When To File For a Personal Injury Case
Below are cases in which opting for a personal injury claim is recommended:
● The injury was caused by a defective product.
● The injury was caused by your employer’s conduct, either intentionally or not, which can cause harm or even lead to death.
● The injury was caused by toxic chemicals and substances.
● A third party’s negligence caused the injury.
● Your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance.
When filing for any of these claims, it is a good idea to have an experienced lawyer assisting you with your case. Insurance companies usually try all strategies and tricks to pay you the least amount possible.
Finding The Right Lawyer For Your workplace injury Case
Before jumping into a lawsuit, it is smart to consult with a personal injury attorney. Most personal injury law firms handle workplace injury lawsuits, making finding the right attorney difficult because there are so many options. There are big firms, small firms, sole practitioners, and settlement mills. Make sure to do your homework before settling on a workplace injury attorney, ensuring they’re the right fit for you.