When a person is injured on the job, they can either file a
workers’ compensation claim or a
personal injury lawsuit. While both of these claims are for compensation for injuries, they are
not the same.
The following are the differences between personal injury and workers’
Fault – The main difference between a workers’ compensation claim
and personal injury claim is how fault affects the claim. In a personal
injury claim, the victim must establish that the defendant was negligent.
On the other hand, you do not need to establish fault in a workers’
Damages – When determining workers’ compensation, the value of benefits
is often based on a percentage of the injured worker’s average salary.
In addition to wage replacement benefits, injured workers are typically
entitled to compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation services,
and vocational training. In a personal injury case, the victim’s
damages depend on the harm that he or she suffered. Damages may include
compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost earnings, emotional
distress, as well as pain and suffering. Pain and suffering damages are
not available in workers’ compensation cases.
Ability to sue – Workers’ compensation is designed to provide benefits to injured
workers no matter who is at fault for the accident. In exchange for being
covered by this type of insurance, injured workers typically give up their
right to sue his or her employer. However, the injured worker may be able
to sue third parties that may share a responsibility for the accident.
Those who sustain a workplace injury may wish to discuss their case with
an attorney to understand their rights and responsibilities under the
particular circumstances. A lawyer can explain whether the worker is limited
to workers’ compensation benefits or whether a third-party claim
or personal injury claim is possible.
For more information, request a
free consultation with our Fort Worth personal injury attorneys at the
Law Office of James M. Stanley today.