Workplace accidents can be traumatizing. Along with paving a path to recovery, you also have to find a way to minimize missed workdays. You may even begin to feel unsafe in your workplace. Fortunately, injured workers are entitled to file for workers’ compensation benefits when injured on the job. But did you know that you may also have a personal injury claim on your hands?
It is not always easy to get money from a settlement. Certain types of accidents may also be trickier than others to navigate. Depending on your case, you may be negotiating with the insurance company for a long time. Many factors can affect the type of restorative damages you can collect, including the location of your injury. Do not just jump to the immediate conclusion that workers’ compensation is your only option. You may be eligible to file a personal injury claim or even a third-party lawsuit instead of (or in addition to) a workers’ compensation claim.
Personal injury claims are best suited for individuals who were victimized by someone else’s negligence. Workers’ compensation claims are best suited for individuals who got hurt on the job. They each have their own pros and cons. However, not everyone can choose between the two. Each case is different, and only an experienced workers’ compensation and personal injury lawyer will be able to tell you what is best for you. In this blog post, we will give you a brief overview of all your options.
A successful personal injury claim is made up of four main components: (1) an existing duty of care, (2) a breach of duty of care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. In a personal injury claim, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care and that their negligence directly caused the accident. To do this, the plaintiff must have proof of both liability and damages. It can feel impossible to take care of a personal injury claim on your own, especially without a full and comprehensive understanding of the law. It is in your best interest to work with an experienced workers’ compensation and personal injury lawyer. The right legal team will work together with you and any evidence that you have already collected to conduct an independent investigation. They may even get in contact with expert witnesses, such as medical professionals and accident reconstructionists.
Workers’ compensation benefits may cover any accident that happened while the employee was carrying out work duties. While negligence can be a part of any workplace accident, the Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act already presumes that employers assume liability for any work-related employee injuries. Thus, employers in Colorado are immune to common-law lawsuits regarding liability. Workers’ compensation claims are the only option an injured worker has. However, this may vary in different states.
It is important to remember that a workers’ compensation claim is not a lawsuit, but merely a claim for benefits. Your employer is insured to take care of cases like this. You should never feel guilty about filing for the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.
The most obvious difference is that workers’ compensation claims are only able to be filed by an employee against their employer. In contrast, anyone can file a personal injury claim against any negligent party. Furthermore, personal injury plaintiffs must prove the defendant’s liability while workers’ compensation claims do not require proof of negligence at all.
A plaintiff in a personal injury claim is also responsible for proving that the defendant caused the accident. Injured employees may still collect full workers’ compensation benefits even if they caused the accident themselves. In a personal injury claim, your level of fault directly determines your settlement amount.
Compensation is also paid differently in personal injury claims than in workers’ compensation claims. Personal injury victims are entitled to seek damages for any and all losses (both economic and non-economic). Injured employees, on the other hand, only receive enough workers’ compensation benefits to cover medical expenses and a percentage of their average weekly wage. However, workers who have suffered permanent impairment as a result of their workplace injury may still seek disability benefits or vocational rehabilitation.
It is also possible that you may want to file a third-party lawsuit after a workplace injury. Such situations are rare and can be complicated, but they do happen. In cases like these, a statutory employer may be considered a third-party. For instance, if you were working a construction job for a subcontractor, your employer may not be responsible for any injuries. Because you do not have a direct employer-employee relationship with the statutory employer, you may choose to file a third-party lawsuit instead. You may even be able to file a third-party suit and a workers’ compensation claim at the same time.
Taking care of a workplace injury can be overwhelming, especially if it happened as a result of someone else’s negligence. You have to figure out how to take care of your medical expenses, get back to work, and pull your life back together. The whole process can leave you feeling lost and confused.
There are many options available to you in the case of a workplace accident. Workers’ compensation is just one of them. You need someone you can trust in your corner to plan the best course of action for you. We at Injury Victim Law may be able to help. Our talented workers’ compensation and personal injury lawyers treat every case and every client with the personalized care and attention they deserve.
Though we are a Colorado-based firm, our team of experts and investigators is ready and available to assist personal injury victims all across the country. We believe you should never have to pay for somebody else’s mistakes. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our trusted nationwide workers’ compensation and personal injury attorneys. Let us fight for you and get you the compensation you deserve.