Suffering personal injury is always traumatizing. It can feel even more affecting if it happens to you at your place of work. It may seem as though your livelihood and health are both at stake. If you have suffered from a common workplace accident, such as a slip-and-fall injury, you may be considering filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Opening up a workers’ compensation case may help you cover your medical expenses as well as recover your damages. However, you may also want to consider filing a personal injury claim. In fact, it is not uncommon for a personal injury claim to provide you with even better compensation than a workers’ compensation claim alone.
Many times, when workers are injured on the job, they mistakenly believe that workers’ compensation is the only recourse available to them. They may also believe that filing a personal injury claim is effectively the same thing as suing their boss. In reality, a third-party may have actually been responsible for your accident.
If this is true for you, it is the responsibility of the at-fault party’s insurance company to handle the costs of your injuries and their own safety failings. It may actually be in your best interest to pursue a personal injury claim. In this blog post, we will give you a brief overview of what claim option may be the best for you.
When it comes to workers’ compensation and personal injury claims, the main difference lies in proving fault. If you have been injured at your workplace (or off-site while doing on-the-job activities) and decide to open up a workers’ compensation case, you do not have to prove that anyone else caused the accident.
In other words, you are under no obligation (or “burden of proof“) to prove that your employer, co-worker, or any other party acted in a negligent way that caused your injury. You can count on knowing that you are entitled to receive a certain amount of workers’ compensation benefits—regardless of whether or not the injury was at least partially your fault.
This is what workers’ compensation was made to do: to protect workers who get injured on the job, whether or not they were at fault for the accident. The underlying idea is that the accident would not have occurred had the worker not been on the job anyway. It is important to note that workers’ compensation benefits will not provide you with anything other than compensatory monetary losses. This means that you may not recover damages for pain and suffering, but that you may be compensated for any lost wages and medical expenses.
Unlike a workers’ compensation claim, anybody can file a personal injury claim. This includes individuals who were injured regardless of whether or not they were on the job. Personal injury claims are so far-reaching, in fact, that virtually anyone who is injured due to someone else’s negligence is eligible to file one.
However, if you choose to open up a personal injury case for your workplace injury, you must be able to prove that someone else was at fault for your injuries. This could mean your employer, your co-worker, or any other third-party that acted negligently.
Damages are also collected differently in personal injury cases than in workers’ compensation cases. Personal injury damages are compensatory, meaning that they can encompass both monetary and non-monetary losses. In other words, you may be compensated for any post-traumatic stress disorder or other emotional and/or mental losses you suffer as a result of the accident.
There are many different factors that may make a personal injury claim applicable to an incident of workplace injury. Some of the more common ones may include the following:
Of course, this list is not totally exhaustive. If you have any doubts about whether or not your workplace injury may also fall under a personal injury claim, contacting a seasoned personal injury or workers’ compensation attorney may be able to help.
Believe it or not, car accidents are a common workplace injury. In many cases, these accidents are also able to be covered by a personal injury claim. For instance, if you are a trucker who was hit by a drunk or distracted driver, it is probably in your best interest to open a personal injury case against the at-fault driver. After all, it was their negligence that caused the accident to occur.
While it is easy to see fault in these sorts of cases, you should not be fooled into believing that collecting compensation from multiple parties will always be easy. In reality, the specifics of your particular case will really determine how quickly your claim will get resolved. However, it is important to know all your options—and to know that you have any at all.
Regardless of whether or not you are looking to file a personal injury or workers’ compensation claim, we at Injury Victim Law may be able to help. Though we are a Colorado-based firm, our team of experts and investigators is ready and available to assist victims all across the country. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced nationwide personal injury/workers’ compensation attorneys. We know that you work hard enough already. Let us fight for you.