The Law Office of Robert B. Dunlap
Workplace Accidents: What Kind of Claim Should I File?
When you suffer an injury on the job, you have the option to file either a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim. But what’s the difference between these two types of claims? We explain below.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
Most employees who are injured at work will usually file a workers’ comp claim. However, there are situations when it might be in your best interest to file a personal injury claim instead. Workers’ compensation laws are designed to both protect the employee and employer by removing the need for litigation.
Injured workers are entitled to receive benefits if their injury was work-related. They do not need to prove fault and instead must prove that the injury happened on the job and is tied to the work they perform. Workers’ comp can be used to pay for medical care, lost wages, and job retraining.
Personal Injury Claims
Unlike a workers’ comp claim, a personal injury claim can be brought up by anyone, not just injured workers. If you were injured because of another person’s negligence, you can file a personal injury claim to recover damages. Personal injury cases require you to prove that the party you are suing was at fault. You will also need to establish proof for the amount of damages you are seeking. This type of claim can seek compensation for property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
Areas of Overlap
Cases where injured workers might be able to make a personal injury claim include:
- Injuries involving a defective products
- Injuries involving a toxic substance
- Injuries caused by an employer’s intentional or egregious conduct
- Injuries occurring in a workplace that isn’t required to have workers’ comp insurance
- Injuries intentionally caused by a co-worker
- Injuries caused by the negligence of a third party