Worker's Compensation And Personal Injury Winnings: What Is The Difference?
If you are hurt at work, you will be able to get your expenses covered through worker's compensation from your employer. Worker's compensation is a different process than filing a personal injury claim with a lawyer. Here are the differences in filing a personal injury lawsuit and filing for worker's compensation benefits:
Fault Required for Personal Injury
The main difference in personal injury and worker's compensation is fault. Personal injury requires fault to move forward. Fault shows that someone or something was at fault for your injury. For instance, if you slip and fall in water at work, you would have to show proof the employer either placed the water there for you to purposely fall or the employer did not take necessary precautions to prevent the water from being on the floor. If neither of these is the case, you do not have fault for a personal injury case.
Fault Is Not Required for Worker's Compensation
On the other hand, worker's compensation cases do not need fault for you to receive payment for your injuries. You do not have to provide proof the employer caused your injury. You simply got hurt while you were doing your job. As long as this is the case, you will receive payment for your medical expenses no matter the cause of the injury.
Different Types of Damages
There is a difference in worker's compensation benefits and a personal injury claim. Worker's compensation does not pay any money for your pain and suffering. However, you can claim pain and suffering if you choose to file a personal injury lawsuit. Pain and suffering are meant to cover you for the money you were unable to earn due to your injury as well as future earnings, the ability to enjoy your life due to your injury, and so on.
Worker's compensation only provides you payments to help you with your regular living expenses as well as coverage for your medical treatment.
May Not Receive Both
You cannot receive both worker's compensation benefits and then file a lawsuit for your personal injury. The laws surrounding worker's compensation began as a way to help protect an employer from immediate lawsuits due to employee injuries. According to the law, if you are hurt on the job, you will get a benefits package that includes payment for your duties as well as your medical care. This then prevents you from being able to sue the company for your injuries.
Talk with an attorney who knows worker's compensation law about getting the benefits you're due.