Differences Between Workers’ Compensation Claims and Personal Injury Claims
Many injury victims may not be aware of the differences between a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury claim. Although both claims are aimed at helping injury victims obtain compensation to cover damages such as medical bills, lost wages and other losses, there are some important differences between the two. Having a licensed attorney review either of these claims is highly recommended in order to get the opportunity to pursue maximum compensation for your injury and recovery process.
Below, the New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Lynch Law Firm, PC go over some helpful information concerning these claims. If you need help filing a claim, request a free consultation to get started.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
This is a no-fault insurance program that is designed to protect workers who are injured on the job. This coverage is required for nearly every workplace in the U.S. with at least one full-time employee or multiple part-time employees. However, there are some businesses that are not required to carry this insurance.
The reason why it is considered no-fault is because unlike in a personal injury claim, you do not have to prove fault in a workers’ compensation claim. You could still be eligible for this type of coverage, even if you were at-fault for the accident. However, you or your lawyer need to prove that you were injured at a worksite, participating in a work-related activity during the time you were scheduled to work.
How is a Personal Injury Claim Different?
Unlike a workers’ compensation claim, you or your lawyer have the burden of proof if you wish to obtain compensation in a personal injury claim. This means providing evidence that the at-fault party’s negligence caused your injury or other damages.
In a personal injury claim you are seeking to collect compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company, while in a worker’s compensation claim, you are pursuing benefits from your employer’s insurer.
Another important factor to note – when an injury victim files a workers’ compensation claim, he or she is generally waiving his or her right to sue his or her employer. Although most personal injury claims are settled beforehand, you can still sue the at-fault party, if you are not satisfied with the outcome.
Differences in Damages Available
Perhaps the most significant difference in damages available between both claims is that you cannot recover funds for pain and suffering in a workers’ compensation case.
In a personal injury claim, you could be eligible to recover any the damages related to your accident, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Lost wages from missing work
- Lost capacity to earn wages if you can no longer work
- Medical expenses (including devices needed)
- Future medical needs
- Property damage
- Funeral and burial costs if you lost a loved one
In a workers’ compensation claim, you can usually expect to receive weekly payments to cover medical expenses, lost wages, vocational rehabilitation and funeral and burial costs in case of death of a loved one in a workplace accident.
Seek Legal Assistance to Protect Your Rights
If you or a loved one was injured in a workplace accident or due to the negligence of another party outside of work, compensation may be available to help cover necessary expenses.
Seek legal assistance from a licensed lawyer at Lynch Law Firm, PC. We are taking free case reviews to see if you qualify for compensation. We charge no upfront costs and do not bill you unless we recover funds for you. If your claim was denied, we have in-depth knowledge and experience with the appeals process.
Give us a call anytime, day or night at (800) 518-0508 .