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The main and most important difference between a worker’s comp claim and a personal injury lawsuit is this: A personal injury claim is based on someone else’s fault or negligence, while a worker’s comp case is not. The two types of cases also differ in the types of compensation available for each claimant.
Neither type of injury claim sees the inside of a courtroom often, as they are usually settled outside of a court of law. The U.S. Department of Justice reports that only 4% of personal injury cases see trial. Regarding what percent of workers comp cases go to trial, only 5% of workers’ comp claims are recorded as such. Despite these low percentages, much higher numbers of claims and cases are submitted each year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 3.4 workers’ comp claims are filed for every 100 full-time employees in the United States, and the Department of Justice indicates there are more than 400,000 personal injury claims each year.
Workers Comp and Personal Injury
In a personal injury case, it is necessary to prove the fault or neglect of another person or entity in order to receive damages. Accidents where no one is at fault do happen, so it is the responsibility of the victim and their attorney to prove the negligence of another party.
In a workers’ compensation case, which is not based on fault, any employee who is injured while on the job is entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. The victim does not need to prove that their employer or coworkers acted in negligence in order to receive these benefits. Additionally, even if the victim was negligent and at fault for causing their injury, they are still entitled to workers compensation benefits.
Workers’ comp and personal injury settlements differ in that a victim is not entitled to benefits from pain and suffering in a workers’ comp case. In a personal injury case, the victim is entitled to recover all damages suffered, including lost wages and earning capacity, current and future medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of life enjoyment. However, in a workers’ compensation case, a victim can only receive weekly compensation, permanent damage benefits, medical bill coverage, and occupational rehabilitation.
If you are an employee who has suffered a work-related injury, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, whether your injury is classified as a personal injury or as a workers’ comp injury, insurance companies and employers strive to deny injury claims even when they are legitimate. At this point, many victims give up and don’t receive the damages they are entitled to receive, which is why it’s always a good idea to consult with an experienced workers’ comp or personal injury attorney who knows how to navigate the legal system on their behalf.
Can I Get a Second Opinion on Workers’ Comp?
While you may now understand the difference between workers’ comp vs. personal injury law, it may also be in your best interest to speak with a knowledgeable workers’ comp or personal injury attorney to further discuss the details of your case. Getting fair treatment and compensation after a workplace injury may not be simple, and it is nearly impossible for a victim to determine the value of their case on their own.
The team of skilled personal injury attorneys at Avrek Law Firm know the intricacies of personal injury and workers’ comp law, and know how to build strong cases so the maximum amount of compensation may be recovered for victims. Our proven track record recovering hundreds of millions of dollars in claims speaks for itself.