Should I File a Workers’ Comp Claim or Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Workplace injuries are more common than most people realize. Injuries can occur as a result of a sudden accident or years of repetitive motions. Individuals injured in a workplace accident have the right to pursue compensation for injury losses, which may include medical expenses and lost wages.
When seeking damages for losses related to a work injury, people often ask, “Should I file a workers’ compensation claim or personal injury lawsuit?” The lawyers at Foley Law Firm, which serves Scranton, PA, Stroudsburg, PA, Wilkes-Barre, PA, and surrounding areas, help clients understand the differences between workers’ compensation claims and personal injury lawsuits, along with which is most appropriate for their situation.
What Is the Difference Between a Workers’ Compensation Claim and a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Workers’ compensation claims and personal injury lawsuits are two ways for individuals to pursue compensation for losses stemming from an accident. Generally, someone files a workers’ compensation claim for injuries related to a workplace accident or job duties, whereas a personal injury lawsuit is filed following a non-work accident (car accident, slip and fall, assault, etc.).
Another important difference between a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit is the basis of fault. A workers’ compensation claim can be filed by any employee regardless of their involvement in the accident. Even if a worker is injured by their own fault while on the job, they retain their right to file a workers’ compensation claim. In contrast, a personal injury lawsuit can only be filed if fault is established. To file a personal injury lawsuit against another person or party, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant’s reckless or negligent actions led to the injury-causing accident.
What Types of Damages Can I Receive From a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Workers filing a workers’ compensation claim should understand the type of damages they may receive. Workers’ compensation provides benefits for medical expenses and lost wages related to workplace injuries. If a worker’s injuries are fatal, their family members may also be entitled to death benefits.
Workers must understand that workers’ compensation does not provide compensation for pain and suffering. This is a vital distinction between a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit. In a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff is entitled to pursue compensation for all economic and non-economic damages, including pain and suffering.
Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit If I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Since a workers’ compensation claim does not provide compensation for pain and suffering, people often wonder if they can file a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit. People who file a workers’ compensation claim cannot file a personal injury lawsuit against their employer (unless their employer was intentional in their actions).
However, there may be other liable parties who can be sued for damages. The lawyers at Foley Law Firm examine the details of a case to determine if injury victims are entitled to compensation from third parties, such as a parts manufacturer, a property owner, a contract worker, or another liable party.
Workers who suffer injuries in a job-related accident have the right to financial compensation for injury losses. The lawyers at Foley Law Firm work on your behalf to determine what type of claim should be filed and how to maximize compensation for damages. To schedule a consultation with our legal team, send us a message at your earliest convenience.