If you were injured while on the job, you may be wondering if you should file a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim. Being injured while working means that you have the right to file for workers’ comp, but you may also be able to file a personal injury claim.
There are some instances that make it possible for both types of claims. In particular, this would be permitted if a third party’s negligence caused the accident at your workplace that led to your injury.
- What Is the Key Difference Between Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation Claims?
- Workers’ Compensation Cases and Lack of Fault
- What’s the Difference in Damages Between Personal Injury and Workers’ Comp Cases?
- Is It Possible to File a Personal Injury Claim and a Workers’ Comp Claim?
- When You Can File a Personal Injury Claim Against Your Employer
- What You Should Do After Being Injured at Work
What Is the Key Difference Between Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation Claims?
The biggest difference between workers’ compensation and personal injury claims is fault. For a personal injury case, fault must be proven. When it comes to workers’ comp, you do not need to prove fault to make a claim. If you want to hold another person or an entity liable for the injuries you sustained in a personal injury case, you need to show that they were negligent.
To receive workers’ compensation benefits, you need to prove that the injury occurred at your workplace during regular working hours. In other cases, you may also need to prove that your injury or illness developed over time due to the conditions at your workplace.
Workers’ Compensation Cases and Lack of Fault
As an example, if your injury occurred from slipping and falling on another person’s property, your fall doesn’t automatically make the property owner liable. You would need to prove that the property owner was negligent or careless in maintaining their property, which resulted in your fall. Without proving fault in a personal injury case, you can’t receive compensation.
With workers’ compensation, it’s completely different. No one needs to be at fault for your injury for you to claim your benefits. Even if you were the one at fault for being careless, you might still be eligible to get workers’ comp.
What’s the Difference in Damages Between Personal Injury and Workers’ Comp Cases?
In a personal injury case, you can make a claim for pain and suffering. However, with workers’ compensation, that is not possible. For personal injury claims, you can recover damages for medical bills, future medical expenses, lost income, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, diminished quality of life, and permanent impairment.
There once was a time that workers’ compensation did not exist and injured workers only had the option of suing their employers to recover damages. But if that employer were not at fault, then the worker wouldn’t receive any compensation for an injury sustained on the job.
With workers’ compensation, you are eligible for benefits that cover your medical bills, weekly reparations, professional rehabilitation for your injuries, and permanent impairment benefits.
Is It Possible to File a Personal Injury Claim and a Workers’ Comp Claim?
If you are filing a personal injury claim in the state of Florida, you must be able to prove that the other party was at fault for the accident that caused your injuries. For workers’ compensation, you don’t need to prove fault to collect your benefits.
All Florida businesses must have workers’ compensation insurance. That means you can’t file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer. However, there may be third parties associated with your place of employment. If these parties are negligent and cause your injuries, you can file a personal injury claim against them.
When you file a workers’ compensation claim, you can secure the funds needed for your medical care and possibly some of your pay. It will also give you reliable payment for future medical care.
As for personal injury claims, you can receive compensation for your medical treatment, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You will need proof that a third party’s negligence led to your injuries.
When You Can File a Personal Injury Claim Against Your Employer
While Florida’s workers’ comp laws will prevent you from filing a personal injury case directly against your employer in most circumstances, there are exceptions to the rule. For example, if your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance as they are required, you can file against them.
Your employer also owes you the duty of care to file your workers’ compensation claim. If they interfere with this claim by failing to turn it over to the insurer or delaying the process, they could be held accountable.
Intentional harm is another far less common instance that allows for an exception. You would need to show that your supervisor or employer intentionally harmed you at your place of work. As intent is hard to prove in these situations, you will most certainly want to consult a personal injury lawyer about your case.
What You Should Do After Being Injured at Work
While there may be circumstances that permit you to collect workers’ comp and file a personal injury claim, it is best to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney. They can help determine if a third party is accountable for your injuries or if your employer failed to uphold their duty in providing workers’ compensation benefits.
On your end, you should keep solid records of your injuries, medical treatments, expenses, and notes that document your conversations with your employer. You can then use these to discuss your options for legal recourse if your injury on the job is not being properly resolved by the appropriate parties.To get the best possible outcome, consult with a personal injury law firm to learn more about your options.
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