Differences Between Workers’ Compensation And Personal Injury Claims

When you are injured on the job, it can be challenging to determine which type of legal claim to pursue, workers’ compensation or personal injury. Although both types of claims involve injuries, they are different in how they work and the benefits they offer. 

Workers’ compensation claims are designed to benefit employees injured on the job. In contrast, personal injury claims are intended to compensate individuals for injuries caused by the negligence of another party. 

It will be essential for you to know the key differences between workers’ compensation and personal injury claims. You can also click here to know more about the differences between a lawyer. 

Common differences between workers’ compensation and personal injury claims: 

  • Fault

One of the key differences between workers’ compensation and personal injury claims is the issue of fault. Workers’ compensation works on a fault basis. This means injured workers have the right to seek compensation regardless of who was at fault for the accident. 

On the other hand, personal injury claims typically require the injured party to prove that the other party was at fault for the accident to recover damages. This difference can significantly impact the amount of compensation that a person may be entitled to receive.

  • Timeframe 

One of the significant differences between workers’ compensation and personal injury claims is the timeframe for filing a claim. In most states, workers’ compensation claims must be filed within a certain amount of time after the injury occurs, usually within 30 to 90 days. 

On the contrary, personal injury claims have a longer statute of limitations, ranging from one to several years, depending on the state. It is essential to be aware of these time limits, as missing the deadline can result in the denial of your claim.

  • Damages 

In personal injury claims, the victim can seek damages for various losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, in workers’ compensation claims, the damages are limited to the expenses incurred for medical treatment and a portion of the wages lost due to the injury. 

There is no compensation for pain and suffering or punitive damages. Workers’ compensation aims to ensure that the employee receives medical treatment and is compensated for lost wages while preventing costly litigation.

  • Employer involvement

One of the primary differences between workers’ compensation and personal injury claims is the employer’s involvement. In a workers’ compensation claim, the employer is responsible for providing benefits to the injured worker, regardless of fault. 

In a personal injury claim, the injured party must prove that the defendant was at fault for their injuries. Employers are not typically involved in personal injury claims unless they are the defendant in the case.

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