Injuries and accidents happen anywhere, anytime. After sustaining an injury at work, it can be difficult to determine the best course of action to ensure you obtain the compensation you deserve for recovery. As an injured employee, you may find yourself wondering about the distinctions between workers' compensation and personal injury, including which claim you should file. In order to recover the damages you deserve, there is no time to waste in pursuing the legal action best suited for your case.
The single largest difference between these two types of claims comes down to the issue of fault. A personal injury claim is fault-based by nature, which means you must prove another's responsibility for your injury. The law cannot prevent accidents from taking place but it can hold the accountable parties liable for their negligence, recklessness, or misconduct.
Conversely, workers' compensation claims do not require proving fault in order to deliver compensation. In fact, even if your own negligence or recklessness contributed to the incident, you will still have a claim to workers' compensation damages.
Personal injury lawsuits allow for a limitless settlement amount as they do not restrict the type of damages the injured can claim. For example, depending on the details of the accident, you may recover compensation for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and punitive damages. Workers' compensation claims only permit damages for lost pay, medical bills, permanent disabilities, rehabilitation, etc.
The answer is: sometimes. Though these cases are far more complex and drawn-out, an injured employee can file a personal injury claim if a 3rd-party is at fault for the injury, such as the building owner, product manufacturer, etc.
At Odegaard Kovacich Snipes, we are committed to fighting for the rights of the injured, no matter how challenging or intimidating the situation may seem. In just the last 4 years, our unparalleled legal team has recovered over $100 million on behalf of our clients. We are aggressive in our pursuit of justice and endlessly understanding of the pain you have endured.
If you would like to schedule an initial case evaluation with an experienced representative of our firm, don't hesitate to contact us by calling (406) 222-2222.