What Is the Difference Between Workers Compensation and A Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Oftentimes, many clients who approach our top-rated attorneys are confused as to what the difference may be between a worker’s compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit. In order to get a better idea on what the best option is for your case, we recommend you speak to one of our top-rated lawyers today for a free consultation. Our personal injury lawyers will be able to give you more of an idea as to what the next steps may be for your claim.

This page will address the differences between a personal injury lawsuit and a worker’s compensation claim. We always want to make sure that our clients are comfortable with every step we take for their case. We also want to make sure that our clients are knowledgeable about the different steps. 

After suffering an injury while at work, many may be wondering whether they should file a workers compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit. This differs depending on the circumstances of the accident.  After suffering an injury at work, the employee might be very stressed, especially when determining what the next steps may be and how they could take time off work to focus on healing from their injuries. After being injured at a workplace, the employee has two different options. These include:

  • Filing a workers compensation claim with their employer 
  • Filing a lawsuit against their employer in a court

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All employees are eligible for workers compensation. This means that those who are considered freelancers or independent contractors may not be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. If you are a freelancer or an independent contractor, your only option may be to file a lawsuit against your employer in court. If your employer also fails to provide workers compensation benefits to employees, then your only option may be to file a personal injury claim.

Will I be able to file a personal injury lawsuit and a worker's compensation claim at the same time?

You may be able to file both a worker’s compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit in court at the same time. However, the amount of compensation that you have recovered from your worker’s compensation claim could affect your future lawsuit. For more information, contact us today.

What is a worker's compensation claim?

A worker’s compensation claim is a claim filed with your employer and their insurance company for benefits after you have been injured while on the job. In order to file a workers compensation claim, you must show that you were injured while on the clock and on the job. Workers’ compensation benefits could include compensation for lost wages while you focus on healing from your injuries. However, this depends on the severity of the injuries. For example, if you have sustained temporary injuries while at work, then the workers compensation benefits may cover lost wages while you take time off work during these couple weeks. But, if you have suffered a permanent injury while at work, workers compensation benefits only provide you with temporary relief. You may have to then file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer.

What should I do after a car accident?

If you have been involved in a car accident, it is very important that you take these necessary steps to make sure that you get the compensation you deserve. You should:

  1. Call 911 immediately: getting medical attention is one of the most important steps you can take after a car accident
  2. Gather evidence: take pictures of the accident, along with property damage
  3. Take down any witness information 
  4. Contact an experienced Los Angeles accident attorney. You must make sure that your attorney has the adequate legal resources to represent you. 

What type of compensation could I receive from a worker's compensation claim?

Workers’ compensation claims oftentimes only provide financial relief to a portion of your lost wages. However, if you were to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer, you may be able to recover full compensation for your injuries, along with your emotional distress and pain and suffering. You may not be able to recover pain and suffering, along with other types of damages such as loss of companionship and loss of society from a worker’s compensation claim. A worker’s compensation claim will most likely only address your lost wages temporarily.

 With a worker’s compensation claim, you may only be able to recover the maximum amount of medical expenses, along with a partial percentage of wage replacement. For example, you may only receive 30% of the amount you were making prior to being injured.

What is a personal injury lawsuit?

A personal injury lawsuit is a lawsuit that is filed against the individual employer in court. The different types of benefits you could receive from a personal injury lawsuit include emotional distress, medical bills, lost future income, past lost income, scarring, loss of consortium, loss of companionship, etc.

Could I file a personal injury lawsuit against my employer?

If you have been injured while on the job, you may be able to file a claim against your employer for damages. This is most likely filed under a workplace lawsuit or employment law claim depending on the circumstances. Just because an employer provided you with workers compensation benefits does not necessarily mean that they cannot be sued. Different ways that you could file a lawsuit against your employer include:

  • Negligence: in order to prove that your employer was negligent and caused the injury, you must have to show how your employer failed to take the necessary steps to keep the workplace in a safe environment.
  • Denying your worker’s compensation claim: if your employer denied your workers compensation claims that you are eligible for, you may be able to file a claim against them to get recovery.
  • Workplace retaliation: Workplace retaliation occurs if you are injured on the job, and your employer then starts reducing your hours, denying your pay, or preventing you from returning back to work after sustaining injuries. 
  • Intentional acts: this is also one of the most common reasons for filing a personal injury lawsuit against an employer. If your employer has engaged in an intentional act, such as physically touching you or harassing you, you may be able to file a claim against your employer. 

Should I file a workers compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit?

To get a better idea as to what claim you should likely file, contact our attorneys at Megeredchian Law today for assistance with your lawsuit. Our attorneys are available 24/7 to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Filing a personal injury lawsuit or a worker’s compensation claim could be very complex, and there are necessary steps that you must take to make sure that you have filed all the necessary paperwork properly. Our accident attorneys have been filing lawsuits and workers compensation claims for decades, and we understand just what it takes to make sure that you get the compensation you deserve. 

Regardless of whether your injuries are severe or minor, our attorneys will be able to provide you with more of an idea as to which route would be the best for your specific case. Many may not even know that they have the opportunity to file a workers compensation claim until the time has run out. When filing a workers compensation claim, it must be filed with the employer within a couple of days or the employee will lose their right to get any benefit. That is why we recommend that you speak to our attorneys as soon as possible after you have been hurt at work.

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