What’s the Difference Between Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Lawsuits?

People who sustain injuries or contract illnesses while on the job are candidates to file a workers’ compensation claim with their employer. However, there are sometimes other options available when medical bills and lost wages make financial survival difficult after the insurance check is gone. There are key differences between workers’ compensation claims and personal injury lawsuits that dictate how and when they can be used.

Workers’ Compensation Claims

With few exceptions, most employers pay for workers’ compensation insurance that will provide for an injured employee regardless of fault. Almost all types of injuries and illnesses sustained on the job are covered. However, workers’ compensation insurance carriers may deny a claim if they determine that the employee was injured while violating company safety protocols, under the influence of drugs or alcohol or injured him- or herself with the intent of filing a claim.

Personal Injury Lawsuits

The goal of a personal injury lawsuit is to find fault for the injury and obtain compensation and damages from the responsible party. To prove liability, a personal injury law firm Hillsborough County must determine that the harm was the result of an entity’s negligence, intentional misconduct or a manufacturing defect in a product that cause the injury.

Which One Is Best?

It is not really a question of which compensation method is best, but rather a determination of which one is most appropriate to the situation. One of the primary protections offered to employers is that workers who receive this insurance compensation may not file an additional lawsuit against their company or co-workers. The trade-off is the assurance that any injured worker can get reimbursed for medical bills and weekly benefits while they remain unable to work, even if the employer didn’t cause the injury.

Yet, depending on the circumstances, other parties may have contributed to the incident, and they could be found negligible. For example, if a delivery driver is severely injured in a car accident with a drunk driver while on duty, he or she may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver for reckless behavior as well as receive a workers’ compensation claim.

Filing a personal injury lawsuit is not the same as suing your boss, with whom you may have a great relationship and is working hard to help you out in your time of need. An understanding of the basics might determine if there are additional avenues to pursue that could contribute to your financial well-being.