Workers Compensation vs. Personal Injury
The key differences between personal injury lawsuits and workers’ compensation claims are the types of compensation that can be obtained and who is at fault. Personal injury claims are based on fault, while workers’ compensation claims are based on at-work injuries, not on who was responsible for the injury. In personal injury claims, to recover damages or compensation, someone must be considered responsible for the injury.
Workers’ Compensation Cases are Based on Work Injuries – Not Who’s At Fault
With very few exceptions, employees who are injured at work while performing work-related duties are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. To receive workers’ compensation benefits, injured workers are not required to prove that their employer was at fault or was negligent for their injuries. If an employee was at fault, or negligent for their injuries, they are still entitled to receive benefits.
For instance, if you slipped while at work and injured yourself because the janitor didn’t leave any “wet floor” signs out, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Employees injured while on the job don’t have to prove negligence to receive payment for related medical bills and lost wages, and employers don’t have to worry about being sued and have to defend against costly lawsuits.
Personal Injury Lawsuits are Dependent On Fault
If you’re injured on someone else’s property, will you be able to win a lawsuit against them? The answer is maybe. For a lawyer to successfully sue a person or company, they have to prove that the person or business was negligent (at-fault). For instance, let’s assume that you broke your leg after tripping over a toy in someone’s backyard. Your attorney must prove that the property owner is responsible for your injuries because they did something wrong. Your lawyer has to prove that the property owner was negligent in leaving the toy on their lawn and should have known someone could trip over the toy and injure themselves.
When Can You Sue for a Workplace Injury?
In California, an employee injured on the job is generally limited to seeking recovery by filing a workers compensation claim. Meaning that he/she cannot sue the employer in civil court, however, there are exceptions in which an employee can sue employers for a work-related injury.
Lawsuits for personal injury, while at work, maybe filed for:
- Third-Party Negligence
- Defective Products
- Failure by Employers to Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance
- Intentional Acts by Employers
What Damages Are You Entitled to Receive?
The damages you receive from being injured depends upon the types of injuries you have and where and how those injuries occurred. There is also a difference between the damages you can receive for a workers’ compensation case and the damages for a personal injury claim.
In a personal injury claim, you are entitled to receive damages for losses you suffered. Common personal injury damages include past and future medical expenses, current medical bills, past lost earnings, future earning potential, pain and suffering, physical impairment, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment, loss of consortium, property loss, among others.
In a workers’ compensation case, you are entitled to payment of medical bills, weekly income compensation (temporary or total disability) at two-thirds of your average weekly wage, vocational rehabilitation, permanent impairment benefits, and survivor death benefits. But, you are not entitled to pain and suffering unless you successfully bring a lawsuit against your employer for negligence. If you have any questions, contact M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers in Los Angeles.
Other Things to Consider
Did you file a workers’ compensation claim after being injured on-the-job, and then you were fired by your employer? If so, you may be able to file a wrongful termination claim against them. Employers may not legally dismiss or discriminate against an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Although it is against the law, some employers still do it.
Hiring a Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
Workers’ compensation claims are challenging on their own, imagine how complex it can be if you also have a personal injury claim. If you have suffered an injury and need the advice of a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, give our team of highly qualified personal injury attorneys a call. M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers will handle your injury claim quickly and efficiently. Call for a free consultation, or fill out the brief online form.