When you are injured, you may have legal recourse available to you, depending
on the circumstances of how your injury occurred. There are two primary
types of injury law:
personal injury and
workers’ compensation. While these two different practices may have a lot in common, there are
also some strong, distinct characteristics that define them as entirely
separate types of law. If you’re confused as to which type of claim
you should be considering filing, this blog will help you determine the answer.
The first and arguably largest difference between personal injury law and
workers’ compensation is the requirement of fault. In personal injury
law, an injury needs to occur as a result of negligence, or carelessness,
on the behalf of a different party. When nobody is at fault, or the only
person at fault is the person who was injured, then there is no grounds
for filing a suit in personal injury law. However, accidents happen at
workplaces all the time. Sometimes there is a party at fault, while other
times nobody really could have prevented it. Nonetheless, the employee
who is hurt still has the opportunity to file a workers’ compensation
claim, even in cases where nobody is clearly at fault.
Another big difference is in the type of damages you can file a claim for
in these two different types of law. Workers’ compensation is generally
simpler than personal injury law because you can’t claim quite as
much. In personal injury, you are entitled to benefits for everything
you lose as a result of your accident, including medical bills, lost earnings,
future medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, loss of
companionship, and lots of others.
In workers’ compensation on the other hand, you can only claim your
medical bills, rehabilitation, and impairment benefits. So while your
employer and their insurance company will pay for your medical bills and
replace your lost income, they won’t compensate you for your loss
of enjoyment, mental anguish, and other things you might be able to claim
in a personal injury case.
You Can’t Sue Your Employer... Usually
Workers’ compensation laws are designed to protect all workers by
mandating that employers provide them with insurance and coverage in the
event they are injured on the job (as well as protection from consequence
for filing a workers’ compensation injury claim). However, the trade-off
for this protection is that employees are forbidden from suing their employers
for their injuries.
However, there are two exceptions to this. Employees covered by the Jones
Act (those who work in maritime industries) are entitled to sue their
employers for damages if they’re injured on the job, as well as
interstate railroad workers, as authorized by the Federal Employers Liability Act.
Talk to a Martin County injury attorney today to learn more about your
legal options if you have been injured. Contact Lauri J. Goldstein &
Associates, PLLC online now to get started with a
free case evaluation!