Have you suffered an injury on the job or while performing your work duties?
If so, you may be eligible to file a
workers’ compensation claim to pay your medical bills and obtain financial compensation due
to lost wages from missing work to recover from the injury. However, it
is possible to file a
personal injury claim as well.
The Differences between Workers’ Comp Claims & Personal Injury Lawsuits
The main difference between workers’ compensation and personal injury
is proving fault. When you are injured at work or off-site while conducting
work-related tasks and decide to apply for workers’ comp, you do
not have to prove that your employer, co-worker, or any other party caused
Rather, you are entitled to receive workers’ comp benefits—even
when you are somewhat to blame for your injury. You may recover damages
such as medical expenses, weekly compensation for wages, permanent impairment
benefits, and vocational retraining.
On the other hand, fault or negligence must be proven in personal injury
cases. For example, if you were injured in a slip and fall accident on
someone else’s property, simply because you got hurt does not mean
that the person who owns the property was negligent. In order to recover
damages for slipping and falling on someone else’ property, you
must prove that the property owner negligently maintained the premises.
Also, personal injury claims are not limited to any specific set of people
(i.e. workers). Anyone who suffers an injury due to the negligent actions
of another is eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Unlike workers’ comp benefits, personal injury damages are compensatory,
which can include medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning
capacity, and damages for pain and suffering. Workers’ comp does
not allow for non-economic damages.
However, there are some instances when a personal injury lawsuit applies
to a work injury.
An individual injured at work may be able to file a personal injury claim
due to the following circumstances:
- The employer fails to carry workers’ comp insurance
- The employer’s conduct was intentional or egregious
- The injury was caused by the negligent actions of a third party
- The injury involved a defective product, which makes it possible to file
a claim against the product manufacturer
- The injury involves a toxic or illegal substance
If you are interested in filing a workers’ comp claim, personal injury
lawsuit, or both in Georgia,
contact our Cobb County workers’ comp attorneys at
Chestnut & Beller for more information today.