Should You File Worker's Compensation Or Start A Personal Injury Claim?

If you're injured on your company's property, you may have the right to choose between a worker's compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit. The information below can help you decide which one to pursue.

Your Employer Must Be Negligent

In order to use personal injury as a potential method for compensation, you must show that your employer was negligent. This could mean that they didn't keep up the workplace to the best safety standards. Dangerously handled equipment, safety hazards in the office, or poor health conditions in the office could be potential sources of negligence. In general, you can't sue your employer without this negligence, because worker's compensation insurance is in place to handle most worker injuries.

Consider the Ramifications

Going for a personal injury lawsuit may be harmful to your job, so know that you may be burning some bridges going into the process. This is fine if you were already unhappy in your workplace or had a poor relationship with your supervisor. But otherwise, hiring a worker's compensation lawyer is probably a better idea for preserving your working relationship while also getting your coverage needs met.

What's the Difference Between the Two Claims?

Worker's compensation is an insurance policy that's there to pay for workers' medical bills and medical-related time off. You can't be denied worker's compensation from your employer, even if no one was at fault for the injury; as long as the injury was on company property, you are covered. A worker's compensation attorney can facilitate the process by collecting necessary paperwork from you and your employer to ensure that everything is done within the time limits and with minimal lost productivity.

On the other hand, a personal injury claim is a lawsuit that is directly aimed at your employer. Since it passes through a judge, there is more potential creativity to ask for compensation for physical and psychological pain, among other things that have affected your life. Thus, the potential earnings are much higher than the worker's compensation insurance, which has set limits for coverage. While you could potentially come out with a much larger settlement, you could also be denied in your claim and also forfeit your worker's compensation benefits. So it's a good idea to consult with a worker's compensation lawyer or personal injury specialist to see which option would have the best chances of success and a better outcome for you. Contact a firm like Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn LLP to learn more.