If you’re injured on the job, you’ve probably been told that the only compensation you can get will come from workers’ compensation insurance held by your employer. While this is generally true, there are other times when you can sue for personal injury compensation as well. Learn more about how workers’ comp and personal injury claims can sometimes overlap.
Understanding Workers’ Comp
Usually, if you’re injured on the job, you’ll file a workers’ comp claim. Workers’ compensation is insurance your employer carries for this reason. You don’t need to show proof of fault for a workers’ comp claim. You simply need to show that your injury occurred on the job and is somehow connected to your work. Under workers’ compensation, you get non-taxable income that equals about two-thirds of your average pay. You’ll also get compensation for your medical care and permanent injury.
Understanding Personal Injury Claims
If you’re injured due to the negligence of another person, you can file a personal injury claim. However, in order to recover damages, you have to prove your injuries and show that the other person was at fault. Personal injury settlements typically include compensation for lost wages, loss of future earnings, medical expenses, and property damage. Occasionally, compensation can also include pain and suffering.
Areas of Overlap
While workers’ comp and personal injury usually handle two different groups of people, there are times when the two will overlap. In these cases, injured workers might be able to file a workers’ comp claim and a personal injury lawsuit. For example:
- If a defective product injures you on the job, you might be able to sue the manufacturer of that product.
- If your employer isn’t required to carry workers’ comp, or is required but hasn’t done so, you might be able to sue your employer.
- If your employer or a fellow employee injures you because of intentional misconduct, you might be able to file a personal injury lawsuit.
- If negligence of a third-party caused your injuries, you might be able to file a personal injury claim against them.
- If your injury involves a toxic substance, you might be able to sue the manufacturer of that substance.
Injuries That Happen Away From the Workplace
Workers’ comp only handles injuries that happen when you’re on the job. Any injuries that occur outside of your job don’t fall under workers’ comp. Lunch breaks and commuting to and from your work site are considered non-work related duties. However, that doesn’t mean the injury has to happen only at the workplace. For some employees who work away from their offices, such as construction workers or letter carriers, workers’ comp will also handle any injuries they receive doing their job.
A slip and fall, dog bite, or car accident are examples where personal injury lawsuits can cover injuries that happen on the job and there is still negligence by another person.
If you’re not sure if your claim falls under workers’ compensation, personal injury, or possibly both, contact the attorneys at 1-800-ASK-FREE and discuss your case today.