Key Differences in Workers Comp vs. Personal Injury

You’re an employee who got hurt on the job. Or maybe you were injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault. In either case, you may be entitled to compensation. But when it comes to workers comp vs. personal injury claims, there are some big differences you should understand.

While both provide benefits for your injuries and lost wages, they involve different laws, have different burdens of proof, and compensation amounts can vary widely. In this article, a Cleveland workers comp attorney breaks down the differences between these two types of injury claims so you can better understand your options if you suffer an accidental injury.

What Is Workers Compensation?

Workers compensation provides benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. If you get hurt on the job, workers comp covers your medical bills and provides income if you can’t work.

Workers comp pays for all reasonable medical care for your work injury, including hospital stays, surgery, physical therapy, prescriptions, and travel costs to and from doctors. They cover the bills directly, so you don’t have to pay out of pocket.

If your injury prevents you from working for a period of time, workers comp provides disability benefits to partially replace your lost wages. The amount depends on your average weekly pay and the severity of your disability.

What Is a Personal Injury Claim?

Injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault? You may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim. A personal injury claim allows you to recover damages from the person or entity responsible for your injuries.

The at-fault party is typically responsible for any medical bills resulting from the accident, including hospital stays, surgeries, physical therapy, and medication costs. If your injuries prevented you from working, a personal injury claim may allow you to recover lost wages and other income.

You may also be able to recover damages for physical pain and mental suffering caused by the injuries. While harder to quantify, insurance companies and juries do put a monetary value on pain and suffering. In some cases, emotional distress damages are also recoverable.

If your injuries have prevented you from engaging in activities you normally enjoy, you may be entitled to loss of enjoyment in life damages. Explain specific ways your life has changed to determine appropriate compensation.

workers comp applies only for job-related injuries

Workers Comp vs. Personal Injury

Workers compensation and personal injury claims are two distinct areas of law that provide financial assistance for injuries. However, there are some key differences to understand:

Cause of Injury

Workers comp covers injuries that happen on the job, while personal injury claims are for accidents that happen outside of work. If you slip and fall at work, that would likely be covered by workers comp. But if you slip and fall at your neighbor’s house, that would be a personal injury claim.

Who Is Responsible

With workers comp, the employer is typically responsible. Personal injury claims seek damages from the party that caused the accident, like a negligent property owner or driver. The outcomes of the two types of claims can also differ, as workers comp claims provide lost wages and medical benefits according to a formula, while personal injury claims aim to recover all damages related to the accident.

Time Limits

There are strict time limits for filing a claim, usually measured from the date of injury. Personal injury claims also have deadlines to file a lawsuit, called the statute of limitations, but these tend to be 1-3 years. It’s important to understand these differences so you pursue the right remedy within the required period.

Reach Out to an Experienced Cleveland Workers Comp Lawyer

When it comes to evaluating workers comp vs personal injury claims, having a lawyer in your corner from the start can make all the difference. Our experienced Cleveland workers compensation attorneys have handled thousands of cases and know the ins and outs of the legal process.

We believe in fighting for the maximum compensation you deserve while providing compassionate guidance each step of the way. If you’ve been injured at work or due to someone else’s negligence, call our firm today at (833) 406-0060 for a free, no-obligation consultation. Justice and fair compensation are just a phone call away.