Should I File a Workers' Compensation or Personal Injury Claim?

After you have suffered an injury at work, you might be wondering if you should file a personal injury claim or workers’ compensation claim. The biggest difference that you need to be aware of is that a personal injury claim is based on fault, while a workers’ compensation case is not. To recover damages from another person in a negligence claim, you must be able to prove that the other party’s carless or reckless actions caused your injury.

Fault in a Personal Injury Case

Let’s use a slip and fall case as an example. Just because you slipped and fell on another person’s property, doesn’t automatically mean that the owner of the property was negligent. After all, there are accidents that happen where no one is at fault. If you want to recover damages for your slip and fall, you must prove that that other person negligently maintained their property.

Fault in a Workers’ Comp Case

In general, an employee who experiences an injury at work are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Establishing fault is not needed in a workers’ comp case. You don’t need to prove that anyone did anything wrong to get your workers’ comp benefits. You can still receive benefits if your negligence contributed to your injury.

Different Types of Damages

You cannot claim benefits for pain and suffering in a workers’ compensation case, but you are entitled to recover all of the damages that you have suffered in a personal injury case. You can recover damages for the following in a personal injury case:

  • Lost Earnings
  • Lost Earning Capacity
  • Medical Bill
  • Future Medical Expenses
  • Permanent Impairment
  • Pain & Suffering

You can only receive weekly compensation, permanent impairment benefits, payment for medical bills, and vocational rehabilitation through workers’ compensation.

Can I Sue My Employer or Co-Workers?

Because workers’ compensation laws ensured that all employees who suffer work-related injuries are entitled to weekly benefits and payment of their medical bills paid, injured workers lost the right to sue their employers and co-workers for negligence. Only two classes of employees can sue their employers: crewmembers of vessels and interstate railroad workers.

Have you been injured because of the negligence or reckless actions of another individual? You should consult with an experienced attorney immediately. Contact our Los Angeles team of personal injury lawyers to set up a free consultation today.


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