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The difference between personal injury and workers’ compensation

| Dec 8, 2018 | Firm News

On the surface, both a personal injury and a worker’s compensation claim may look similar and be difficult to tell apart. Many people even confuse a worker’s compensation case as a personal injury claim when that is not technically the case.

The main difference between the two is that when it comes to a personal injury claim, it is based on fault, whereas a workers’ compensation claim does not require fault.

Personal injury case requires fault

Whether it be trying to recover damages from an automobile accident or from a slip and fall, there must be negligence from the party that is being sued. For example, if you did slip and fall on private property, it does not automatically mean the owner of the property is responsible for your injury. Before you can ask to recover any damages from your fall, you will need to prove that the owner was negligible in causing your fall and subsequent injury. Negligence may be for something like improper maintenance or that the owner did something wrong that put others at risk. Same for a car accident. Damages can only be sought if the other driver was at fault for the accident. When trying to recover damages in a lawsuit for personal injury, pain and suffering will be factored into the lawsuit.

Workers’ compensation does not require fault

For a workers’ compensation claim, if you are an employee who is injured while on the job, you are entitled to receive benefits. There are a few limited exceptions that may affect your claim, but it does not matter who is at fault to apply for workers’ compensation. When you file for a workers’ compensation claim, there is no need for you to try and prove fault from your employer or another employee of the company. Fault is not a consideration in workers’ compensation to determine any benefits you are entitled to. One of the most important aspects of a workers’ compensation claim is that you can file for a claim even if you were negligent. However, unlike a personal injury lawsuit, pain and suffering are not something that is factored into receiving benefits.

Both personal injury and workers’ compensation cases can have many aspects to each of them that can be vast and at times difficult to understand. If you have questions about either, you should contact a knowledgeable attorney who works closely with both.