If you have a work-related injury, you’ll usually have two different ways to seek compensation. It’s essential to understand the differences between these two possibilities to ensure you’re handling the case as well as you can.
Usually, companies provide compensation to avoid lawsuits, which is more troublesome for everyone. Yet, depending on the circumstances, filing a personal injury claim can be your best option.
Indeed, workers’ compensation is more straightforward than a suit, and you can file them on your own. Still, you might not be happy with the offer, or your claim may be disputed. In these cases, you should consider hiring a specialist to ensure you have the appropriate legal representation.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is mandatory for all employers. It’s a specific type of insurance that pays employees if they have a work-related injury. It is applied even when the employee himself or herself was responsible for the accident.
Workers’ compensation was created to help speed up work-related injury claims. It makes life easier for the employees, employers, and the courts, who can reduce their workload with a process less complicated than a regular lawsuit.
Injuries covered by workers’ compensation include, but are not limited to:
- Accidents involving hazardous materials
- RSIs (repetitive strain injuries)
- Violence cases in the workplace
If you’re hurt in your workplace or during your work hours, an Alberta work-injury lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve.
What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury claim is a legal recourse for when you suffer harm from an accident or injury caused by someone else. By “someone” here, we mean any entity, whether a person or corporation.
To win such a lawsuit, you need to prove that the party responsible for the injury acted negligently. Suppose you have evidence the party didn’t exercise enough care in their actions, resulting in the harm caused to you. In that case, the responsible party is legally liable to pay.
These lawsuits cover many situations, some that can apply to a work-related injury as well:
- Car accidents
- Slip and fall injuries
- Medical malpractice
- Defective product liability
The Difference Between Workers’ Compensation & a Personal Injury Claim
Usually, filing a personal injury claim voids you from receiving worker’s compensation. If you need to choose between them, a lawyer can help you decide which is a better option for your particular situation. In some cases, you might be under a contract that stipulates you can’t sue and can only claim worker’s compensation. You should take extra care if that’s your case and you intend to file a lawsuit.
Workers’ compensation applies even in cases when you’re at fault for your injuries. Even if no one’s technically at fault for the harm caused, you can still recover your losses. On the other hand, you must prove another party was at fault in a personal injury claim. Having the burden of proof means you’ll need to prepare evidence to convince the jury that someone else is to blame for your injuries.
Another difference is what you’re entitled to in each case. If you claim workers’ compensation, you’re not allowed any benefits for pain and suffering caused by the injuries. Meanwhile, if you win a personal injury case, you can recover all damages suffered, short and long-term.
Workers’ compensation applies only to employee-employer relations. Meanwhile, anyone who suffers an injury due to someone else’s negligence can file a personal injury claim.
When you need a dedicated team that will consider all angles of your case and ensures you have the appropriate legal representation, Diamond & Diamond is there to help you.
Instances When A Personal Injury Lawsuit Applies To Work Injury
Workers’ compensation is typically beneficial for all parties. The employer has insurance to cover it, and it’s easier for you to claim it than a regular lawsuit. The quickness to process the claim even helps courts keep their workload in check.
Workers’ compensation claims are usually less troublesome and quicker to process. Still, if you feel you can be better compensated with a lawsuit, here are some situations in which it can apply:
- A defective product caused your injury; therefore, you can sue the product manufacturer.
- The employer’s actions were intentional or likely to cause severe harm or death.
- A toxic or illegal substance caused you injury or damage.
- The insurer denied your workers’ compensation claim, or the employer was not technically required to provide it.
- The negligence of someone that doesn’t work for the same company caused the injury.
Consult With An Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
Have you recently been hurt in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence? Let our team of specialists at Diamond and Diamond take care of the legal aspects while focusing on your recovery.
Whether it was a work-related injury or not, we have extensive experience and a network of professional consultants to ensure all angles of your claim are considered, and you receive appropriate compensation. Check out our locations or contact 1-800-567-HURT today!
If you suffer a work-related injury, waste no time in talking to your boss about it. Proving you got injured at work will become more challenging if you heal or let much time pass.
Workers’ Compensation & a Personal Injury Claim FAQs
Do I need a lawyer to file a workers’ compensation claim?
You can file for compensation on your own, but hiring an expert lawyer can help you get a better settlement. It also enables you to avoid unnecessary stress so you can entirely focus on your recovery. Workers’ compensation is designed to be a simple administrative process. Still, if your employer or the insurance company disputes your claim, you could use a lawyer.
If I am a contractor and suffered a work-related injury, am I eligible for workers’ compensation?
Independent contractors are not eligible for workers’ compensation. However, some employers may misclassify employees as contractors to avoid taxes and insurance premiums. Consider hiring a lawyer to figure out how to proceed, and remember you can still file a personal injury lawsuit.
If I got hurt while at work, can I file for both a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury claim?
No. Claiming workers’ compensation voids you from suing for damages. You should consider if your case can be treated as a personal injury claim and if you’d benefit from suing before filing the claim. As always, a specialized lawyer can help you decide the course of action you should take.