The striking differences between a personal injury lawsuit and a workers’ compensation benefits claim can be discussed from the perspective of the fault requirements and nature of compensatory damage awards available.
The most important difference between the two is unlike a personal injury claim, a workers’ compensation claim is not based on fault.
In order to obtain damages for a slip and fall, a medical malpractice, car accident or any kind of personal injury claim, it is must to prove the other party was negligent in its duty, which, in other words, asserts that the injured was a victim of something wrong.
Personal Injury Cases: Requirements of Fault
Let us construct a slip and fall case. Just because you suffered an injury after a slip and fall on someone else’s property, it doesn’t not necessarily make the other party legally liable for what happened to you. Accidents may happen without anyone responsible for the event.
In order to receive compensation for your injuries, you and your personal injury attorney from King Law must prove the other person’s negligence in maintaining property. In the same vein, if you are involved in a car accident, your injury is worth compensation only if you can prove that the other driver was responsible for the mishap.
Workers’ Comp Cases: No Requirements of Fault
According to workers’ compensation claims, if an employee suffers an injury on the job, he or she has a right to workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation is not based on fault. You do not have to meet the burden of proof in order to receive compensation benefits, which is the norm in personal injury cases.
Even if you were unmindful or negligent and it cost you an injury at the workplace, you are still entitled to compensation benefits.
Damage Award for Pain and Suffering
If it comes to compensatory damages, the biggest and most important difference between workers’ compensation benefits and personal injury claims is you have no right to awards for pain and suffering in the aftermath of an injury at the workplace.
A personal injury claim makes you entitled to compensatory damages for the suffering you have undergone in the wake of your injury. Damages include physical pain and suffering, medical bills and future expenses for treatment, lost earning and future earning prospects, mental trauma, permanent impairment and loss of recreation.
In a workers’ compensation claim, you are entitled to only weekly compensation, medical bills, permanent impairment benefits and vocational rehabilitation. In a workers’ compensation claim, the damage award does not cover pain and suffering. In such cases, a compensatory award is a trade-off between employees and employers.
The injured worker has no right to sue the employer or co-worker though a few exceptions exist. According to the workers’ compensation laws, any worker suffering an injury on the job receives weekly benefits and gets medical bills paid. The worker, in return , loses the right to sue the employer and co-workers for an action of negligence and the right to compensation for pain and suffering.
A noteworthy exception to the rule also exists and allows you to collect benefits for pain and suffering if you sustain an injury due to the employer’s intentional action.