Workers’ Compensation Vs. Personal Injury Claims: Understanding The Difference

It can be difficult to understand the differences between workers' compensation and personal injury suits. Often times, they cover similar territory: injuries, medical expenses and lost wages.

Big Picture Differences Between Workers' Compensation And Personal Injury

As a general rule of thumb, you are eligible for workers' compensation if you are injured at work. Personal injury is applicable to injuries anywhere. Here are some examples:

Tony Gets Cut When Using A Box Opener At Work. He Needs Stitches.

This is a fairly straightforward workers' compensation case.

Tony's workers' compensation benefits will take care of the medical costs of his injury because he was at work when the accident happened. His employer and his employer's insurance company are going to be whom he requests compensation from. A lawyer can review his settlement to make sure it covers his trip to the emergency room, the stitches, any anesthesia and necessary time off.

John Falls On A Sidewalk And Breaks An Arm Because A Neighbor's Uncleared Snow Turned To Ice.

This is a fairly straightforward personal injury case.

John's neighbor is required to maintain their property. Because they did not, John was injured. A personal injury suit can be managed through his neighbor's homeowner's insurance and will likely cover the cost of the emergency room visit, the expense of X-rays and follow-up appointments, and any time off work. A lawyer can make sure all of those costs are accounted for in his settlement.

David Is A Trucker And Is Hurt During A Delivery When Another Semitruck Hits Him.

Unlike our prior examples, this case is can be both a workers' compensation and a personal injury suit.

Because David was at work, his employer's workers' compensation insurance will likely cover the costs of much of his injuries. In addition, because he was injured by the other driver, he may be able to recover benefits from the driver as well. His injuries and lost wages should be covered. An attorney can help manage both claims and coordinate payouts.

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