When it comes to a
personal injury lawsuit and a
workers’ compensation claim, it can be difficult to tell the difference between the two because
of their similarities. If an injury occurs on the job, filing them as
a personal injury or a workers’ comp claim depends on several factors.
The following are the main differences between a workers’ compensation
case and a personal injury lawsuit:
Liability – In order to recover damages for suffering an injury caused by
a negligent party outside the workplace, the fault is required to file
a personal injury lawsuit. For example, if you are in a
car accident, you can only recover damages from the other driver if he or she was at
fault. In a worker’s compensation case, on the other hand, any employee
injured on the job is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits,
no matter who is at fault. You do not need to prove that your employer
or your coworkers did anything negligent in order for you to obtain benefits.
Ability to sue – According to workers’ compensation law, all employees who
were injured at the workplace would receive some weekly benefits and would
get their medical bills paid. In return, injured workers lose the right
to sue their employers and coworkers for negligence and lose the right
to collect damages for pain and suffering. However, interstate railroad
workers and crewmembers of vessels are still legally permitted to sue
Damages – The major difference in damages between the two is that you are
not entitled to pain and suffering in a workers’ compensation case.
In a personal injury lawsuit, you are entitled to recover all of the damages
which you have suffered, including pain and suffering and among other things.
There are some cases where both personal injury and workers’ compensation
apply. For instance, if you suffer an injury on the job caused by a
defective product, you may file for workers’ compensation benefits and pursue a personal
injury lawsuit against the product manufacturer to recover more damages
aside from what’s available in workers’ compensation.
If you have suffered an injury caused by a negligent party in Georgia,
schedule a free consultation with our Woodstock personal injury lawyers at
Warlick & Craig, P.C. Attorneys at Law today.