If you’ve been injured at work, you may be wondering yourself if you should file a claim for workers’ compensation or if you should pursue a personal injury claim.
Let’s consider the difference between the two and why you should consult with a St. Louis work injury attorney to decide the best course of action.
The Difference Between Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Claims
The main difference between workers’ compensation and personal injury claims has to do with fault. In a personal injury claim, you need to prove that someone’s actions or negligence have caused you harm. For example, if you slip and fall in front of someone’s property, it doesn’t mean that they are automatically accountable for your injuries. You must prove that you slipped, fell, and injured yourself because they didn’t maintain their property. If they had taken care of their property, the accident wouldn’t have happened.
With workers’ compensation cases, on the other hand, fault is not a crucial factor. You don’t need to prove that your employer was at fault to get compensated. Moreover, even if the accident was your fault, you can still file a claim and receive workers’ compensation benefits as there are only a few exceptions that prevent you from doing so.
Another major difference between workers’ compensation and personal injury cases is that you can’t get compensated for pain and suffering for a work injury. If you get injured in a car crash, for example, you can generally recover medical and financial damages and pain and suffering damages. These refer to how the accident has affected your quality of life (for example, you cannot go on hikes anymore because of your injury, something that was a passion of yours.)
When you file a claim for workers’ compensation, on the other hand, you typically only receive weekly compensation, permanent impairment benefits, medical bills, and vocational rehabilitation.
Can You Sue Your Employer for Your Injuries?
In most cases, you can’t sue your employee for your work injury. The workers’ compensation system was designed to provide employees with a safety net if they get injured or sick while performing their job and cover their medical expenses and cost of living. When you file a claim for workers’ compensation, you also wave your right to sue your employer. There are, however, some exceptions where injured workers can hold their employers accountable for their injuries, such as when the employer’s intentional act caused you harm.
What Should You Do?
If you’ve been injured at work, one of the best things you can do is consult with a St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney. They will review your claim and tell you the best course of action based on your case’s particularities.
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