Workers Compensation Lawyers
If someone is injured by another person’s actions, the usual way to receive compensation from the responsible person is through a personal injury lawsuit. If the injury resulted from work-related activity, however, then filing a lawsuit is impossible. This is because the appropriate way to receive compensation becomes to file a workers’ comp claim. Is this always the case? Are there any situations where you have the option to file a lawsuit in a work-related injury? Learn the answer to these questions.
Worker’s Comp Vs. Personal Injury Lawsuits
For the most part, workers’ comp will always be more beneficial than filing a lawsuit. This is because the requirement to prove that you deserve workers’ comp is much, much easier than proving a defendant’s guilt in a court case. In other words, there is a very real chance that you can lose a lawsuit and receive nothing, whereas workers’ comp cases are almost always successful.
That being said, there is one aspect in which a personal injury case is more beneficial than a workers’ comp case. A judge may rule that the defendant must pay general compensatory damages, which are losses which do not have a quantifiable monetary value. For example, the responsible party may have to pay $1,000 for “pain and suffering” in a lawsuit, but you will receive nothing for your painful experience in a workers’ comp case.
Exceptions To The Rule
There are a very small number of situations where you may have the option to file a lawsuit instead of a workers’ comp claim.
- The injury was caused intentionally – If someone intended to harm you, then criminal charges should be filed, rather than a workers’ comp case.
- The injury was caused by someone other than a co-worker or employer – If the responsible party is completely unrelated to your job, such as a pedestrian walking by a construction site, then the appropriate action is to file a lawsuit.
- Your employer did not file a workers’ comp claim – There is only a certain amount of time after the injury where a claim can be filed. Employers are legally required to file a claim during this time. If the injury is not reported, then you may be able to file a lawsuit instead.
- The injury does not meet workers’ comp requirements – If the injury happened during a break, or fails to meet workers’ comp requirements for some other reason, then a lawsuit is your only alternative.