Generally speaking, a person who is injured has the right to seek compensation, and the person who caused the injury is responsible for providing it. But anyone who’s been injured knows that it’s not as simple as asking the person who hurt you for money.
Because of this, different systems exist for resolving disputes resulting from an accident or injury. While many disputes turn into lawsuits, some handled by insurance companies. One type of insurance, known as worker’s compensation, protects employers from personal injury lawsuits, while compensating injured employees.
Worker’s compensation claims versus personal injury cases
In a personal injury lawsuit, a person who is injured files a claim against the person who they believe is responsible for the incident. To be successful, this type of case requires a lot of evidence. A person who brings a personal injury lawsuit needs to prove not only that they were injured, but that the person being accused is actually at fault for the injury.
Like any kind of lawsuit, a personal injury case can be long and expensive for everyone involved. They also require extensive knowledge of the law as it relates to the situation in question, meaning that most people will need to hire an attorney to win their case.
A workers’ compensation claim, on the other hand, is not a lawsuit at all. It’s a type of insurance claim.
The worker’s compensation system is designed to prevent personal injury lawsuits stemming from workplace injuries. When employees are injured on the job, they generally can’t bring a personal injury lawsuit against their employer. Instead, they report the injury to their employer, who is then responsible for filing a claim with their insurance carrier.
If approved, the employee receives compensation for medical expenses resulting from the injury, as well as lost wages if the injury prevented them from working.
The scope of workers’ compensation law is quite broad, and covers most injuries and illnesses that can occur in the workplace. As long as an injury is not self-inflicted or the direct result of misconduct, employees are entitled to coverage, at least in theory.
In practice, it’s more complicated. Many legitimate claims are shot down by insurance companies as well as employers, who simply don’t want to pay for or even file the claim. If this happens to you, you’ll have to appeal the decision, sometimes more than once.
Regardless of how or where your injury occurred, you can benefit from consulting a knowledgeable legal counselor. Katherine has years of experience in both personal injury and workers compensation cases, and shall help you every step of the way. For a free consultation, contact our offices by phone, email, or text message today!