It is generally accepted that when someone is injured, whoever is responsible for the injury owes them compensation, and the injured party has the right to ask for it. This may mean filing an insurance claim, an accident report, or a lawsuit, depending on the circumstances. But for every type of accident, there is a system in place for seeking compensation.
Workplace accidents are no exception. However, they are much different from other types of accident because of something called worker’s compensation.
Worker’s compensation law
When an employee is injured in the workplace, or is injured while performing their job duties, they don’t sue their employer directly, even if the employer was clearly at fault. Instead, they report the injury to their employer, and the employer files an insurance claim on their behalf. If approved, the worker receives compensation for expenses resulting from the injury.
This type of insurance is called worker’s compensation. It’s a system designed to reduce the number of personal injury lawsuits in the workplace, while still allowing injured employees to seek compensation. Unlike a lawsuit, a worker’s compensation claim does not require the employee to prove negligence on the part of their employer.
While this system has sometimes been criticized for limiting the rights of workers, it has some advantages for both sides. A worker’s compensation claim is usually much faster than a personal injury lawsuit, and requires much less effort on the part of the worker.
Personal injury law
Personal injury law is much broader than worker’s compensation law. Nearly every accident outside of the workplace, from car wrecks to wet floors, can potentially involve personal injury law. Different types of accidents involve different laws, but there are a few key factors common to most personal injury lawsuits.
The most important of these is fault, which is irrelevant to worker’s compensation claims. In a lawsuit, the injured person is not only saying that they were harmed, but that they were harmed by someone. The person must prove that negligence, recklessness, or malicious intent caused their injuries.
While worker’s compensation claims are sometimes delayed or obstructed, they are generally more efficient than personal injury lawsuits, particularly if the injuries are not severe. For the worst injuries, however, workers may need to fight harder to get the compensation they deserve. This may require a personal injury or worker’s compensation attorney.
If you’re seeking compensation for an injury, you may be wondering which laws apply to your case and what your options are. We can help you. Contact our offices by phone, email, or text message to schedule a free consultation!