Understanding the Difference Between a Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury Lawsuit

  • Personal Injury
June 14, 2024

Experiencing a personal injury can be a traumatic and life-altering experience—particularly in cases where it occurs at work or due to someone else’s negligence. In such cases, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, or other damages. However, the pathway to receiving that compensation can vary depending on the circumstances of your injury.

Here, we'll explore the key differences between workers' compensation claims and personal injury lawsuits to help you better understand which route may suit your unique situation.

Understanding Workers’ Compensation Claims

While the attorneys at Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C. do not handle workers' compensation claims; we can still give you an overview of the criteria for these claims and how they differ from personal injury lawsuits.

Fault: Workers’ comp is designed to protect employees, regardless of who is to blame for the injury. Even if your injury resulted from your actions, you will still be eligible for compensation under the no-fault system.

Scope of coverage: If you are injured on the job, workers’ comp will likely cover your medical bills, a percentage of your lost earnings, and money for long-term impairment.

Restrictions: Unlike personal injury compensation, workers’ compensation does not extend coverage to intangible losses, including pain and suffering or emotional trauma.

Single pathway: Workers’ compensation is typically your only recourse against an employer if you are injured. In other words, you cannot sue your employer for workplace injury—even if their negligence caused it.

Proof of Fault: When completing the workers' compensation claim process, you do not have to show that your employer was negligent. That you were injured at all is typically enough to qualify for benefits.

Understanding Personal Injury Compensation

In several ways, the personal injury compensation process is unique from workers’ comp.

Negligence: The personal injury lawsuit process requires you to show that another party had a duty to act responsibly, failed to uphold that duty, and their negligence caused your injury.

Damages: In a personal injury compensation case, you may be able to pursue a broad spectrum of damages beyond just tangible losses. These may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of quality of life.

Compensation: Because personal injury lawsuit processes allow you to recover non-economic damages like pain and suffering, your total compensation may be significantly higher than what you'd receive from a workers' compensation claim.

Types of incidents: Personal injury cases can arise from various non-workplace situations where someone’s negligence caused harm. These incidents may include car accidents, slip-and-falls, and pedestrian accidents.

Your Rights, Our Priority – Since 1989

When you work with a skilled legal team like Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C., you can trust that we will guide you through every aspect of your personal injury case. Our experienced attorneys understand the intricacies of proving liability, meeting deadlines, demonstrating damages, and establishing cause or negligence. Whether you were bitten by a dog, injured in a car accident, or experienced a slip-and-fall, we will build a strategic case and work towards a swift and favorable outcome. Contact us now!

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