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Archive for August, 2016

The Difference Between Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation

August 19th, 2016 at 1:13 pm

personal injury, Chicago workplace injury lawyerWhat happens if you get injured on the job and it was your fault? You cannot receive damages because you would not win a lawsuit or be eligible for workers’ compensation, right? Wrong. Some injured workers confuse personal injury lawsuits and workers’ compensation, thinking that if they themselves were the cause of their injury, they are not entitled to anything. However, the truth is that you can rarely file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer because the modern system is set up to protect workers not through civil lawsuits, but through workers’ compensation. Additionally, fault is not generally relevant one way or the other when it comes to workers’ compensation.

If worker A was injured on the job because they simply made a mistake and if worker B became injured because their employer failed to provide a non-slippery working surface, the two workers would receive the same compensation for their injuries (assuming the injuries were identical in this hypothetical situation). If you were injured on the job, contact an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.

There are other differences between workers’ compensation and a personal injury lawsuit as well. Understanding these differences is important in determining how to seek the compensation you deserve.

Personal Injury Lawsuit

To successfully recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit:

  • Fault must be found with the party that is being sued;
  • Medical bills are covered, as are rehabilitation bills, property damage, missed wages, lost earning capacity, and permanent impairment; and
  • Pain and suffering are factored into the equation, as is loss of enjoyment of life.

Workers’ Compensation

A workers’ compensation claim, by contrast, has very different requirements:

  • Fault is not relevant. Either you or your employer could be negligent and it would not affect the amount of compensation you receive;
  • Medical bills are covered, as are vocational rehabilitation bills, weekly missed wages, and permanent impairment benefits if the injury will result in a permanent disability; and
  • Pain and suffering are not factored into the equation.

When You Can File a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against Your Employer or Another Party

While, in most cases, you cannot file a personal injury lawsuit because of an accident that happened at work (this includes filing against a coworker), there are some exceptions to the rule. For one, if a maritime worker is injured on the job, they can file a personal injury lawsuit against their employer under the Jones Act. Interstate railway workers can also file personal injury lawsuits against their employers under the Federal Employers Liability Act. If an employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, an injured worker can file a lawsuit against them. Additionally, you may be able to file a personal injury or faulty products lawsuit against the negligent party:

  • If you were injured by a chemical or toxic substance injury you may be able to file a toxic tort lawsuit against the manufacturer of the toxic product;
  • If you were injured by a defective product you may be able to bring a product liability lawsuit to the manufacturer; and
  • If your employer or co-worker intentionally caused the injury to occur, you will probably be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against them, and they may face criminal punishment as well.

If you were injured on the job, contact the experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio today at 630-574-2288. Reach out to us today for help.

 

Source:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/jones_act

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