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The Difference Between Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury

July 15th, 2019 at 9:28 am

Workers’ compensationIL work injury lawyer, Illinois workers comp attorney and personal injury cases are similar in that an injury can be reimbursed with monetary value, but they are two different aspects of the law that require their own unique strategies. The truth is that personal injury rarely comes up when faced with an injury at work scenario. Instead, workers are protected by workers’ compensation.

Workers’ compensation covers missed wages and medical expenses when an employee is injured at work. Most employers are required to have a workers’ compensation insurance no matter the size of their business or how many employees they have. Instead of an employee suing the company they work for, or another employee, workers’ compensation resolves the issue rather than a personal injury lawsuit. However, there are exceptions to this. Certain workers have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against their employers such as Navy service men or interstate railway workers. Another situation is if a third party involved in a work injury. They can be sued for personal injury, however, the employer still cannot.

The biggest differences between workers’ compensation and personal injury claims are fault, compensation, and consideration of pain and suffering.

In a personal injury accident, the fault of the incident plays a big factor in compensation. In order to win a personal injury case, the fault must be determined. If a drunk driver causes a car accident, then they are at fault for a person’s injuries because they were breaking the law and the accident likely would not have happened if they were sober. When a person is injured at work, the fault is not a factor that is considered when rewarding benefits. A worker could have caused their injury, and they still have the right to collect workers’ compensation benefits. The results would be the same if a co-worker caused the accident.

When a worker gets workers’ compensation benefits for a temporary disability, their medical bills, rehabilitation, and lost wages are covered. A person is compensated more if the injury results in a permanent disability that prevents returning the workforce. A personal injury lawsuit can end in these results as well, but also have the opportunity to win property and lost potential earning damages.

As part of not being able to due to personal injury, an employer cannot sue for pain and suffering caused by a work accident. The benefits given will instead reflect the severity of the injury. For example, more benefits will be given to a person whose leg is amputated versus a broken leg. In a personal injury lawsuit, pain and suffering can be considered when seeking damages in a lawsuit.

Contact a Chicago Workers’ Compensation Attorney

While you cannot sue for personal injury from your employer in most cases, you still deserve appropriate workers’ compensation benefits. If your employer is uncooperative after an injury at work, contact an experienced Cook County workers’ compensation attorney today to have a lawyer advocate on your behalf. Contact us at 630-574-2288 to arrange a free consultation today.

 

Sources:

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/iwcc/Pages/default.aspx

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

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