Workers Comp or Personal Injury Claim?

When you get injured at work, you may be wondering how you are going to support your family while you are recuperating from your injuries and how you are going to cover the costs of your medical care.

Depending on how severe your injuries are, your entire life could be permanently affected by the accident you were involved in, which is why you need to know what your legal options are after suffering a work injury. Continue reading to learn more about when it’s appropriate to collect workers compensation benefits and when filing a personal injury lawsuit may be the better option for you.

When to Seek Workers Compensation Benefits

The majority of employers across the United States are obligated to provide their employees with workers compensation coverage. This is a policy purchased through an insurance company that is then supposed to provide certain benefits to individuals who suffer on-the-job injuries and illnesses. That’s right, even illnesses are eligible for workers compensation benefits, as long as the medical condition was brought on by your responsibilities at work. 

Of course, every state is different and so the laws will vary on a case by case basis. Most workers comp benefit packages include coverage of your medical expenses, vocational training for those who can’t go back to work in the same industry, disability benefits that will provide you with a portion of your lost wages, and death benefits to family members of a worker who has passed away due to their injuries. 

Even if your state requires an employer to provide you with workers comp benefits, it doesn’t mean that you’ll be approved for them, and those that are approved may still struggle financially, physically, and emotionally with their losses. When this happens, it may be in your best interest to consider a personal injury lawsuit in addition to your workers comp benefits. 

When to File a Personal Injury Claim

According to one personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles, some states prohibit injury victims from filing a civil claim and obtaining workers compensation benefits, so you’ll need to look into the laws of your state to figure out if you have the legal right to file a lawsuit. 

You may be wondering why you should file a lawsuit if you were granted workers compensation benefits. The fact is, no workers comp policy is going to provide you with total wage replacement while you are out of work, and no policy provides repayment for other losses including your diminished quality of life, pain and suffering, and lost earning capacity. These damages can be far more difficult to cope with than just financial losses, and should be considered accordingly. 

In states where you can pursue both workers comp benefits and a civil claim, you can only file a civil lawsuit if someone else’s negligence is to blame for your injuries. This means that the actions of the person responsible for causing your injury had to have been reckless or irresponsible in some way. 

Nevertheless, it would be worth your while if you’ve suffered a work-related injury to consider all of your options for financial recovery, as you more than likely could use all the help you can get during this difficult time in your life.