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What’s the difference between workers comp and a personal injury claim?

| Dec 14, 2020 | Personal Injury, Workplace injuries

Workers injured on the job may have options. The two most common are filing a Workers’ Compensation through their employer or filing a personal injury claim. Each has its strengths, and sometimes the injured worker can file both. The details of the injury will often help determine which is most helpful to the injured, so we will discuss the strengths of each.

Workers’ compensation

Not all employers in Texas choose to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If they do, the employee should notify their manager or employer and seek all necessary medical care as soon as possible. Important details include:

  • Those filing a Workers’ Comp claim do not have to prove that someone caused the worker’s injury.
  • It pays for medical care, though you go to their doctors.
  • It pays weekly checks for a portion of your income (click here to learn more).
  • It pays death benefits to survivors and burial expenses if the injured worker dies.
  • It pays benefits for permanent injuries.
  • It pays for retraining if the worker needs to change jobs.

Workers Comp applies to independent contractors, business owners, volunteers, farmhands, maritime employees, and others. While those filing a Workers’ Comp claim can’t file a personal injury lawsuit against the Workers’ Comp policyholder, the employer cannot fire a worker for filing a Workers’ Comp claim. Moreover, workers denied benefits by the insurer could appeal the decision. Often an attorney can strengthen the chances of a successful appeal.

Personal injury claims

A worker can file a personal injury claim against the person who caused your injury, your employer, or a company that manufactured or provided faulty equipment. This is like other personal injury claims where the worker and the defendant (often insurance carriers) hire attorneys. The lawsuit will often seek a broad range of damages:

  • Income lost during the recovery, as well as future lost earnings due to the injury
  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering

Employers cannot fire an employee for filing a personal injury claim against them.

Not sure what to do?

The circumstances of each injury are different, so the solutions will vary. Those severely injured while on the job will often get answers by talking to legal professionals who handle workplace injuries.