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Workers' Comp vs. Personal Injury: Which Should You File?

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When seriously injured at work, it's highly recommended that you speak to a lawyer to discuss your case in order to find out if your unfortunate situation is eligible for workers' compensation benefits. In instances where you're injured at work due to the negligence of somebody other than your employer, you would have an additional option called a personal injury claim.

As an employee that suffered an injury on the job, it's important to know the details of both workers' compensation and personal injury benefits. In certain circumstances, you can file for both. Below, we'll describe why.

Workers Compensation

If you were injured at your workplace or while completing work-related activities off-site, you are entitled to workers' compensation benefits regardless if your employer isn't technically at fault. Why? Because you (the employee) would not have been injured if you were not working for them. Think of workers' compensation as a security blanket. Workers' compensation only covers the economic costs of the injury - such as wage loss, medical expenses, amputations, death benefits and scars to the head, face or neck - which means you won't be eligible to receive additional compensation for pain and suffering damages.

Here are three examples of workers' comp benefit qualifications:

  1. Medical Expenses - Covering the costs of surgeries, doctors appointments, medications, rehab, etc.
  2. Lost Wages - Covering the wages lost due to missing work while injured.
  3. Specific Loss - Amputations, loss of use for all practical intents and purposes, hearing loss, vision loss, scarring (head, face or neck) or death benefits.

Personal Injury

If you are hurt due to the negligence of another person, you are likely eligible to file a personal injury claim. You are entitled to workers compensation benefits if the injury occurred at work, however, you can also file a case against the outside party (not your employer) whose negligence caused your injuries. If your injuries were a result of the negligence of someone other than your employer and you pursue a case against them, you would potentially be entitled to not only lost wages and medical bill coverage (which is typically paid by workers compensation), but also compensation for pain and suffering.

Here are three examples of when a personal injury lawsuit applies to an on-the-job injury:

  1. Defective product: A defective product or unsafe equipment made by another company caused the injury. 
  2. Third party: Someone other than your employer caused the injury (i.e. a car accident caused by a negligent driver). 
  3. Medical Malpractice: Your healthcare provider performed medical malpractice when you were being treated for your injury.

Let Dugan & Associates Help You!

If you or someone you love has significantly injured themselves at work, the team at Dugan & Associates is ready to look at your case. Our team of experienced workplace injury lawyers will make sure you receive the maximum monetary compensation available to you. Give us a call at 412-353-3572 or contact us online today for your free consultation.

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