Suppose you’ve been involved in an accident while at work. You could either file a personal injury claim or a workers’ compensation claim. However, you might not know which option is the best for you. Fortunately, our Miami workers’ compensation lawyers explain your options and what you should do.
While it may not be widely reported, injuries in the workplace are common in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 5,333 fatal workplace injuries in 2019. This represents a 2% increase from the numbers recorded in 2018. Without painting a gloomy picture, it is clear that there are numerous cases of workplace injuries in the United States.
Although there is a substantial number of personal injury cases, there isn’t enough data to know how many people seek legal compensation. For many, not seeking redress in the courts could result from ignorance of the law’s position on their case. Others may not have the finances to pursue it, preferring to spend their money on getting treated.
Whichever side you find yourself on, we have something for you. First, we’ll start by showing whether you can file for both personal injury claims and workplace injury claims. Then we would move to explain what you need for each scenario. In the end, you should have enough information to help you make the right decision.
Can I File a Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation Claim?
The short answer is yes. If you have gotten injured while working for your employer and are confident that a third party is liable for it, you can choose both courses of action.
Most workplace injuries are related to transportation. Now, let’s assume that you were driving a truck as part of your job when you got into an accident. You can file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer. However, if the other driver is legally at fault for the accident, you can also file a personal injury claim against them.
Personal Injury Claim or Workers’ Compensation Claim
Knowing that you can pursue both a personal injury claim and a workers’ compensation claim is not enough to make your decision. It is also crucial that you understand the similarities and the difference between the two. Therefore, in this section, we will outline the differences and similarities between the two. In the end, you should have a better understanding and be prepared to make the right choice.
Perhaps the most significant difference between a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury claim is that of fault. In a personal injury claim, you must prove that the other party was negligent. Without doing that, damages cannot be awarded to you. So using the example above, you would have to prove that the other driver was responsible for the accident.
That is, however, not the case in a workers’ compensation case. You do not need to prove that your employer was negligent in proving your claim. As long as you were injured while working, you have the right to workers’ compensation. In addition, being at fault does not make you ineligible for damages. This is usually the case in personal injury cases where being at fault could make you ineligible for damages.
Another difference between personal injury claims and workers’ compensation claims is the damages available to you. In a personal injury case, there are several damages you can claim. For example, you may claim damages for lost wages, pain and suffering, and lost earnings. However, that is not the case with workers’ compensation. In a workers’ compensation case, you’re eligible for medical bills and weekly wages payments.
Another difference is the fact that employees cannot sue their employers under workers’ compensation laws. Of course, if an intentional act caused your injury, then you may sue. However, most employees automatically forfeit their rights to sue as a result of workers’ compensation.
Regardless, there are two sets of employees who can still sue their employers. Railroad workers and crew members of any boat can sue their employers if they are injured on the job.
Miami Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Help You!
At Miami Lawyers 360, we know when to seek both workers’ comp and personal injury damages for injured Miami workers. In addition, we will protect your rights and ensure your employer or a third party does not take away what you deserve. Our services are on a contingency basis, meaning we do not demand upfront fees. Call us today to schedule a free case review.