Workers Comp Vs. Personal Injury Claim: Which is Right For Me?
If you’ve sustained an injury on the job, you certainly aren’t alone. In 2013, nearly 917,100 work-related injuries required employees to take at least some time off from their jobs. Typically, injured employees will file a workers compensation case. Workers comp protects both employer and employee while eliminating the need for expensive, time-consuming litigation. However, under certain circumstances, it may be appropriate for an employee to file a personal injury claim instead. If you need the finest law firm for workers compensation Tulsa has to offer, we’re here to help you understand the differences and make a decision about what type of claim will work best for you.
Workers Compensation Claims
Almost every business is required by law to have workers comp insurance. This policy ensures that benefits are available to workers who are hurt on the job, and fault does not have to be proven in order to receive these benefits. You need to establish only that 1) the injury occurred on the job and 2) the injury was linked to the work performed by the employee.
With a workers comp claim, the injured employee will receive payments equivalent to approximately two-thirds of their average weekly or bi-weekly wage. They will also receive medical care, as well as monetary compensation for permanent injury or reimbursement for job retraining. If you plan on pursuing this claim, you should contact a skilled workers compensation lawyer to ensure everything is done by the book and in the allotted amount of time. In exchange for the benefits received, the employee will usually give up the right to sue their employer for personal injury.
Personal Injury Cases
Unlike workers comp, personal injury cases are not limited to workplace injuries. If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of another person or organization, you can file a personal injury case. However, with this type of case, you do need to prove fault. The injured party must also show proof of damages due to the injury. Personal injury settlements often include property damage, medical expenses, or loss of wages and/or future earning capacity. They may also include damages for pain and suffering.
When Can an Injured Worker File For Personal Injury?
In certain cases, it’s advisable for an injured employee to file a personal injury case. These claims may be filed against their employer or against another organization that’s directly connected to their injury. A few examples include:
- Defective product injuries — a suit may be filed against the product’s manufacturer
- Toxic substance injuries — a tort suit may be filed against the substance’s manufacturer
- Injuries caused by an employer’s egregious or intentional conduct (unsafe work environments, violated safety regulations,etc.)
- Injuries in a workplace not required to carry workers compensation (or has failed to do so)
- Injuries directly caused by employer or other employee
- Injuries caused by third-party negligence (i.e., someone other than an employer or coworker)
Should I File For Workers Comp or For Personal Injury?
The reality is that both of these kinds of cases can be quite complicated and your choice in claim will depend on a number of factors. That’s why you need the best law firm for workers compensation Tulsa has to provide. We can help explain the process to you and help you decide which course of action will be most beneficial and appropriate.
If you’ve been injured on the job, don’t try to file a claim on your own; you could easily make a costly mistake that will impact your future. When you work with the most experienced lawyers for workers compensation Tulsa, OK has to provide, you’ll be able to receive the compensation you deserve. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact us today.