Many accidents and injuries occur at the workplace or while an individual is acting on behalf of their employer. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are nearly 3.0 million nonfatal workplace injuries reported by private employers annually. Victims of workplace injuries may be entitled to workers compensation and/or personal injury compensation. If an employee sustains a “work injury,” he or she may have a claim. Workplace injuries are injuries sustained during the course and scope of one’s employment (i.e. while performing a task for one’s employer or at the employer’s direction). This usually entitles the employee to benefits under the workers compensation system.
WORKPLACE INJURIES: PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS VS WORKERS’ COMPENSATION
The question often arises as to the difference between a workers compensation claim and a personal injury claim under the law. These are two distinct types of legal claims, which sometimes overlap. The main difference between a workers compensation claim and a personal injury claim is the ability to obtain what are known as “general damages” in a personal injury claim. General damages are not recoverable in a workers compensation claim. General damages include the economic value associated with pain and suffering, mental and emotional distress, inconvenience, grief, anxiety and related injury. Often, general damages are the most valuable part of a personal injury claim simply because the costs of medical treatment and lost income can be greatly outweighed by the emotional toll that a significant bodily injury can have on a person’s life.
Because it is possible to maintain both types of claims, it is essential to consult a personal injury attorney when a workplace injury occurs. If both a workers compensation claim and a personal injury claim are filed, there are complex issues regarding liens and reimbursement rights, as well as other legal issues that require the help of an attorney.
If you have been injured while working, Contact us today for a free consultation. We never charge a fee unless we obtain a recovery for you.