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Posted By AUTHOR Craig A. Altman on 04/11/2018

When to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim vs. a Personal Injury Claim

When to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim vs. a Personal Injury Claim

Recently, an article came out talking about how a tower crane collapsed, injuring multiple workers. Workplace injuries are common, and thus it is important to be informed about the all the options you have if you are injured at your workplace. Usually, people see workers’ compensation claim as the only option; however, there are a lot of situations in which you can choose to file a personal injury claim. Let’s understand these claims in detail.


Workers’ Compensation Claim

This includes injuries at the workplace or outside while carrying out the work-related task. In such cases, workers are entitled to compensatory benefits even if they too are at fault in the accident. However, workers’ comp claims make an employer liable to pay only for monetary losses such as:


  • Medical bills during the treatment
  • Lost income which is limited to 2/3 of the salary
  • Permanent impairment benefits
  • Rehabilitation


In such injuries, no compensation is paid for non-monetary damage such as the pain and suffering that a worker may have to go through as an aftermath of the injury. Thus, it becomes crucial to evaluate the nature of the injury and its possibility of falling outside the workers’ comp claim.


Personal Injury Claim

If you get hurt on the job because of the negligence of a third party, who is not your co-employee or employer, you can choose to file a personal injury claim. For example, getting injured in a car accident, while carrying out the work of the employer, may make you eligible for a personal injury claim in addition to the work comp claim. In such a case, you can seek compensation from your employer as well as from the party that is responsible for the accident. However, in such cases, you need to show the fault or negligence on the part of another party, proving that the other party caused the injury.


Personal injury claims are broader than work comp claims, and the recovery of personal injury is much greater than that of workers’ claims. Personal injury claims cover the following benefits.


  • All lost wages without any restriction
  • All fringe benefits
  • Personal property damage such as vehicle’s repair cost in case of a collision


Some other notable differences between these claims are:


  • While insurance company chooses your doctor in workers’ comp claims, you can choose your doctor under personal injury claim.    
  • Workers’ comp claim is aimed at getting you back at work; however, personal injury claim is intended to take you back to the condition before the injury, helping through all possible measures and compensating for the loss. In other words, it’s directed to make the victim whole.
  • Unlike workers’ comp claim, personal injury claims compensate for the future loss of wages, earning capacity, and other miscellaneous compensations.


To assess the nature of your claim, you may choose to seek the help of a work injury lawyer. You may be entitled to personal injury claims in the following situations:


  • Motor vehicles accidents – For example, injury caused by a car collision because of the negligence of the driver
  • Slip and fall – If your injury is caused by slipping or falling on the property of another party (non-employer), you can make the owner of the property liable to compensate for the damage caused because of the accident.
  • Product defect – A defect in the product led to the accident. As mentioned above, the defect in the crane allows the victim to sue the manufacturer of the crane.
  • Deliberate attempt to cause serious injury or death
  • An accident involving a toxic or illegal substance.
  • Your employer hasn’t taken workers’ comp insurance


Stay safe at work! In case of an injury, remember that the key to seeking compensation from one party or multiple parties is to stay informed about your choices.


If you think you have a case for either workers’ compensation or for a personal injury, give The Law Offices of Craig A. Altman a call today at 856-327-8899 and we will give you the legal advice you need!

This article first appeared on my blog.

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