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Can You File a Personal Injury Lawsuit for a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

In most cases, legal action regarding injuries that occur on-the-job do not warrant civil lawsuits. Instead, they trigger workers’ compensation claims.

However, in some cases, a person injured while working needs more compensation for their injuries than is provided from workers’ compensation claims. This is especially true for those injured in auto accidents while on-the-job.

In these cases, an injured party might have the option of filing a personal injury claim, but only under specific circumstances.

Difference between Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Claims

Workers’ compensation exists to protect employers from legal claims filed by injured employees. Workers’ comp provides an alternative that helps both the injured party and the employer.

On the other hand, personal injury lawsuits are filed when one party is negligent and that negligence led to injuries of another party. Personal injury lawsuits can be filed against any group or people involved in the events that led to your injuries.

Another difference between workers’ compensation and personal injury claims is that workers’ comp does not allow for pain and suffering damages. This is compensation an injured party receives for physical and mental distress related to the incident.

You Can Pursue Further Compensation After Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

In some cases, workers’ compensation will be enough to help you with your medical bills and other expenses linked to your injuries. But not always.

In these cases, you might be able to file a personal injury claim. Most often, this is done through a third-party claim. If a third-party is at all responsible for your injuries, a claim is a possibility. Third-party claims require an additional party to have a duty of care and verifiable negligence that led to your injuries.

For example, if you are injured in an automobile accident while driving, you’ll file a workers’ compensation claim and you might be eligible to file a third-party personal injury claim against the party that caused the accident.

It’s important to note, your workers’ compensation claim can affect the third-party personal injury lawsuit. Insurance companies might have the ability to put a lien on damages awarded to you and also might be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault third-party to receive the funds used to pay your workers’ comp claim.

Sometimes, injured parties must return the money they were awarded in their workers’ comp claim, but it varies from case to case.

Workers’ compensation claims are complicated and become more so when there is a third-party personal injury claim. Working with an experienced attorney is important if you want to protect your rights. For more information, contact Heavens Law at 888.897.5377.