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The difference between workers’ compensation and personal injury claims

The complex relationship between workers’ compensation and personal injury claims can be difficult to understand, but it is important to recognize the differences between the two.

When comparing the two types of claims we can see that they are quite different from each other in terms of the types of benefits and protection they offer, the circumstances that must be met to qualify, and the system that governs them and can handle disputes. Understanding the distinctions between the two is essential.


Workers’ Compensation Claims

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance, required by law by employers, that provides benefits to employees who are injured or become ill as a result of their work. 

It is a no-fault system, which means that an employee can receive benefits no matter who was at fault for the injury, whether they were injured by someone else or they made a mistake that caused the injury. Benefits generally include payment of medical expenses, lost wages, and disability benefits. In exchange for these benefits, the employee agrees not to sue their employer for the injury.


Personal Injury Claims

Personal injury claims, on the other hand, are lawsuits brought by a person who has been injured as a result of another person’s negligence or intentional act. The plaintiff (injured person) must prove that the defendant (responsible person) was at fault for the injury. Damages in a personal injury claim can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related expenses.


Key differences

One of the key differences between workers’ compensation and personal injury claims is fault. In a workers’ compensation claim, fault is not considered, while in a personal injury claim, fault is a critical element of the case. Additionally, workers’ compensation claims are generally limited to the benefits provided by the employer’s insurance policy, while personal injury claims can potentially result in much higher settlements.

Another difference is the process for filing a claim. In most cases, an injured employee can file a workers’ compensation claim with their employer’s insurance provider, while personal injury claims require filing a lawsuit in civil court.