When you experience a severe physical injury, you may be unable to work for weeks or months at a time. In a worst-case scenario, you could suffer a permanent disability that prevents you from ever working in your profession again.
Being unable to work makes providing for yourself and your family extremely challenging. You may need help paying your regular bills, like rent and car payments. In an accident that is not your fault, you may need to pursue a legal claim against the entity or person involved in your injuries.
Typically, you have two options: a workers’ compensation or a personal injury claim. Understanding the difference between workers’ comp and personal injury is essential to know which applies to your case.
Knowing the differences between the two types of claims can help you identify a suitable attorney for your case. You’ll also find out what kind of compensation you may be eligible for.
What Is a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
A workers’ compensation claim is appropriate for individuals injured at the workplace. If you’re an employee of the company and the injury you suffered occurred while on the job, you’re usually eligible for workers’ compensation.
Most employers must carry a workers’ compensation insurance policy. Their policy pays out workers’ compensation benefits to people who experience an injury while working.
States set their own rules concerning the coverage requirements for employers. Nearly every state requires employers to have workers’ compensation policies, except for Texas, which in some circumstances allows you to sue your employer directly.
In on the job injury claims, you don’t need to prove that your injury directly resulted from someone else’s actions or negligence. If you hurt yourself while on the job, you’re an employee of the organization, and your employer carries workers’ compensation, you usually qualify for benefits.
You can qualify for workers’ compensation even if you made a mistake that caused your injuries. For instance, if a construction worker slipped off a ladder and broke his back, he should be eligible for workers compensation benefits arising from that accident-at-work.
In most states, workers’ compensation rules preclude you from filing both a personal injury lawsuit against your company in addition to a workers compensation claim if you qualify for benefits. That means that in many states workers’ compensation claims are the exclusive remedy against your employer to address a personal injury at work.
You must file for benefits if your injury qualifies for workers’ compensation.
The compensation from a workers’ compensation claim differs from those of a personal injury lawsuit. In a workers’ compensation claim, you’ll typically receive a portion of your salary for a set amount of time while you recuperate. The amount you receive will vary depending on your state’s employer’s coverage amounts, but it may be up to two-thirds of your regular weekly pay.
While your benefits may be less than your regular income, they’re usually not taxable. That means you generally won’t owe any federal or state taxes on the money you receive. Since you’re not paying taxes, your compensation may be close to your regular after-tax paycheck.
Most workers’ compensation plans will cover all of the necessary medical expenses that relate to the injury you received at your workplace. For instance, if you break your leg after tripping on an electrical cord, the workers’ compensation plan would pay for your hospital visit, care, and any rehabilitation you undergo following your accident.
Workers’ compensation also includes survivor’s benefits for family members of people who pass away due to an injury on the job. Survivors can consist of a spouse, children under 18, and blood relatives who depend on the deceased person for support.
Qualifying survivors will receive a portion of the victim’s regular salary, typically two-thirds or less of their income. Usually, death benefits continue for up to two years.
If an injury is covered by workers compensation a worker usually can’t sue their employer for negligence. There are some exceptions in some states, such as if the employer intentionally causes the employee harm. For instance, if a manager slaps the employee across the face and they fall and sustain a concussion, they could qualify for workers’ compensation and/or a personal injury claim. However, these cases are rare.
What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A personal injury claim or lawsuit seeks compensation for someone who suffered an injury caused by someone else’s actions. To establish and prevail on a personal injury claim, you’ll need to prove that the other person’s actions were intentional or negligent and that they directly caused you harm.
Unlike a workers’ compensation claim, you won’t immediately start receiving benefits when you file a personal injury lawsuit. Instead, you’ll need to find an attorney to represent you and allow them to assemble the evidence to support your claim. Once they have enough documentation to pursue a case, they’ll try and negotiate a settlement. If they can’t reach a fair settlement, they may file a lawsuit against the responsible party or parties.
Usually, the defendant in a personal injury lawsuit is the negligent or accountable person themselves, although some cases will involve the responsible party’s insurance company . The insurance agency or their lawyer will review the facts of the case and determine whether there is a valid defense. They’ll likely pursue a settlement rather than allow the claim to go to court.
Personal injury cases can take months or even years to finalize. In the meantime, the injured victim may be unable to work, which can hamper their ability to pay medical bills and keep a roof over their head. The need for funding to get through a difficult period can be challenging.
Working with a pre-settlement funding company like Oasis Financial can help an injured person get by financially while waiting for the outcome of a lawsuit. With pre-settlement funding, you can obtain a portion of your estimated settlement amount to help you through a tough time.
People who qualify for personal injury claims may receive a larger payout for their losses than what they might receive through workers’ compensation. Unlike a workers’ compensation claim, a personal injury case allows you to request damages for pain and suffering. In many cases, there are no limits on the amount you can obtain in a pain and suffering claim, though the amount of insurance plays a role in this.
Other damages you can claim through a personal injury lawsuit include your past and future medical expenses, lost income from being unable to work, and any household services you require due to your injury. In some personal injury cases, multiple parties may be involved, which can increase the compensation you receive from your claim.
There are multiple types of personal injury cases. Some of the most common include automobile accidents, slips and falls, premises liability, and medical malpractice. However, any injury due to someone else’s negligent actions can potentially give rise to a personal injury claim.
If you think you have a personal injury case, it’s best to meet with a qualified attorney in your area who has experience with your type of claim. Most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations and won’t charge you any upfront fees. Instead, you’ll pay a portion of the settlement or damages you receive to them for their services after your case is finalized.
To find the right personal injury lawyer for your claim, make sure you do your research. Check their online reviews and client testimonials, and their prior case results. Scheduling a consultation with several different lawyers can help you determine which one is a suitable fit for you.
Are you involved in a workers’ comp or personal injury claim and need help with pre-settlement funding today? Oasis is here to help!
Workers’ Comp vs. Personal Injury: Quick Summary
Here are a few quick facts that can help you determine whether you have a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury case and what type of compensation you can expect from each scenario.
In a workers’ compensation claim, you don’t need to prove that your injury resulted from someone else’s actions or that your employer was negligent in some way. If you’re at fault for your injuries, you can still make a workers’ compensation claim if you’re an employee of the organization and the accident happened while at the workplace.
A personal injury lawsuit requires you to prove that you sustained injuries due to someone else’s negligence, intentional act, or recklessness. If you’re partially responsible for your injuries, you may be ineligible for compensation, or a court may reduce your damages depending on the percentage of your responsibility.
Pain and Suffering Compensation
In a workers’ compensation claim, you cannot recover any damages for the pain and suffering you experience due to your injuries. Your benefits will include a portion of your salary and payment of any medical bills you incur from the injury. If you die due to an accident on the job, your survivors will receive regular tax-free payments for a percentage of your standard wage for up to several years.
A personal injury claim allows you to sue for the pain and suffering you experience due to the wounds you sustain. For instance, if a car accident causes severe mental trauma, you could ask for damages for your emotional distress in your lawsuit. Most states do not limit pain and suffering compensation, so your payout may be much higher than in a workers’ compensation case.
Right to Sue
If you’re injured on the job and are an employee of the organization, you may be required to claim workers’ compensation unless someone at the workplace intentionally caused your injury.
In a personal injury lawsuit, you’re suing the person or entity for the injuries they caused you. You may be able to sue multiple people or entities in a personal injury lawsuit, depending on the circumstances of your case. For example, you might sue a driver who ran a red light, causing you to run into them. However, you might also have a case against your vehicle manufacturer if your brakes failed during the collision.
Timing of Compensation
In a workers’ compensation claim, you’ll begin receiving benefits in the days after you report the injury to your employer. You typically won’t experience significant interruptions to your pay, and you won’t need to worry about coming up with the medical expenses for your hospital or doctor’s visits. The workers’ compensation company will automatically cover them for you.
Receiving compensation from a personal injury claim can take much longer. While some personal injury cases will result in a settlement in a few months, others will go to court. If your claim ends up in a courtroom, receiving any damages may take a year or more.
Type of Lawyer
You may not need a lawyer’s services in a workers’ compensation claim, though it is almost always the right thing to do. Usually, you’ll start your claim by notifying your company of your injury, and they’ll communicate directly with their insurance so you’ll start receiving benefits. However, some workers’ compensation insurance agencies may deny your claim or make obtaining the benefits you deserve challenging.
If you’re having difficulty securing compensation, seek advice from a lawyer experienced in workers’ comp cases.
If you have a personal injury claim, seeking an attorney with prior experience handling your case type is vital. Many personal injury attorneys accept all types of claims but usually specialize in just a few areas. Closely check reviews and examine any case results they provide on their website. You should meet with several attorneys before deciding on the one you feel can best handle your claim.
Do you have more questions about workers’ comp vs. personal injury claims? Here are the answers to a few typical questions.
Is There a Difference Between Bodily Injury vs. Personal Injury?
Yes. A bodily injury is a physical wound, like a broken ankle, burn, or internal bleeding. However, a personal injury can encompass harm done to a person’s body, reputation, or property.
If you suffer a bodily or personal injury, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation or a personal injury lawsuit. A lawyer can evaluate the circumstances of your case and determine which type of claim is appropriate and the likelihood of recovering benefits or damages.
Who Pays for Claims arising from an accident at Work?
If you suffer an injury due to an accident at work, you may qualify for workers’ compensation. Most employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company will cover any benefits you are eligible for, including partial pay and medical expenses. If you pass away due to an accident on the job, your employer or their insurance company may pay survivorship benefits to your spouse, children, or any other blood relatives that depend on you for financial assistance.
Can I Receive Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Settlement Money?
It’s rare to receive both workers’ compensation and money from a personal injury settlement for the same injury. You’ll usually need to prove that someone intentionally harmed you at work to qualify for both claims. For instance, if a co-worker kicks you, resulting in broken ribs and internal injuries, you might be eligible for a personal injury and workers’ compensation claim. More commonly, if you are driving while on the job, and injured by another driver, you may have two claims- a workers compensation claim and a personal injury claim against the negligent driver.
Speak with a qualified attorney to determine whether you have dual personal injury and workers’ compensation claims.
Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer, Workers’ Comp Attorney, or Some Other Type of Legal Representation?
If your injury occurred at the workplace and you’re an employee, a worker’s compensation attorney is probably the best choice. A personal injury lawyer can help you if you sustain physical or property damage outside work. But what happens if you’re unsure whether you need a personal injury attorney or a workers’ comp lawyer? In that case, it’s best to schedule a consultation with qualified lawyers in your area who can help with both types of claims.
How Much Money Will I Receive for Injured Workers’ Compensation?
Typically, a workers’ compensation claim will pay for a portion of your weekly salary plus any medical expenses you incur due to your accident. The time you receive benefits will depend on the extent of your injuries. Usually, a doctor must clear you before you can return to the workplace at your regular capacity. You may then may be eligible for a settlement that represents your amount of permanent disability.
Will a Personal Injury Claim Pay More than Workers’ Compensation?
It depends. Personal injury lawsuits allow you to claim damages for pain and suffering, which can increase the settlement you receive due to your accident. A work injury lawsuit does not allow you to claim pain and suffering.
Don’t Let an Injury Destroy Your Finances with Oasis Financial
Experiencing a devastating injury that prevents you from working can wreak havoc on your physical health. However, it can also impact you financially, making it hard to pay for your needs and support your family.
If you’re waiting on compensation from a personal injury lawsuit or workers’ compensation claim, we offer pre-settlement funding to qualifying customers that they can use while waiting for their claim’s outcome. Most clients receive pre-settlement funding within a day or two of their application, assuming they send us all the necessary documentation.
Pre-settlement funding is an easy, no-risk way to get the money you need in your hands quickly. If you lose your case, you won’t need to repay us.
To get started, fill out our no-cost online application, and we’ll be in touch promptly with the next steps.
Were you involved in a car accident and you need help with pre-settlement funding today? Oasis is here to help!
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. No attorney-client or confidential relationship is or will be formed by use of the site. Readers of this website should contact their attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter. No reader, user, or browser of this site should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information on this site without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.
Oasis provides pre-settlement funding, also known as consumer litigation funding, to its customers through different products depending on their state of residence or cause of action. Many consumers will be provided pre-settlement funding in the form of a purchase agreement, which assigns a portion of the pending proceeds from their legal claim. Other consumers, such as those in CO, IL, MO, SC, WI and some OK residents, will be offered a funding in the form of a pre-settlement loan, sometimes referred to as a lawsuit loan. These transactions have important differences, therefore, consumers should carefully review and be aware of the type of transaction that is offered to them by any funding company.