Workers' Compensation vs. Personal Injury Claims

By Mark T. Flickinger, JD on August 17, 2018

A person in a wheelchair after an accidentIf you have been injured on the job as a result of someone else’s carelessness or another party’s negligence, you have a number of options to consider. Some may file for workers' compensation benefits to help with recovery. Other may file a personal injury lawsuit to collect damages that resulted from the incident.

The injury lawyers at our Provo, UT law firm have advised numerous people to do one of the other in various instances. The lawyers of Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton want to consider how workers’ comp and personal injury lawsuits work, and the various advantages and disadvantages of each for people who have suffered a workplace injury.

About Workers’ Compensation Claims

A workers’ compensation claim provides insurance money to you/your household if you have been injured at your workplace. The benefits will cover some of your lost wages, medical expenses, and recovery costs associated with your on-the-job injury.

About Personal Injury Claims

A personal injury claim is a civil lawsuit in which damages are sought from the negligent party who is responsible for an accident occurring. The damages can cover all medical expenses, lost wages, long-term rehabilitation, legal costs, and even punish the negligent party for their actions.

Proving Fault in an Accident: Why That Matters

One of the biggest differences to consider in these work injury options is the matter of fault. A personal injury claim must prove the defendant was at fault. With workers’ compensation claims, no fault is required to collect benefits.

The nature of your accident, the extent of your injuries, and your financial means will generally determine if it’s in your best interests to simply file a workers’ comp claim or pursue a personal injury lawsuit.

Pros and Cons of Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

With workers’ compensation claims, the primary advantage is that courts are not involved and proving fault is not necessary. You may want to consider a lawyer if your workers’ compensation claim has been denied since a legal expert can assist with the appeals process.

The major drawback here is that if you seek workers’ compensation benefits, you will not be able to pursue any legal actions against your employer. This is worth noting if your injury was the result of negligence on the part of your employer.

Pros and Cons of Filing a Personal Injury Claim

With personal injury lawsuits, the primary advantage is that you can have all of your material losses covered through damages and make sure a negligent party is held accountable for their endangerment. This can improve safety standards and practices in an injury.

The major drawback is that nothing is guaranteed in a personal injury claim. If the case goes to trial, there is no certainty that the jury will rule in your favor. These cases can also take years and be costly endeavors.

Discussing Your Options with a Lawyer

Given the pros and cons outlined above, it’s a good idea to discuss these matters with a skilled attorney. A legal expert can tell you if your case is worth pursuing, or if it’s a better option to file for workers’ compensation benefits instead. This advice can save you a lot of hassles and costly mistakes.

Learn More About Your Legal Options

To learn more about your legal rights and options, we encourage you to contact the lawyers of Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton. Our team is here to help you understand the ideal way to have your legal matters addressed.

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