Workers’ compensation and personal injury lawsuits may seem closely related. After all, they are both ways to get monetary benefits as a result of an injury. But in actuality, the two are very different. Before you decide which type of lawsuit to pursue, it’s important to know the main differences between workers’ compensation lawsuits and personal injury lawsuits.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance where employees are given cash benefits to cover medical care and other injury expenses. Employers pay for this insurance in exchange for relinquishment of the employee’s right to sue the employer for negligence.
What is Personal Injury?
A personal injury claim is a civil action, not a criminal one. This means that the person liable for your injury does not typically go to jail and is not found “guilty,” but rather is required to pay you for your injury, medical bills, pain and suffering, etc.
No-Fault Needed in a Workers’ Compensation Case
In a workers’ compensation case, you do not have to prove that your employer or any of your co-workers were at fault. In fact, even if the injury was caused by your own negligence, you are still eligible for workers’ comp benefits.
Fault Needed in a Personal Injury Case
On the other hand, in a personal injury case, you must prove that your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence. For example, if you’re involved in a car accident, you can only recover damages if you can prove that the other driver was at fault. Similarly, if you slip while on someone’s property, you and your lawyer must prove that the property owner negligently maintained his or her property.
Limited Damages Can Be Recovered in a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Workers’ compensation benefits typically cover:
- Medical expenses
- Physical therapy
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Lost wages paid out weekly based on the severity of disability
Workers’ comp benefits do NOT cover:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
All Damages Can Be Recovered in a Personal Injury Claim
Personal injury benefits have the potential to cover all the damages you have suffered. This includes lost wages, medical bills, disability, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, etc.
Contact a Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Attorney
It can be confusing to understand the differences between workers’ compensation lawsuits and personal injury lawsuits, especially in complicated circumstances that blur the lines between the two. Our legal team at Powers & Caccavale are ready to help guide you through the complex legal procedures of these types of claims and help maximize your benefits so that you get the justice you deserve without stressing over the details. Call us toll free at (617) 379-0016 today.