If you are injured on the job, workers' compensation is there to help protect you and provide money to help you adjust and pay for your medical expenses. However, while workers' compensation is the most common solution to work-related accidents, there are some other alternatives. Check out these four facts you need to know when you are injured on the job.
You May Be Able to File a Personal Injury Claim
Just because you were injured on the job doesn't mean you are only entitled to workers' compensation. In some cases, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against the person responsible for your injury.
If you were injured by a defective product, such as a printer, toxic substance, chair, etc., you may be allowed to sue the manufacturer. If you were injured in an auto accident while driving your personal car for business needs, and it wasn't your fault, you may be allowed to sue the other driver. In some cases, you can file both workers' compensation and a personal injury claim, but if the personal injury claim results in more money, you may have to repay some or all of the workers' compensation.
You May Be Able to Sue Your Employer
Workers' compensation is designed to protect you and your employer, so in most cases, you cannot sue your employer if you are injured on the job. There are, however, a few reasons that do allow you to seek justice via the private sector. If your employer does not carry workers' compensation insurance, or it is not sufficient, it is possible to sue the employer to get money to pay for your injuries.
Another example of when you may be allowed to sue your employer is if the employer intentionally harmed you. For example, if your boss is having a bad day and ends up punching you, that isn't necessarily a workers' compensation problem, so it can usually be handled with a civil claim.
A Personal Injury Claim Requires You to Prove Fault
If you do choose to file a personal injury claim against someone instead of taking workers' compensation, it's up to you to prove fault. In order to win your case, the other person must be at fault. For example, if you did get into a car accident while on a work task and it was your fault, you will lose your case. It must be the other person's fault, and it's your responsibility to prove it.
On the other hand, if you accept workers' compensation, you don't have to do anything. Workers' compensation is there to help employees when they are injured on the job. Even if it was your own negligence that caused your injury, you are still entitled to workers' compensation
A Worker's Compensation Claim Doesn't Compensate for Pain and Suffering
An injury often comes with different types of damages. These may be future medical expenses, permanent impairments, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and lost earning capacity. If you accept workers' compensation, you don't get compensated for some of these factors, including pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. You get weekly compensation, permanent impairment benefits, medical bills and vocational rehabilitation.
On the flip side, if you choose to file a personal injury claim, you may be able to get much more money. As long as you can prove your case and everything you claim, such as loss of enjoyment of life, you can get money compensation to help you with both the seen and unseen effects of an injury.
Don't rush into a workers' compensation claim or a personal injury claim without all the facts. You can get more of the money you deserve with a personal injury claim but only if you prove it. For more information about personal injury while on the job, contact a lawyer from a firm like Daniels Long & Pinsel today.