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What’s the Difference Between Worker’s Compensation and a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

scales of justice and gavel and block sit against white background

Based upon previous articles that have been posted recently, you may be left wondering what the difference is between a worker’s compensation claim and a personal injury claim. While there are many differences between the two, it may blur together when you try to sort through each online in an attempt to do your own research. For this reason, we have done our best to sort through the trouble for you so you can know which claim you will be submitting.

If you have been hurt on the job, you will almost always be submitting a worker’s compensation claim. This ensures that you will have any treatment and rehabilitation monetarily covered for you through your employer. This is a claim that is not dependent upon fault and is only valid if you were hurt either at your place of work or while in the course of performing duties that were asked of you for your job. This ensures that you cannot sue your employer or co-workers unless under very strict exceptions. You will receive weekly compensation and possibly permanent impairment or disability benefits. Worker’s compensation, although different from state to state, can seem limited although it does cover all the necessary bases.

A personal injury lawsuit, on the other hand, is a bit trickier. While it can provide much larger payouts than worker’s compensation claims, this is only true if they are won. You see, personal injury lawsuits are guilt-based. This is the exact opposite of worker’s compensation and so they are more difficult to receive a positive result from. There must be proof of gross negligence from a third party in order for a ruling to be passed in your favor. However, because personal injury lawsuits are not bound by the same laws as worker’s compensation, it is fully possible to receive more money, such as for things like pain and suffering.

In many states, North Carolina included, if a personal injury lawsuit against a third party is won, the money paid out for your worker’s compensation claim must be reimbursed if enough was collected. Both courses require an attorney, as the laws are notoriously difficult to navigate. If you have a worker’s comp claim, call Collier for a free consultation today!