When you are injured on the job, you are entitled to compensation. However, you should be aware that there are two paths to receiving some form of monetary compensation: a personal injury claim or a workers’ compensation claim. Learn the differences between these two and find out which is the best option for you.
Personal Injury Claim
A personal injury claim is a civil lawsuit against a third party who caused the accident due to negligence. This type of claim is not limited to workers but applies to anyone who is injured in an accident as a result of another person’s actions. There are three essential aspects to keep in mind about personal injury claims in the case of an on-the-job injury.
First, the most important characteristic of a personal injury claim is that you must prove that the defendant was at fault. This means that you must prove liability for the third party’s actions in the accident in order to be compensated for damages.
Second, in a settlement for a personal injury claim, you are entitled to full compensation. This includes damages for pain and suffering, compensation for future loss of earning capacity, and full wage replacement, among others.
Third, the time limit for making a personal injury claim in Texas is two years. There are some exceptions, though, such as if the victim is under the age of 18 or if the at-fault party was not discovered during the two years following the injuries.
Workers’ compensation has some significant differences compared to personal injury claims. The most obvious is that it only applies to employees, meaning that if you are an independent contractor you are not entitled to this type of compensation.
The most prominent feature of workers’ compensation is that you do not have to prove fault on anyone’s part. This type of benefit is designed to cover injuries that occur on the job, even if they were caused by your negligence. This is because these injuries would not have happened if you were not at work.
That said, there is a downside to this type of claim and that is that it does not cover pain and suffering, total loss of income, or general loss of quality of life.
As for the time limit for filing a claim, there are two things to keep in mind. First, you must notify your employer of the injuries within 30 days of the accident. You may lose your right to benefits if you fail to comply with this step. Second, you have one year from the date of the accident to file a claim for workers’ compensation.
When Does Personal Injury Apply to Workplace Injuries?
You should know that if an employer has workers’ compensation, this usually means you can’t sue. However, there are some cases where you can pursue both types of claims.
The most common is if you get into a car accident while driving a car owned by the company you work for. For example, if you work as a truck driver and you were in an accident due to a reckless driver, you could pursue both types of claims.
Slip and fall accidents are another common example. Suppose your employer rents a building for the company. If you suffer a fall that causes an injury, you may be able to make a claim against the property owner if you can prove that there was negligence on their part in regards to proper maintenance, such as fixing uneven floors.
Other situations that may arise are if you are injured as a result of a defective product, such as having an accident while operating machinery due to manufacturing problems. Or if the accident is the result of malicious conduct or conduct that was clearly intended to cause injury on the employer’s part.
As you can see, there are many variables to consider. The case must be evaluated thoroughly to better understand how to move forward. It is recommended that you have legal help to ensure that you receive fair compensation that is appropriate to your particular situation.
At AMS Law Group, we have personal injury attorneys who will ensure that you recover the maximum amount of compensation possible. Remember that there are deadlines for both types of cases, so we recommend that you contact us as soon as possible. For your convenience, we have 24/7 service in English, Spanish and Arabic. Contact us for a free consultation.