Thousands of hundreds of people file personal injury and workers’ compensation claims. Both of these claims are considered civil legal claims. There are some differences between a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury claim. But the main difference pertains to fault. In order to file a personal injury claim, you must prove fault. On the other hand, a workers’ comp claim is not based on fault.
Fault in Personal Injury Claims
PI cases require fault to be proven. What that means is that you must prove that the injuries you sustained were a result of someone else’s negligence. The element of fault depends on negligence. Accidents that are no one’s fault happen. But those will not give rise to a PI claim.
A very common PI claim people file is a slip and fall. You could slip and fall for many reasons. If you can prove that you fell because the premise where you fell was negligently maintained, you have a case. Otherwise, if no negligence or fault can be detected, then there is no case.
Fault in Workers’ Compensation Claims
Contrary to PI claims, WC claims do not require you to prove fault. The simple premise for this is that if you were injured while on the job, you are entitled to file a WC case. Historically speaking, workers used to be required to prove fault in order to receive benefits. But this changed and no longer is the case. Today, you do not need to prove that your employer was negligent or at-fault in order for you to receive WC benefits. In fact, even if it is your fault, and it was your negligence that caused the accident, you are still entitled to the same benefits.
Pain and Suffering in PI and WC claims
In addition to fault, another major difference refers to damages you could recover. Because you do not hold the responsibility of proving fault in workers' compensation, you may not recover for pain and suffering. However, a personal injury claim includes pain and suffering in the compensation award.
If you file a workers' compensation claim, you receive weekly compensation depending on your pay rate. You also receive your disability benefits, compensation for all medical bills and any job training or vocational rehabilitation.
If you file a personal injury claim, you receive compensation for all the damages you suffered. These include any lost earnings, or capacity to learn, future medical expenses and emotional distress.