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Differences between Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation Claims

Many people are confused by how personal injury claims and workers’ compensation claims differ from one another. While they do share similarities, there are distinct differences that can be helpful to understand if you’ve been injured on the job or if someone else’s negligence leaves you injured in an accident (such as a traffic accident). If you find yourself in either one of these circumstances, it’s time to consult with either an experienced workers’ compensation attorney or an experienced personal injury attorney (respectively), and some well-respected Chicago firms focus on both. 

Fault

One of the primary differences between workers’ compensation claims and personal injury claims is the element of fault. In order to bring a successful personal injury claim, you will need to file your claim with the insurance carrier of the at-fault party. This is because personal injury claims are based on fault, which means failing to adhere to the duty of care owed. 

For example, when you get behind the wheel of your car, you owe a duty of care to everyone with whom you share the road, which involves driving safely and adhering to the rules of the road. If a driver fails to uphold this duty of care, he or she can be found at fault in a personal injury claim. 

Workers’ Compensation Has No Element of Fault

Workers’ compensation claims, on the other hand, are not based on fault, and this is intended to help protect both employees and employers. If you are injured on the job or acquire an illness related to your work, you can file for compensation without having to demonstrate that your employer is at fault. 

Additionally, in most circumstances, you won’t have to worry about whether or not you share fault for the accident that leaves you injured. Finally, your employer doesn’t have to worry about injury-related lawsuits bringing the business down. The idea is for injured employees to get the help they need and for businesses to remain in business, and the compromise struck is that fault is taken out of the equation.

Compensation Sought

The other major difference between workers’ compensation and personal injury claims is the compensation you can seek. If you are injured in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence (a personal injury claim), you can seek compensation for all the following categories of damage:

  • Your medical expenses
  • Your lost wages
  • Your pain and suffering

The same is not true, however, in workers’ compensation claims. If you are injured on the job, you can seek compensation for your medical expenses and for a specific percentage of your lost wages (with a careful calculation process that applies if you are not able to return to work). 

Need a Personal Injury or Workers’ Compensation Attorney? Reach Out to a Reputable Chicago Firm

The trusted Chicago workers’ comp and personal injury attorneys at The Horwitz Law Group have a wealth of experience in both practices and are committed to helping you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled. For more information about how we can help, please don’t wait to schedule your free initial consultation by contacting us today.   

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