When you are injured, it can be easy to confuse the difference between filing a workers’ comp claim or a personal injury claim in the state of Florida. The reason these two claims are often confused is because of the similarities. Workers comp and personal injury claims both relate to being injured. However, the laws regarding these two claims are different.

Personal injury claims can refer to falls, car accidents, and other accidents that result in an injury that took place outside of the workplace. Workers’ comp involves accidents that resulted in an injury that occurred at your place of employment.

If you are looking to file a workers’ comp claim, contact an experienced Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Miami today.

Workers’ Comp vs. Personal Injury Claims

Workers Comp Claims – No Fault Needed

When filing a workers’ compensation claim, the employee must have been injured at their place of employment. Any employee who was injured on the job can file a workers’ comp claim with little to no exceptions. You do not have to prove that your employer or a co-worker caused your injury. Also, even if you were at fault for your injury, you are still entitled to file a claim and receive compensation benefits.

Personal Injury Claim – Fault Required

For personal injury claims, if you were injured, you must prove that someone else’s negligence caused your injury. For example, if you slipped and fell on someone else’s property, you and your lawyer would need to prove the property owner failed to maintain the property, which in return caused an injury. Also, to receive compensation for damages that occurred because of a car accident, you must prove that the other individual was at fault. However, there are cases where accidents happen, and no one is at fault.

Differences between Workers Comp and Personal Injury Claims

Workers’ Comp and Personal Injury Claims are easily confused. Some common differences between the two claims include:

Partial Loss of Income

When you are injured at work, you may believe that you are entitled to all wages that were lost. However, someone who was injured on the job typically only receives 2/3 of the lost wages in a workers’ comp case. Instead, someone who was injured in a car accident may receive full compensation for their lost wages. Since you may not receive all lost wages with a workers’ comp claim, the claim must be filed as soon as possible to prevent a financial burden.

No Pain and Suffering Compensation

In a personal injury claim, individuals have the right to receive compensation for physical pain, emotional and mental suffering. However, with a workers’ comp case in Florida, individuals may not receive these types of benefits. Instead, someone who was injured at work is very limited in the types of compensation they can receive opposed to someone filing a personal injury claim.

Negligence Is Not a Factor

Workers’ Comp claims do not require you to prove someone was at fault for your injury. Instead, with a personal injury claim, you must convince a judge that someone else was at fault. The workers’ compensation arrangement is laid out like an insurance company to guarantee individuals receive the benefits they are entitled to after a workplace accident. Workers’ comp ensures that you receive medical attention after an accident, injury, or illness. Also, workers’ comp will ensure that you are compensated for lost wages while you are recovering.

These are the most common differences between workers’ compensation claims and personal injury claims. Once you can determine who is at fault for the injury occurred, you will receive a better understanding of what type of claim you need to file. However, if you still are unsure, you can always contact a workers’ comp lawyer or a personal injury lawyer.

Workers’ Compensation: Benefits and Limits

Filing a workers’ compensation claim has both advantages and disadvantages. These include:

  •       Advantage: You can receive medical care and temporary disability after reporting your injury. Also, you do not have to prove your injury was someone else’s fault, and there will be no wait time on the decision of a lawsuit.
  •       Disadvantage: You are not able to receive any other benefits or compensation other than what is provided under the workers’ comp benefits. What this means is you will only receive 2/3 of your lost wages, and you are not entitled to pain and suffering.

Personal Injury Lawsuits: Damages and Limitations

Filing a personal injury also has its advantages and disadvantages. These include:

  •       Advantage: If you win your settlement, you can receive the full range of personal injury damage compensation. This will consist of all your lost wages, pain and suffering, and future earnings.
  •       Disadvantages: To file a personal injury claim, you must be able to prove that someone else was at fault for your injury. However, if you are successful at convincing that someone else at fault, you are not entitled to your compensation until a settlement has been agreed upon in court after a trial.

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim and a Personal Injury Lawsuit

In most cases, an employee will not be able to file a personal injury claim against another employee or employer if they have filed a workers’ comp case. With that said, there are some situations where a third party was involved, and this is referred to as a combination case.

If a third party was at fault for an accident that resulted in an injury, the employee might have the right to file a separate personal injury claim against that person.

Regardless of the difference between the two different claims, there are some aspects where the two claims are similar. Both personal injury claims and workers’ comp claims allow a person to pursue damage reimbursement and medical treatment. It is important to contact a Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Miami who is experienced to handle all aspects of your case. This even includes handling a workers’ comp case where a third party was involved.