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Injured Workers: File a Workers' Compensation Claim or Personal Injury Claim?

If you suffered an injury while at work, your first instinct is likely to begin filing a workers’ compensation claim to cover the costs of your medical bills and recover other damages associated with your injuries. While this is usually a suitable approach to these circumstances, there are some situations in which you might also be able to file a personal injury claim. A personal injury lawsuit might even be able to provide you with better compensation than workers’ compensation benefits would.

Oftentimes, this is not an option injured workers generally consider, especially since they are often worried about suing their employer. You might be surprised to learn that, more often than not, you end up suing a third party, such as the owner of the building you work in.

A Workers’ Compensation Claim

If you are injured while on the job, whether the accident happens at your place of work or off-site while performing work duties and file a workers’ compensation claim, you will not have to prove that anyone caused the injury. Workers’ compensation is something you are entitled to, even if you were partially at fault for it. This is the purpose of workers’ compensation – to protect employees. If you decide to move forward with a workers’ compensation claim, you will not receive anything outside of the economic costs associated with the injury. This means that, unlike a personal injury claim, you cannot receive compensation for pain and suffering.

A Personal Injury Claim

Unlike a workers’ compensation claim, personal injury damages are compensatory, which means they include medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, and damages for pain and suffering. In order for a worker to recover damages through a personal injury claim, he or she must prove that another person or party was at fault for their injuries.

When a Worker Can File a Personal Injury Lawsuit for a Work Injury

Some examples of situations in which a worker can file a personal injury lawsuit when injured at work include:

  • The injury involves a defective product, for which the worker can file a claim against the manufacturer
  • The employer’s conduct indicated an intention to cause serious harm or death to the employee
  • The injury involves a toxic or illegal substance
  • The employer failed to carry workers’ compensation insurance
  • The injury was caused by the negligent actions of a third party who does not work for the company

Another common example of when an employee can file a personal injury claim while performing work duties is with a motor vehicle accident. If you were driving for work when you were injured in an accident, you might be able to file a claim against the party who was responsible for it. For example, if you are a delivery truck driver and were hit by a drunk or distracted driver, you can file a lawsuit against him or her, in addition to filing for workers’ compensation.

Personal Injury Attorneys in Las Vegas

If you were injured while performing your job, you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. In some cases, you might even be able to pursue a personal injury claim as well, which will help you receive compensation for your pain and suffering. At Bernstein & Poisson, our Las Vegas legal team is skilled in handling both personal injury and workers’ compensation claims.

For the representation you deserve, contact our office at (702) 602-8869 to schedule your free case evaluation.