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Should I File a Workers’ Compensation or Personal Injury Claim?

Goldstein Heslop Steele Clapper Oswalt & Smith Dec. 12, 2021

When you are injured on the job, you need compensation to help cover your medical bills and to make up for your lost wages while you are recovering. But many workers don’t know the difference between a workers’ comp claim and a personal injury claim. Which do you file? The answer depends on several factors.

Workers’ Comp vs. Personal Injury

Workers’ compensation is what many employees file after an on-the-job injury. You do not need to prove fault, and the claim will typically pay you a non-taxable income equivalent to two-thirds of your weekly or bi-weekly pay. It will also pay for your medical care, compensation for a permanent injury, and will cover any job retraining costs.

A personal injury claim requires you to prove that your accident was preventable, and is the fault of a third party. Personal injury damages vary among cases. They frequently cover medical expenses, lost wages and future income, property damage, and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.

Which Do You File?

Your unique situation will determine which claim you file, or if you file both. An experienced workers’ comp attorney can guide you and help you make your claim. An employee who is injured on the job is covered by their employer’s insurance, and can file a workers’ compensation claim. Frequently, a workers’ comp claim will require you to waive your rights to file a personal injury claim, in exchange for benefits. This can be challenged in specific cases.

Personal injury claims offer much higher compensation than workers’ comp claims, though they frequently take far longer to resolve. You will also be required to prove that the other party’s negligence was the cause of your accident. This can make a personal injury claim far more difficult to win. A skilled personal injury attorney can fight for your right to compensation.

Because of the need to prove fault in order to file a personal injury claim, many injured workers often file for a workers’ compensation claim, even if it’s not in their best interest. If you are injured on the job, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help determine which claim you should file. Your lawyer will be able to help file your claim, and can help you receive the compensation you deserve.

Altoona personal injury lawyers are ready to help you with your case. Contact our team at Goldstein, Heslop, Steele, Clapper, Oswalt, and Smith today to learn more about how we can help.