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Personal Injury vs. Workers' Compensation

When it comes to a personal injury lawsuit and a workers’ compensation claim, it can be difficult to tell the difference between the two because of their similarities. If an injury occurs on the job, filing them as a personal injury or a workers’ comp claim depends on several factors.

The following are the main differences between a workers’ compensation case and a personal injury lawsuit:

  • Liability – In order to recover damages for suffering an injury caused by a negligent party outside the workplace, the fault is required to file a personal injury lawsuit. For example, if you are in a car accident, you can only recover damages from the other driver if he or she was at fault. In a worker’s compensation case, on the other hand, any employee injured on the job is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, no matter who is at fault. You do not need to prove that your employer or your coworkers did anything negligent in order for you to obtain benefits.
  • Ability to sue – According to workers’ compensation law, all employees who were injured at the workplace would receive some weekly benefits and would get their medical bills paid. In return, injured workers lose the right to sue their employers and coworkers for negligence and lose the right to collect damages for pain and suffering. However, interstate railroad workers and crewmembers of vessels are still legally permitted to sue their employers.
  • Damages – The major difference in damages between the two is that you are not entitled to pain and suffering in a workers’ compensation case. In a personal injury lawsuit, you are entitled to recover all of the damages which you have suffered, including pain and suffering and among other things.

There are some cases where both personal injury and workers’ compensation apply. For instance, if you suffer an injury on the job caused by a defective product, you may file for workers’ compensation benefits and pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the product manufacturer to recover more damages aside from what’s available in workers’ compensation.

If you have suffered an injury caused by a negligent party in Georgia, schedule a free consultation with our Woodstock personal injury lawyers at The Warlick Firm, PC Attorneys at Law today.