Personal Injury Suit vs. Workers’ Comp Claim: Which Is Right for Me?

When you’ve been hurt at work, it’s hard to know what to do next. First, you are overwhelmed with your treatment and recovery. Then, you must deal with the financial burden. Between medical bills and missed work, the expenses can pile up quickly.

At this point, you know you need help, and you probably have advice coming at you from all directions. One person tells you to sue your employer, and the other says you should rely on your workers’ comp.

In this article, we will broadly compare workers’ compensation benefits and personal injury lawsuits. You can use this information to help inform your next steps.

The Benefits of Choosing Workers’ Comp

Workers’ compensation is an insurance benefit. Your employer pays into the program, and you are automatically entitled to these benefits.

Your only requirements are to:

  • Prove that you were injured
  • Prove that your injury was related to your job

Insurance companies can be stubborn, and they often attempt to invalidate workers’ comp claims. That being true, once you prove your case, you can start receiving your benefits right away.

Workers’ comp can last well into the future. For some, it becomes their primary income, especially if their injury has rendered them unable to work.

The Benefits of Filing a Lawsuit

Personal injury lawsuits are designed to pay you back. You can receive compensation for any money you spent or lost on your injury. Furthermore, you may also receive pain and suffering damages, which compensate you for your misery. If your employer’s actions were particularly egregious, you may also be entitled to punitive damages. This is extra money the court orders simply to punish the defendant.

The point is this: You could receive far more money in a personal injury case.

The Drawbacks of Choosing Workers’ Comp

Insurance benefits are not usually a 1-to-1 compensation. The money you receive is normally a percentage of your usual income.

The Drawbacks of Filing a Lawsuit

Personal injury lawsuits can give you a lot of money upfront, but the funds may not last. You will spend much of this money right away, covering your medical expenses and other past bills. Afterward, you must live on whatever is left, and you may be surprised by how little that is. This money will probably sustain you for a while, but you’ll need another source of income, as these funds can dry up fast.

The Issue of Negligence

Worker’s comp requires only that you prove your injury is real and that it happened at work.

A personal injury case asks you to prove the same thing, but it takes the matter a step further. In a lawsuit, you are accusing someone of improper behavior. A big part of your case is proving that your employer was negligent. They did something wrong, and that action directly led to your injuries.

Doing Both

Luckily, you don’t have to choose one over the other. You can file for workers’ comp and receive the help you need right away. Then you can contact an attorney who can help you build your case against your employer.

If you’re having difficulty with workers’ comp, or you need to discuss a lawsuit against your employer, our firm is here to help. For a free consultation, call us today at (714) 909-2609 or contact us online.

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