Getting an injury while you are at work can be devastating because it can leave you unable to work. When this happens, you can file for workers' compensation insurance, but this may not be enough. If the injury is serious enough, you may want to consider filing a personal injury case against your employer.
What's the difference?
Workers' compensation insurance is coverage that is mandatory for employers to purchase. It kicks in if an employee gets hurt on the job, and it is helpful to employers because the insurance company pays wages to the injured employee. Workers' compensation will generally pay the employee a portion of the normal wages he or she normally receives, and it typically only lasts for a certain length of time.
You should also know that worker's compensation insurance will cover any type of injury, even if you were at fault for causing the injury. If the injury did not occur while you were at work, the only way it will be covered is if you were completing work-related tasks when it happened.
A personal injury lawsuit is something you would have to file separately against your employer. If you win, you could receive a large settlement amount to cover the damages you incurred. This will include personal injuries, pain and suffering, and loss of future wages.
When should you file a personal injury case?
If your injury is relatively minor and will be healed in time for you to return to work within a few months, you may want to just stick with receiving the workers' compensation coverage. If you will never be able to return to work, or if you will be off for a year or more, you may want to sue your employer for personal injury.
You can only do this if the employer was somehow at fault for your injury, and this could be due to
- Intentional acts – If your employer did something to deliberately cause harm to you.
- Exposure to a toxic material – Employers must comply with safety issues relating to exposure to toxic materials. If you become sick from this type of exposure, you might be able to sue.
- No coverage – Additionally, you can sue your employer if he or she does not carry workers' compensation insurance. This coverage is not optional, and every employer should carry a sufficient amount of coverage.
If you would like to apply for workers' compensation, talk to your employer. If this is not enough coverage for the injuries you have experienced, you may want to hire a personal injury attorney for help.