When an individual begins to seek compensation for their injury and losses they often wonder whether to file a worker's comp claim, PI claim, or both. A typical injury case gives rise to a personal injury case, however, when the same incident takes place at work, an individual must pursue a worker’s compensation case to obtain damages. This presents a question: should an individual seek a personal injury case, worker’s compensation, or both? Let’s check it out.WC, PI or Both?
Choosing between workers’ compensation and a personal injury claim is not extremely difficult, but does require some considerations. If an individual sustains an on-the-job injury and there is no third party involved in the accident, they may simply pursue a workers’ compensation case. The personal injury claim comes into play when there is a third party involved in the accident that caused an injury to the individual.
The real challenge comes when deciding whether an individual should pursue both of these options to obtain compensation for their loss and suffering. Facts and circumstances pertaining to every case are different, thus obtaining the services of a competent personal injury lawyer can be helpful in determining the legal routes that are available in your case.
In Illinois, employers are required by law to provide worker’s compensation to their employees. Your employer is obligated by the law to file a worker’s compensation claim for your incident, but that does not mean that you cannot pursue a personal injury claim, provided that a third party was involved in the accident. This type of personal injury claim is also known as a third party liability claim as the involvement of a third party is imperative to initiate a claim. For instance, if you have sustained an injury due to defective equipment at work, the manufacturer of that faulty equipment would be constituted as the third party.
There are a few key differences that you must consider when exploring your options. While the workers’ compensation is filed against the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company, the personal injury claim is filed against the insurance company of the third party whose negligence caused you the injury. In a workers’ compensation claim, you may receive benefits regardless of fault unlike a third-party injury claim, where your personal injury lawyer needs to prove the negligence of the defendant to pursue rightful compensation.
Furthermore, in a workers’ compensation claim, you may only be able to obtain statutory damages including lost wages and medical expenses. However, in a personal injury claim, a competent personal injury lawyer may help you to obtain damages for pain and suffering, and emotional distress that you had to suffer due to negligence of the third party.
If you wish to find out more about this topic or schedule a free consultation, contact the offices of Robert Edens at (847) 395-2200 to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
(Content updated 12/2/2021)