Benefits of Filing a Personal Injury Claim for Your Workplace Injury
When an employee is injured at work, the most common type of claim that an employee files to receive monetary compensation for his or her injuries is a workers’ compensation claim. This is because employees are generally entitled to workers’ compensation if they are injured during the course and scope of their employment and receiving a payout from filing a workers’ compensation claim generally takes less time than a receiving payout from filing a personal injury lawsuit against their employers. However, there are certain benefits to filing a personal injury lawsuit against an employer when an employee is injured on the job. Below, we discuss the benefits of filing a personal injury lawsuit as opposed to a workers’ compensation claim and when a personal injury lawsuit may be filed when an employee is injured at work.
Benefits of Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
When an employee is injured at work, the employee may file either a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit against the employer, but may not file both. This is because the workers’ compensation system is a no-fault system, meaning that an employer who receives a payout from filing a workers’ compensation claim agrees to hold the employer harmless and will be barred from pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against the employer even if the employer was technically responsible for causing the injury. Consequently, when employees are injured on the job, they must choose whether to proceed with a personal injury claim or to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Although workers’ compensation claims are generally processed faster than personal injury lawsuits, there are some advantages to pursuing a personal injury lawsuit as opposed to pursuing a workers’ compensation claim. Perhaps the biggest advantage is the ability to receive a larger payout than when filing a workers’ compensation claim. In a personal injury lawsuit, employees may receive monetary compensation for pain and suffering they experience because of the injuries they sustain at the workplace. However, when filing for workers’ compensation, employees may not receive any monetary compensation for the pain and suffering they experience. Additionally, in a personal injury lawsuit, the injured employer may receive compensation for the loss of quality of life whereas, when filing a workers’ compensation claim, employees cannot request monetary compensation for loss of quality of life.
Another benefit of filing a personal injury lawsuit as opposed to a workers’ compensation claim against an employer is the fact that you may actually hold the employer accountable for its wrongdoing. When judgment is entered against an employer in a personal injury lawsuit filed by an injured employee, the publicity of the judgment as well as the large monetary payout the employee may receive will likely cause the employer to change certain policies and procedures to prevent other employees from suffering the same injuries as the one who filed the lawsuit. When injured employees file workers’ compensation claims, however, the employer does not accept responsibility for causing the employee’s injuries and, because of this, may be less likely to change its policies and procedures to ensure other employees are not injured in the same way in the future.
When an Employee Can File a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against an Employer
Generally speaking, an employee has the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against an employer at any time. However, this does not always mean that the claim will be successful. For this reason, it is prudent to determine the likelihood of success before deciding whether to file a personal injury lawsuit or to file a workers’ compensation claim. Successful personal injury lawsuits against employers revolve around whether you can prove that the employer’s actions or inaction caused the employee to sustain the complained-of injury. If you can, then your personal injury claim will likely prevail and, in this circumstance, filing a personal injury lawsuit against the employer may be the better option. Alternatively, if the evidence shows that the injury you sustained at work is due mostly to your own error, then the likelihood that you would prevail in a personal injury lawsuit is lessened and filing a workers’ compensation claim may be the better option for you.
In addition to assessing the success of your potential personal injury lawsuit, sometimes, employers do not carry workers’ compensation insurance or do not carry workers’ compensation policies that adequately cover the costs of the losses you incurred because of the injury. In this case, it is best to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer because this is the only avenue you have to receive any type of monetary compensation for your work-related injuries.
Sometimes, there are also third parties who are responsible for causing your workplace injuries. If this is the case and you can prove that the third party is at least partially responsible for your injuries, you may file a personal injury lawsuit against the third party in addition to either filing a personal injury lawsuit against your employer or filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Contact a Cherry Hill Labor and Employment Law Attorney for a Consultation About Your Workplace Injury Claim in New Jersey and Pennsylvania Today
If you have been the victim of work-related injuries, work-related illnesses, hazardous occupational conditions, discrimination, or any other illegal practice taken by your employer, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey and Pennsylvania labor and employment law attorneys at Begelman & Orlow, P.C. represent clients who suffer work-related injuries throughout both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Cherry Hill, NJ, Camden, NJ, Philadelphia, PA and Conshohocken, PA. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at (866) 627-7052 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 411 Route 70 East, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034, as well as offices located in Conshohocken, PA.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.