Understanding the Difference between Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Claims
After a workplace injury, you may be unsure whether you need to file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim. This is especially true if there are unusual circumstances surrounding your accident. Car accidents, machinery malfunctions and other accidents can create confusion about how you should receive compensation for your injuries. It can help to understand the difference between personal injury and workers’ compensation in the eyes of the law. The Las Vegas personal injury lawyer Jordan Schnitzer can help.
Your employer is required to provide workers’ compensation designed to pay your medical bills, lost wages and other expenses if you are hurt at work. Under workers’ compensation, there is usually no need to prove fault, negligence or carelessness as long as the injury occurred while you were performing duties assigned to you at work. If someone is killed on the job, his or her beneficiaries may also have a right to workers’ compensation benefits. Under workers’ compensation, even if the accident was partially or fully your fault, you may be eligible for compensation in most circumstances.
You do not need to be an employee of a company to file a personal injury claim if you are injured in their place of business. If the company or one of their employees was negligent or careless and it led to your injury, you can file a personal injury lawsuit. However, unlike workers’ compensation, you must prove that the company or employee was negligent. Under a personal injury lawsuit, you may recover damages beyond medical expenses and lost wages. You could be awarded compensation for loss of future earning capacity, pain and suffering, as well as emotional distress. In Nevada, if you are partially at fault, your recovery will be reduced. For example, if you are found to be 10 percent at fault, your compensation will be reduced by 10 percent. If you are more than 50% at fault, you are not entitled to any recovery in Nevada. It is important to seek the advice of a Las Vegas injury attorney if you are injured and partially to blame. It could mean the difference between recovering some money and recovering nothing.
When Both Apply
There are circumstances where both workers’ compensation and personal injury may apply. If you are injured by a defective product at work, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer. If your injury is due to a toxic substance, you may be able to receive compensation from the manufacturer of the substance. If your employer’s actions were intentional and they led to your injury, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the employer. An employer who is not required to carry workers’ compensation, or one who is supposed to have coverage and does not, could provide you the opportunity to file a lawsuit. Another example would be if you are a delivery driver and suffer a dog bite, you may file for workers’ compensation from your employer and a personal injury lawsuit against the owner of the dog.
When you are injured at work, it is important to speak to a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer who can advise you of your rights. Contact us today to arrange for a no obligation consultation to see if a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim is right for you.