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Work Injury Recovery: Workers’ Compensation or Personal Injury Lawsuit?

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PARRIS Law FirmNewsPersonal Injury

If you’ve sustained a work injury, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries, medical bills, and suffering. Depending on the nature of the accident and who was at fault, your compensation may be available through the workers’ compensation system, a personal injury lawsuit, or both.

Workers’ Compensation

The workers’ compensation system applies when a worker is injured by the negligence or actions of their direct employer. In a workers’ comp claim, the employee is not required to prove that the employer caused the injury in order to receive the workers’ comp benefits. The injury must simply have occurred on the job, while the employee was carrying out their employment duties.

Workers’ compensation does not apply when another company or person other than the direct employer may have caused or contributed to the injuries—even if the injuries occurred at work. There are also limits to workers’ compensation—it does not apply to many types of workplace assault or harassment.

The basic purpose of workers’ compensation is to provide both the employee and the employer with a certain level of protection should an employee be injured on the job. It is essentially a compromise: the employee is guaranteed some level of compensation without having to pursue legal action against the employer. At the same time, the employer is protected from large, expensive settlements related to work injuries because workers’ compensation limits the amount the employee can recover.

The Limitations Of Workers’ Compensation

Unfortunately, because of this compromise, workers’ compensation is oftentimes not enough to cover the damages a worker suffers. Benefits are generally limited to medical expenses, disability compensation, and a percentage of lost wages. This often results in compensation that falls short of what injured workers were earning immediately prior to their accident.

Personal injury cases involve more risk and more reward. Though compensation is not 100% guaranteed (as is the case with any legal action), in a successful personal injury lawsuit, injured workers can be compensated for pain and suffering, which ultimately allows for far more recovery than what is available through workers’ comp.

Additionally, workers’ compensation does not allow for the provision of punitive damages against the employer. Punitive damages are damages beyond regular compensation that can be awarded in a personal injury lawsuit, meant to punish defendants for harmful behavior such as exposing others to dangerous conditions.

Contact PARRIS Work Injury Lawyers

After your work injury, you should immediately seek medical care, report the injury in writing to your supervisor, and call PARRIS lawyers for your free work injury case consultation at (661) 485-2072.

PARRIS lawyers have the expertise to advise whether you have a potential personal injury claim that will allow you to recover damages for pain and suffering in addition to your workers’ compensation claim. Our clients have seen incredible victories in personal injury cases—even for injuries that occurred at work. One notable PARRIS work injury case result is a $13 million settlement against Tesla for injuries to a janitor working in one of the car company’s factories.

PARRIS always offers free case consultations and accepts all cases on a contingency basis, which means that you pay no fees until we win your case. That means no out-of-pocket costs, ever. Contact us today.

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Alex and Adriana

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