There are many instances when an employee can file both a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury claim at the same time. These two claims may even arise from the same accident. Two of the most common circumstances that lead to dual claims include car accidents and construction accidents. Many people often assume it must be one or the other: personal injury vs. worker’s comp. However, there are cases that involve both a workers’ compensation claim AND a personal injury claim.
Filing a claim for one of these cases can be tricky, let alone filing two separate claims at the same time. But do not let this deter you. Instead, let an experienced workers’ comp attorney like Mark L. Newman help you file your workers’ comp and personal injury claims. Mark L. Newman can assist you in every aspect of the case, from deciding if this route is best for you to ensure you receive the proper compensation for both claims. To speak with a skilled Ohio workers’ compensation attorney, call (513) 533-2009 or visit our website today.
Personal Injury vs. Workers’ Comp
Before we talk more about workers’ comp cases that also involve a personal injury claim, let’s further explain the two. What’s the difference between personal injury and workers’ comp?
First and foremost, personal injury and workers’ compensation are two completely different systems. Personal injury claims provide full compensation if the claimant is able to prove that someone is at fault for their injuries. Workers’ compensation, on the other hand, provides limited, no-fault benefits.
Personal Injury: Proving Fault
Proving negligence and fault is necessary to a successful personal injury suit. Just because you slipped and fell in a parking lot does not necessarily mean you will be awarded compensation from a personal injury case. You and your attorney need to prove that the owner of the premises did not maintain the parking lot and by acting negligently, they caused your accident.
Workers’ Compensation: No Fault Required
On the other hand, workers’ compensation has nothing to do with fault. You do not need to prove your co-workers, employer, supervisor, or boss did anything wrong. Even if you were negligent and your own negligence caused your injury, you are still entitled to receive workers’ comp benefits. Any employee that was injured on the job is entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. There are very limited exceptions to this rule.
Can I File a Personal Injury Claim and a Workers’ Comp Claim?
Yes. You have the right to file a personal injury claim if you get hurt on the job and the injury was caused by the negligence of a third party. You should also file a workers’ compensation claim because this claim will be processed much quicker and the Ohio BWC will pay for your medical bills and lost wages. However, if you receive a settlement in the personal injury case, the Ohio BWC is entitled to reimbursement for the medical benefits and compensation it paid.
The technicalities of these types of claims, especially when handled together, can be quite tricky. That is why it is in the claimant’s best interest to hire an attorney with experience in both workers’ comp and personal injury. Attorney at Law Mark L. Newman has extensive experience when it comes to handling dual workers’ compensation and personal injury claims. He can ensure that through each claim, you get the compensation you deserve.
When Can I File a Personal Injury Claim and a Workers’ Comp Claim?
One of the more common instances of filing both a personal injury claim as well as a workers’ comp claim is from an Ohio construction accident injury. Here is an example:
There are multiple contractors on a single, large construction site. A bricklayer was on an elevated scaffolding. He dropped a tool on an electrician below him. The electrician sustained a head injury. Now he has a right to file a workers’ compensation claim. He also has the right to file a personal injury based on the negligence of the bricklayer and his or her employer.
Here is another common scenario:
You were driving as part of your job. You are hit by another car and severely injured. In this case, you could file a workers’ compensation claim with the BWC. You can also file a personal injury claim against the driver who hit you.
What is Subrogation?
Subrogation is the right insurance carriers have to pursue a third party that caused an insurance loss to the insured. The insurance company does this to recover the amount of the claim it had to pay to the insured because of the loss.
The insurance company has the same rights and legal standing as the policy holder with subrogation. This way it can pursue a third party for damages and seek compensation for any losses.
What Can I Recover with a Personal Injury vs. Workers’ Comp Claim?
The best way we can explain how this works is through an example.
Let’s say you were en route making a delivery for a food delivery service. Another driver was texting and driving and ran a red light. They slammed into your car while you were finishing your last delivery of the day.
This was obviously a work-related crash, as you were on the clock. It might even keep you out of work for a month. After filing a workers’ comp claim, you receive $30,000 in benefits. These will cover your medical expenses and lost wages.
After this, you consult with a Cincinnati personal injury attorney. After considering all the facts of your case, you decide to pursue a personal injury claim. This will cover medical costs, lost wages, and physical therapy, if needed, as well as any pain and suffering caused by the accident. After your case concludes, you receive $75,000 in damages.
You received more money from the car insurance settlement than you did for your workers’ compensation claim for several reasons. First, workers’ compensation only pays two-thirds of your lost wages. Also, workers’ compensation does not compensate people for pain and suffering.
Because of the rule of subrogation, you will have to reimburse the Ohio BWC the $30,000 it paid for your medical treatment and lost wages out of your personal injury settlement. In the end, you will receive $45,000 from the car insurance settlement through your personal injury claim.
The insurance company and the Ohio BWC will handle the transfer of funds. This will prevent you from spending anything out of your own pocket.
Which Attorney Should I Use: Personal Injury vs. Workers’ Comp?
A workers’ compensation attorney should be familiar with the intricacies of the Ohio workers’ compensation system. They can help you in understanding the workers’ compensation process and counsel you to make the best decision possible.
There are some attorneys, like Mark L. Newman, who have experience in both workers’ comp and personal injury cases. These attorneys will be best equipped to advise you on which route you should take.
Consult With a Qualified Ohio Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you’re deciding whether you should file a personal injury vs. workers’ comp claim or both, schedule a consultation with an experienced work injury attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you navigate both claim systems and ensure that you receive the most compensation possible. Mark L. Newman has been serving Ohio workers for over 30 years and has extensive experience in advising people considering a personal injury claim. Contact him online or by calling 513-533-2009 today.