Can You File Personal Injury & Workers Compensation Claims?
If you suffer an injury on the job, you may wonder whether you file personal injury claims in addition to or instead of a workers’ compensation claim? The simple answer to this question is no. You must file the proper claim for the sustained injury for legal reasons and you most definitely cannot file two claims for the same injury.
What is Considered a Personal Injury
Personal injuries are a result of some form of negligence. This can be negligence on the part of a company or an individual. Depending on the state in which you live, there is a statute of limitations that accompany personal injury claims. For example, in some states the statue of limitations is one year from the date of injury to file a claim. In other states, the statute of limitations may be several years. The rewards for such claims in the legal system vary according to the severity of the injury. Hiring an attorney is highly recommended to handle such claims in order to navigate the legal system and get the most from your claim. Some examples of personal injury include:
- Injuries sustained in a car accident
- Injuries sustained as a result of a slip and fall
- Injuries sustained as a result of hospital negligence
What is Considered a Workplace Injury
Workplace injuries do not necessarily occur as a result of negligence. Instead, these are injuries that often develop over time from performing the requirements of your job or injuries that happen because of an accident on the job. Workers compensation is an exclusive remedy system, meaning that if you are injured on the job, your only means of recovery is to file a workers comp claim- you cannot file personal injury claims against your employer.
Employers carry workers’ compensation insurance to handle such claims, which cover the medical and hospital expenses and lost wages that accompany such claims. Some examples of workers’ compensation injuries that would warrant claims of this nature are:
- Back injuries sustained due to repeatedly heavy lifting
- Carpal tunnel injuries as a result of job responsibilities of working with a computer
- Injuries to various parts of the body based on the machines or equipment one is forced to work with daily to perform their job responsibilities
If you are injured at work, it is important that you understand that you are able to recover only through workers compensation. You should hire an experienced lawyer both to explain your right to recover damages and to help you to file a claim so you can actually begin to collect those damages for your injury.