What’s The Difference Between Workers’ Comp And Personal Injury?
On the surface, workers’ compensation and personal injury claims appear interchangeable. However, as you learn more about both types of claims, you’ll come to find that there are a variety of differences between a workers comp vs. a personal injury case in Florida. Knowing these differences goes a long way in helping you seek and obtain the compensation you may be entitled to after an accident. Always consult with a knowledgeable injury attorney in Orlando if you’re considering filing a claim in Florida.
Do you have to prove fault in a workers’ comp vs. personal injury case?
One of the primary differences between workers’ compensation and personal injury cases is “proof” of fault. With a workers’ compensation claim, you do not have to prove fault. You don’t have to prove that another party caused your injury and related damages. As long as you were injured on the job, you’re in a position to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
Conversely, if you have a personal injury claim — such as the result of a motor vehicle accident or a slip and fall — you’re required to prove fault. If you’re unable to do so, it’s a challenge to obtain any compensation. An example of proving fault is showing that the driver who caused the accident was under the influence of alcohol.
Can you recover damages for pain and suffering?
Although pain and suffering often come into play in a workers’ compensation case, you are not permitted to recover damages. This is in contrast to a personal injury case in which you can seek compensation for pain and suffering. However, if your work injury resulted in a mental or emotional disorder, you may be in line to receive additional compensation. Your Orlando injury attorney can discuss this possibility during your free consultation.
Florida statute of limitations in a workers comp vs. personal injury case
In the state of Florida, you’re required to report your work injury within 30 days of suffering it. In the event that an injury or illness develops over time, you have 30 days from when it was discovered.
It’s best to take action as soon as possible, as you don’t want to risk missing the filing deadline. Do your best to report your accident and injuries to your employer on the day that it happened. This reduces the likelihood of your employer arguing that you were injured outside of work.
As for Florida personal injury cases, the statute of limitations is four years from the date of the accident. While that seems like a long time, you don’t want to delay. Doing so will make it more challenging to win your case, such as if evidence goes missing or key witnesses are no longer available to provide a statement.
When are you permitted to sue your employer?
Since you’re covered by workers’ compensation as an employee, you don’t generally have the legal right to sue your employer. But there are exceptions to this rule if you’re one of the following groups:
- Crewmembers of any type of boat: The Jones Act authorizes these workers to sue for damages, including pain and suffering, if they’re injured on the job.
- Interstate railroad workers: These workers are authorized by the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) to sue for damages if they’re injured on the job.
So, if you work in either of the above capacities, take the time to consult with an experienced injury attorney to learn more about your legal rights as outlined by the applicable law. This knowledge will come in handy in the event that you’re injured on the job and are unable to continue working.
When can you file both a workers’ comp claim and a personal injury claim?
These situations are few and far between, but there may be times when you can file both a workers’ comp claim and a personal injury claim.
An example is if you were driving on the job and were injured in an accident. In this case, you can file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer. This allows you to receive compensation until you can return to work.
Just the same, you have the legal right to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. But remember this: you must be able to prove that the other individual caused the accident.
Regardless of whether you’re injured on the job or outside of work, your health and well-being should be your immediate priority after an accident. Once you’re stabilized and understand your injuries and treatment, you can then learn more about your legal rights by contacting a knowledgeable injury attorney in Orlando.
Ready to file a claim? Contact Pardy & Rodriguez, PA today
At The Law Offices of Pardy & Rodriguez, our Orlando personal injury attorneys have decades of experience representing individuals seeking compensation after an accident. Whether you’re interested in filing a workers comp vs. personal injury claim, don’t attempt to manage the complicated process alone. Contact our law firm online or give us a call at 888-522-0222 to set up a free consultation today.