THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PERSONAL INJURY AND WORKERS' COMPENSATION CLAIMS

At The Morristown Law Office of Smith & Doran, we have helped many clients to pursue both personal injury claims and workers' compensation claims. While these claims do share some similarities (i.e. you were injured), personal injury claims are pursued under very different circumstances than workers' compensation claims, and involve very different levels of compensation. Let's take a closer look. 

What Qualifies as a Personal Injury Case versus a Workers' Compensation Case?

The biggest difference between a personal injury claim and a workers' compensation claim is the question of negligence. In order for your personal injury claim to be successful, you and your Randolph, NJ personal injury attorney need to prove that another party's negligent or reckless actions were the cause of your injuries. Just because you were injured in a car accident, doesn't necessarily mean you have a car accident injury case, you must be able to prove that the negligent or reckless actions of the other driver were what caused the accident and your resulting injuries.

A workers' compensation claim is much different. Any individual injured while at their place of employment, or off-site but on-the-clock, may file for workers' compensation. You do not need to prove fault, and in fact can still pursue a workers' compensation claim even if your own actions lead to your injury.

Personal Injury Compensation versus Workers' Compensation Compensation

Another very important difference between personal injury claims and workers' compensation claims is the types of compensation you can seek. In any personal injury case, including construction accidents, car accidents, slip and falls, product liability, premises liability, or pedestrian accidents, you are entitled to seek monetary compensation for all of the damages you have suffered, including medical expenses associated with your injury, lost income, lost earning capacity, permanent impairment, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. In most personal injury cases, with the help of an experienced Parsippany personal injury lawyer, the amount recovered for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life will represent the largest portion of your total damages recovered.

On the other hand, plaintiffs cannot sue for pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life in workers' compensation claims. This is part of the trade-off of being able to file for workers' compensation even if you are at fault for your accident.

When Should I File a Workers' Compensation Claim and When Should I File a Personal Injury Claim?

Deciding what type of claim to file in the case of an injury can sometimes be difficult. The best thing you can do is speak with an experienced Morristown injury lawyer in order to gain a better understanding of your options, and what courses of action are recommended in your case.

In general however, personal injury cases will yield a much larger total compensation amount, but will often take several years to resolve. On the other hand, workers' compensation claims can be filed for with your state's workers' compensation board, or the federal government in the case that you are a federal employee. Your total compensation will be significantly lower, but it is a much quicker process, and generally does not require litigation. It can be difficult for employees to sue their employers in a personal injury claim, but there are cases where it is possible, and even recommended. As previously noted, your best bet is first speak with an experienced Morris County lawyer who practices both personal injury law as well as workers' compensation law in order to gain the best possible understanding of the options available to you.

Contact a Morris County Personal Injury and Workers' Compensation Attorney Today

At the Morristown Law Office of Smith & Doran, we have extensive experience helping clients in towns like Parsippany, Randolph, Roxbury, Morristown, and the greater Morris County area to successfully resolve personal injury claims as well as workers' compensation claims.

Founding partner Robert A. Smith personally handles all injury cases, and is a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Civil Trial Attorney. This certification is held by only 2% of the active lawyers in the state, and requires rigorous testing and review by New Jersey judges in order to acquire. Being a Certified Civil Trial Attorney shows Robert's commitment, and excellence in, the area of personal injury law and civil trial proceedings of all kinds.

At Smith & Doran, we believe in regular and honest communication with our clients. We give you realistic assessments of your case, then work to achieve the best possible result while ensuring that you are involved in the entire process. To speak with Smith & Doran today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your potential personal injury or workers' compensation claim, please contact us online or through our Morristown office at 973.261.6254.

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The Law Offices of Smith & Doran, P.C.
60 Washington Street, Suite 302
Morristown, NJ 07960

Phone: 973-532-2661
Fax: 973-292-9168
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