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Who’s Liable? The Difference Between A Personal Injury and Work Injury Claim in Chattanooga

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If you’ve been injured on the job, there are many things you have to worry about that, unfortunately, extend far beyond focusing on getting better. Before you can proceed legal action surrounding your injury, though, you must first assess whether or not it qualifies as a work injury or personal injury claim. A good workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine where you should seek a settlement for your sustained injury. Here are some things to take into consideration when seeking to file either a work injury or personal injury claim.

Examine the Nature of Your Injury

Firstly, injuries won’t qualify as personal injuries if there was no one at fault. Negligence has to exist in order for there to be a legitimate claim against someone. For example, you could fall and hurt your ankle on someone else’s property, but if there is no sign of negligence on the part of the property owner, they would not hold liability. In the same vein, someone would only owe you damages after a car accident if it was found that they were somehow negligent.

Is Fault Needed In A Workers’ Comp Case?

The short answer is no, fault isn’t needed in a workers’ compensation case. If you’ve sustained a work injury, you are entitled to the benefits of workers’ compensation. You do not need to prove negligence on the part of your employer in order to receive damages.

The Difference in Work Injury and Personal Injury Damages

The main difference, though, in a personal versus a work injury, is that work injury benefits do not include damages for pain and/or suffering. You are only entitled to workers’ comp benefits, which encompass medical bills, vocational rehabilitation, permanent impairment benefits, and weekly compensation. If your case is a personal injury, however, you would be able to seek full damages for the pain and suffering you endured.

On top of some of the same damages, you can seek in a workers’ compensation case, you can seek damages for lost earnings or earning capacity, future medical bills, pain and suffering, and even the loss of enjoyment of life.

Can You Sue Your Employer?

Workers used to only be able to sue employers for workers’ compensation if they could prove negligence on the part of their employer. The fact that they are entitled to workers’ compensation, in any event, is a new development as recent as the twentieth century.

However, now that anyone is entitled to workers’ compensation no matter whether there was negligence or not, you can no longer sue your employer if you are injured on the job or try to collect damages for your pain and suffering. This was part of the new workers’ compensation law. There are exceptions made in the cases of boat crewmembers and interstate railroad workers.

Have You Sustained a Work Injury?

If you’ve been injured at work, you need the best workers’ compensation lawyer to help you receive the damages you deserve. Contact McMahan Law Firm today if you’re located in the area of Chattanooga.