For as long as I can remember, the legal field has always fascinated me. While my friends watched sitcoms and cartoons, I chose to watch courtroom dramas and real life trials unfold. There was never really any question as to what I wanted to be when I got older. The only profession for me was that of a trial lawyer. Unfortunately, a serious car accident several years ago changed all that. Now, my injuries prevent me from leaving my home most days. However, my love for the law has never went away. While I may not be able to realize my dreams of becoming a trail lawyer, I still wish to help people with their legal problems. That is why I decided to start this blog. It is my hope that the information contained in these pages will help other accident victims like me when filing their personal injury claims.
If you have been injured in the workplace, you may be wondering whether to pursue a worker's compensation or personal injury claim. This is a valid worry because it determines different aspects of your settlement, including how much you will get. Here are four questions to help you make the decision:
Do You Have the Option?
The first thing to find out is whether you can pursue both a personal injury claim against the employer and a workers' compensation claim because you do not always have the choice. As a general rule, you are restricted to workers compensation benefits if you are injured while on the clock. There are just a few exceptions where you are allowed to file a personal injury claim, examples include these scenarios:
For example, if your employer physically beats you for making a mistake at work, you can pursue an injury claim against them. However, if you slip and fall in your office, you are restricted to a workers compensation claim.
Do You Have Proof of Fault?
Even if you have the option of suing your employer, there is another element that should help you decide if it's the best course of action to follow, and that is proof of fault. To succeed in a personal injury claim, you have to prove that it was your employer's negligence that led to your injuries. With a workers' compensation claim, you don't have to prove that somebody's negligence caused your injuries. Therefore, think twice before filing an injury claim if you don't have proof of fault.
Where Can You Get More Money?
Even if you have the option of filing either of the two claims, it's advisable to consider the respective amounts you stand to recover from both. This is because personal injury damages and workers compensation benefits cover different losses. Some losses, such as medical treatment, are common, but others aren't. For example, workers compensation doesn't compensate pain and suffering damages; you only get that in an injury settlement.
How Fast Do You Want the Money?
Lastly, don't forget to consider how fast you need the money. In most cases, you can start receiving the workers compensation medical benefits shortly after filing your claim, even before it is accepted or denied. Even for the non-medical benefits, you don't have to wait that long because states regulate how long the insurer has to wait before it can accept or reject your claim. For example, in Nevada, you will know whether your claim has been accepted within thirty days of submitting it to your employer. Expect to start receiving the benefits soon after your claim's acceptance.
As for a personal injury claim, you aren't likely to receive the benefits that fast. Some cases settle within a few months while others, especially those that proceed to trial, may even take years to conclude.
Evaluating these questions may not be easy without a professional attorney's input. For example, you may not be able to calculate how much compensation you can get from each route, or whether you have sufficient evidence to pursue an injury claim. Talk to a lawyer from a company like Shoap Law Offices to help you make an informed decision.Share
29 March 2016