If you’ve been hurt in an accident in the workplace, you may wonder whether you should hire a personal injury attorney or workers comp attorney. By understanding the differences between each type of claim, you can make an informed decision regarding your specific scenario. At Coulter Harsh Law, we offer no-obligation consultations that help you determine the smartest way to move forward with your case.
Learn the important differences between workers compensation and personal injury claims. This blog also covers specific scenarios and strategies to help you gain the compensation you deserve.
What’s a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
In Nevada, employers with one or more employees must buy workers compensation insurance to cover lost wages, medical treatment and other costs associated with on-the-job illnesses and injuries.
You don’t have to show fault to file a workers comp insurance claim. Benefits of workers compensation include the following:
- Lost wages
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Medical bills
- Permanent partial or permanent total disability
What’s a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
In a personal injury lawsuit, injured defendants seek compensation from a negligent party. These cases can be settled out of court or go to trial. Unlike workers comp, personal injury claims require proof of fault. Your personal injury attorney will help you prove that the defendant’s negligence caused your injuries. Then, they’ll work to gather the evidence needed to negotiate or argue your case.
In a personal injury lawsuit, you may receive the following types of compensation:
- Medical bills
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship (wrongful death)
Pros and Cons of Personal Injury vs Workers Compensation Lawsuits
It’s important to understand the benefits and disadvantages of each type of claim, as follows:
- Workers comp claims only apply if you can prove your injuries were related to your employment. This coverage provides medical care and wage benefits if you cannot work while you’re recovering.
- Anyone sustaining injuries caused by the negligence of another can file a personal injury claim. However, the injured party has to prove the defendant caused their illness or injury to receive any damages.
- Workers compensation does not require you to prove fault. In Nevada, you can receive benefits even if you were partially to blame for your accident. This does not cover self-inflicted injuries.
Proving Negligence in a Personal Injury Claim
Although there’s an additional burden of proof in personal injury lawsuits, there are many ways to show liability to recover your losses. A plaintiff, typically a person or company, has a duty of care. If they fail to meet the standards for reasonable care, it could help you prove that they are responsible for your injuries.
However, the plaintiff can argue that you’re partially to blame for your injuries. This varies from a workers compensation case, where the defendant isn’t penalized for contributing to the cause of the accident. If you’re found partially at fault for the injury or illness, it can reduce your total compensation.
More Compensation from Personal Injury Claims
Both personal injury and workers comp cases include medical reimbursement and loss of wages. However, there are more opportunities to increase your compensation with a personal injury lawsuit. For example, workers comp doesn’t offer an option to reimburse you for pain and suffering.
Your personal injury attorney can help you receive the following compensation (if applicable):
- Medical care, physical therapy, and other recovery expenses
- Lost overtime, salaries, commissions, benefits, and future wages
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment due to injuries
- Mental anguish and trauma
- Permanent disabilities
- Punitive damages
Hire the Right Attorney for You
If you’ve suffered an illness or injury related to work, turn to the professionals at Coulter Harsh Law. We can help you determine whether you would benefit more from hiring a personal injury lawyer or workers comp attorney. Our team will also explore your case and give you an honest opinion on the best direction to take. Contact us today to set up an appointment to maximize your claim.