Perhaps the most significant difference between a personal injury claim and a workers’ comp claim is that a personal injury claim is based on fault, while a workers’ comp claim is not. In order to collect financial compensation for injuries you acquired from a car accident or a slip and fall, you must prove that another party’s actions were negligent.
Fault in Personal Injury Cases
Just because you slipped and fell on someone else’s property does not mean that the property owner is automatically deemed negligent. It’s important to remember that there are accidents that occur where no one is at fault. In order to recover damages for a personal injury, you’ll need to prove that that other party maintained their property in a negligent manner. In other words, you must show that the other party did something wrong or careless that directly contributed to your injury.
Fault in Workers’ Comp Cases
As stated before, the issue of who is at fault is not a prime concern in a workers’ comp case. In fact, any employee who is injured on the job is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. It isn’t necessary for you to prove that your employer or co-workers were negligent. You also don’t have to disprove your own negligence in a workers’ comp case. Even if your negligence contributed to your injuries, you are still entitled to workers’ comp benefits.
Unfortunately, you are not entitled to benefits for pain and suffering in a workers’ comp case. In a personal injury case, you are able to recover all of the damages that you have suffered. This includes lost wages, medical bills, and damages for pain and suffering. However, you can receive weekly compensation, permanent impairment benefits, medical bills, and vocational rehabilitation if your workers’ comp claim is successful.
Want to learn more about workers’ compensation and personal injury claims? Contact our team of San Jose workers' comp lawyers to find out how we can assist you today.