Although personal injury cases and workers’ compensation claims both involve people who are injured, incur medical expenses and lose wages due to time off work, there are two major differences in how they are resolved: 1) personal injury claims require proof that the person who caused the injury was negligent. Workers’ compensation claims do no require proof of negligence; and, 2) there is a difference in the type and amount of damages which are available.

personal injury and workers' compensation

Personal Injury Cases

Whether you were injured in a medical malpractice incident, in a car crash, by slipping and falling or any other type of accident, in order to win your personal injury case, your personal injury attorney must prove the person who caused your accident was negligent. This means that the accident was the other person’s fault.

In a personal injury case, you can collect for all the damages you incurred, including:

  • Current and future medical expenses.
  • Current and future lost earnings.
  • Future lost earning capacity if you are unable to return to your former employment or unable to work at all.
  • Compensation for your permanent disability.
  • Compensation for your pain and suffering.
  • Loss of the enjoyment of life.

Workers’ Compensation Claims

The biggest difference is that if you were injured in a work-related accident, you do not have to prove your employer was negligent in order to collect benefits. In turn, your employer may not claim that you were negligent and contributed to your injury so should not be entitled to collect benefits. The purpose of the law is to allow employees to be compensated for their injuries without having to engage in protracted litigation in order to prove fault.

There are also differences in the damages you are entitled to. Under workers’ compensation law, you cannot collect for pain and suffering. You can collect:

  • Payment for your medical expenses.
  • Weekly payments to make up for a percentage of your lost wages.
  • Vocational rehabilitation when necessary.
  • Compensation for a permanent or temporary disability caused by the accident.

A workers’ compensation attorney can help you collect the maximum benefits that are available to you.

Although you may not sue your employer for negligence, there are times when a third party is responsible for your injuries, such as the manufacturer of a defective product that caused your injury. You are allowed to file a third party claim against the manufacturer, distributor and/or seller of the defective product, and will need to prove the party you are suing was at fault and acted negligently, resulting in your injury.

If you were injured in a way that gives rise to a personal injury or workers’ compensation claim, contact our Charlotte personal injury and workers’ compensation attorneys at Campbell & Associates for a consultation.