Have you been in an accident at work performing your regular work duties, such as a slip and fall? If so, you might be wondering if you should file a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim. While most workers assume they can only file a workers’ compensation claim after a work injury, there might be times when you may file a personal injury claim. Understanding the difference between the two is vital to know which claim to file. Regardless of which claim you file, you should contact the attorneys at KCNS Law Group. They can guide you through the claim process and protect your rights.
The primary difference between workers’ compensation and personal injury claims is proving fault. When you sustain an injury at your workplace or off-site while carrying out work tasks, you do not have to prove that your employer, co-worker, or other party caused your injury. However, you should know that you can only receive economic damages under workers’ compensation, such as medical expenses or lost wages. You cannot collect compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
Remember, you only have 30 days to report a work-related injury or illness to your employer. However, we recommend reporting it immediately. Waiting may only hurt your claim. Additionally, you have one year from the date of your job-related injury or illness to file a workers’ compensation claim in California. If you do not report the injury or file the claim within the allotted time, it may prevent you from receiving the benefits you deserve.
While you do not need to prove fault in a workers’ compensation case, proving who is at fault is a pivotal component in personal injury claims. Let’s use a slip and fall accident as an example. Just because you slipped and fell on another person’s property does not mean you are entitled to financial compensation. Accidents where no one is at fault do happen.
To recover compensation for slipping on another person’s property, you must provide sufficient evidence that the owner was negligent in maintaining the property. For example, a business owner may not have notified shoppers of a wet floor. In California, accident victims have two years to file an injury claim, but it is best to file one right away.
There might be some instances where you may file both a workers’ compensation and personal injury claim. Many employees are hesitant to do this for fear of suing their employer. In reality, you are likely filing a claim against a third party, such as the building owner or product manufacturer.
For example, say your injury resulted from a defective product. You may file a claim against the manufacturer. If you can prove they knew of the dangerous product but failed to notify consumers, they might be liable for your injuries. Conversely, a building owner might be responsible for your injuries if they failed to keep the building safe for tenants.
Navigating the legal complexities of a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim can be complex, which is why you should hire an attorney. Insurance companies have all kinds of strategies they employ to pay the least amount possible to accident victims. To protect your claim and rights, contact the attorneys at the KCNS Law Group. Our legal team will fight on your behalf, represent you to insurers, and gather evidence to build your case. To learn more about how we can help you, call (818) 937-9255 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.