Workers’ Comp vs. Personal Injury
The similarities between workers' compensation and personal injury cases cause them to be misunderstood. Both cases involve someone suffering an injury. Personal injury cases cover a much broader range of injuries. Personal injury cases involve car accidents, slip & falls, and other types of accidents that occur outside of the workplace and outside of any work-related duties. In order to prevail in a personal injury case, the injuries suffered must be the result of someone else's negligence. The negligence may take the form of failure to pay attention in traffic or maintain safe premises for consumers. Workers' compensation cases, in contrast, only involve injuries to an employee that occur during the course of employment.
In Florida, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate or even threaten to retaliate in any way against an employee for filing or threatening to file a workers' compensation injury claim. An employer cannot legally reduce your hours, change your schedule or responsibilities, or terminate you, or take any adverse employment action in retaliation to filing a workers' compensation claim.
Workers' compensation cases include accidents suffered on the job such as:
- Falls from scaffolding or ladders
- Misuse or overuse of certain muscles
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Chronic back pain
- Vehicle accidents related to work
- Falling objects
- Any other accident when performing work duties
One of our first priorities for every new workers' compensation client is to make sure that they are getting the independent medical evaluation that they need and deserve, not simply the medical treatment that their employer's insurance adjuster tells them to get. We're familiar with many of the physicians regularly hired by workers' compensation insurance companies to treat injured workers and can inform you of their history and reputation. We can also offer you opinions regarding treatment you can receive outside of the workers' compensation system.
An injured employee is required to report an injury that occurred during the course of their employment within 30 days. Failing to report an injury within this period may result in a claim being denied. Once an injury is reported, the employer's insurance carrier is contacted to handle the injured employee's claim.
A Orlando workers' compensation attorney ensures that that their clients are treated fairly by the employer's insurance carrier. The injured employee and the insurance company's interests are at odds. While the injured employee is seeking fast and adequate compensation for her injury, the insurance carrier is attempting to keep its costs as low as possible. An experienced workers’ comp lawyer may prove invaluable should the employer's insurance carrier attempt to deny all or part of an injured employee's claim.
Personal injury cases may arise out of injuries that do not occur during the course of employment. Unlike a workers' compensation case where benefits are available regardless of who is at fault for an injury, a personal injury case requires an attorney to show that the other party's actions, or inaction, were negligent and the cause of their client's injuries. The damages that can be recovered in a personal injury case are more extensive than those that may be sought by in a workers' compensation case, such as monetary damages for the past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and projected future earnings. A personal injury attorney may also seek damages for physical and mental pain suffered as a result of an injury such as damages for pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement and permanent disabilities. A personal injury case gives the injured party a wide variety of medical treatment options.
By contrast, in a workers' compensation claim; the employer's insurance carrier generally chooses where an injured employee must receive medical treatment for their injury. There are exceptions to this general rule, and it is important to discuss those exceptions with an experienced attorney.
Despite all the differences between a personal injury case and a workers' compensation case, they share similarities as well. Both cases seek medical treatment and damages to reimburse an injured party. Workers' compensation cases may even arise out of an accident occurring in a work setting. For instance, damages for an injury suffered while at work, but inflicted by a third party other than the employer or a coworker may be pursued in a personal injury and a workers' compensation case.
It is important that you have a Orlando workers’ compensation lawyer that is equipped to handle every aspect of your workers’ comp case, including any related third-party claims. The Trial Professionals, P.A. can utilize our 100+ years of collective experience in these fields to do just that.
Schedule a free consultation with our team when you call (855) 375-9959.