Personal Injury vs. Workers' Compensation
An injured worker usually is limited to filing a workers compensation claim against the employer or general contractor. However, an injured worker may be able to recover from other negligent third parties for a work injury.
For example, if an employee is injured at work in a car accident, there may be both a workers compensation claim and a personal injury claim against the other driver. Another example is a worker injured by a delivery person or by unsafe premises.
An attorney experienced in both personal injury and workers compensation claims can help determine if a third party may be liable for your injuries and whether a personal injury claim can be filed. Workers compensation benefits pay for your medical bills and some lost wages but do not cover pain and suffering and other damages. Therefore, it is important to investigate whether third parties unrelated to the employer may be at fault.
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I have been litigating personal injury cases my entire career. For the first couple years, I represented defendants and insurance companies. For the last 18 years, I have been representing the injured.
Having a lawyer with experience in both workers compensation claims and personal injury claims can be important because there are issues that impact each case. For example, it is malpractice for a lawyer to settle a personal injury case without the permission of the workers compensation insurance company. Also, a workers compensation insurance company is legally entitled to get some of its money paid back from a personal injury settlement.
For a free consultation, call our Roanoke office at (540) 345-5700.