If work-related injuries are caused by another party’s negligent actions, the injury victim may recover damages through a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. While the stakes are higher when filing a personal injury lawsuit because the injured party must prove fault, compensation can be significantly more than what can be recovered by filing a workers’ comp claim.
Injury Claims: Workers’ Comp vs Personal Injury
In Illinois, workers who suffer work-related injuries are entitled to recover damages through workers’ compensation insurance provided by their employer. Regardless of who’s at fault, Illinois workers can receive workers’ compensation benefits for medical expenses and lost wages, but not for pain and suffering. In cases where a third party’s negligence causes injuries that are severe and cause significant pain and suffering or disabilities, it may be best to file a personal injury lawsuit with a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer.
Workers’ compensation claims and personal injury claims are based on different factors that impact the outcome. The biggest factor is that workers’ compensation claims do not require proof of fault, while personal injury claims always require proof of fault before a verdict or settlement is reached.
Collecting for Damages
Workers’ Compensation Claims
Illinois workers’ compensation claims cover work-related injuries and illnesses as defined by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC). Once a claim is approved, workers’ compensation benefits for medical bills, lost wages, and rehabilitation needed to resume work are usually paid in timely weekly or bi-weekly payments.
Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury claims can cover work-related accidents and injuries, as well as various types of personal injuries and trauma caused by car accidents, slip and falls, sports-related injuries, and violent actions. If a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer is successful in court, the injury victim can be awarded compensation for medical expenses; future medical expenses; lost wages; future lost wages; pain and suffering; and loss of enjoyment of life. Damages are usually paid in lump sum payments or settlement arrangements.
If work-related injuries are caused by a third party unrelated to the worker’s job, a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer can file a third-party lawsuit against the perpetrator, even if the injury victim is collecting workers’ compensation benefits from his/her employer.