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How Is Workers’ Compensation Different from a Personal Injury Claim?

Written by Ankin Law Office

Work injuries can wreak havoc on a person’s life and livelihood, but you are not without legal options and financial remedies. First and foremost, under workers’ compensation laws, injured workers are generally entitled to workers’ compensation benefitsfor all work-related injuries and illnesses, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.

In addition, in some situations, an injured worker may also be able to recover additional money damages in a third-party personal injury lawsuit. Although injured workers cannot sue their employers for work-related injuries, depending on the circumstances, they may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent third party. For instance, if an employee is injured in an auto accident while on the job, he or she may be able to sue the negligent motorist for personal injury damages in addition to collecting workers’ compensation benefits.

There are several differences between workers’ compensation benefits and personal injury damages, however, so it is important to understand them both.

One of the primary differences between workers’ compensation benefits and personal injury damages is that workers’ compensation benefits are based on a percentage of the injured worker’s salary, whereas personal injury damages are awarded based on the extent of the injury and its impact on the injured worker’s life. For instance, depending on the extent of the work-related injury, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act provides for the following workers’ compensation benefits:

  • Medical expenses, including doctor visits, follow-up visits, physical therapy, and prescription medications.
  • Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits equal to two-thirds of your average gross weekly wage, up to a weekly maximum payment amount, if you are unable to work while recovering.
  • Permanent total disability (PTD) or permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits based on a percentage of your pre-injury wage, up to a weekly maximum payment amount.
  • In some cases, vocational rehabilitation benefits such on-the-job training, schooling, or job placement assistance.

Conversely, personal injury damages may include compensation for medical bills (past and future), lost wages (past and future), emotional distress, pain and suffering, and disability. The amounts are not limited to a percentage of the injured party’s salary.

Another key difference is that workers’ compensation benefits are paid by the employer’s insurance company (or the employer itself if it has received permission to self-insure). Conversely, personal injury damages are paid by the negligent party.

Contact a Work Injury Lawyer

If you were injured in work accident, the attorneys at Ankin Law Office, LLC can help you get maximum workers’ compensations benefits, as well as any personal injury damages to which you may be entitled. Because we focus on representing injured workers, we will provide you with efficient and effective legal counsel that is catered to your unique situation and personal needs.

Contact us today at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys.

Categories: Personal Injury