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Hurt On The Job: Should You File For Personal Injury or Worker's Compensation?

In many states, if you are hurt on the job, you are required to file a worker’s compensation claim. Your employer is required to provide you with worker’s compensation coverage which will pay your medical bills, lost wages and other costs related to your recovery. However, worker’s compensation does not provide you with pain and suffering or other damages that are available under a personal injury claim. Because many states have laws that prevent you from filing a lawsuit for a workplace injury, you may have been told you must accept the worker’s compensation benefits. However, this may not be true.

Exceptions to Worker’s Compensation

There are exceptions to the rule against filing a personal injury claim for a workplace injury. If you were injured by a defective project, it is possible you can file a personal injury claim. For example, if the forklift you were operating had a mechanical flaw that caused you to be involved in an accident, you may have a case against the manufacturer of the forklift. If you suffered an illness due to a toxic substance that left you with permanent injuries, you may be able to file a claim against the manufacturer of the substance. If your injury was due to the intentional or reckless conduct of your employer, you may be able to file a lawsuit against them.

When to File for Worker’s Compensation

If your injury does not fall into one of the exceptions, it is likely you will be unsuccessful in a personal injury claim. For this reason, you may be better off to file a worker’s compensation claim in order to get your medical bills paid and protect your family financially by collecting lost wages. Even if you choose to file a worker’s compensation claim, it is important to talk to a lawyer who is experienced with workplace injury cases in order to protect your rights under the law. Employers sometimes incorrectly determine lost wage compensation allowances and it is possible they will attempt to deny your claim by saying you were at fault. In most states, even if you were at fault for your injury, your employer must provide worker’s compensation.

When to File a Personal Injury Claim

If you were injured due to negligence on the part of your employer or a third party, you should contact an attorney like Kidwell & Gallagher LTD about a personal injury claim. In fact, if any of the exceptions noted fit your case, you should contact an attorney to preserve your rights. There is time limit for when you can file a personal injury case, usually between one and three years, so it is important that you take the steps necessary as soon as possible after your injury to be sure you receive the compensation you are entitled to under the law.

No matter what the circumstances are for your workplace injury, seek medical attention immediately and document any treatments. This can help your attorney determine your best course of action.

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