Ocala, FL Difference Between Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Claims
When an injury occurs in the workplace, many employees know they will most likely receive reparation for the injury through workers’ compensation benefits. But there are some situations in which a personal injury claim may be more applicable. To learn what type of claim applies to your situation, contact a workers’ compensation attorney in Ocala, FL, with Schatt, McGraw, Rauba & Mutarelli.
Three Key Differences Between These Claims
1. Determining Fault
Fault is the largest difference between personal injury and workers’ compensation claims. Personal injury claims hinge on fault, and to a larger degree, negligence. Workers’ compensation claims don’t require a determination of fault and/or negligence for an injured worker to receive benefits. Yet, there are several exceptions to receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Contact an Ocala attorney at Schatt, McGraw, Rauba & Mutarelli to discuss your workers’ compensation claim.
2. Difference In Awarded Damages
The damages associated with a workers’ compensation claim generally include medical bill payments, medical impairment benefits, vocational rehabilitation, and temporary wage benefits. The major difference is workers’ comp allows an injured worker to essentially receive partial compensation for the injury. A personal injury claim has an all-inclusive compensation remedy, such as pain and suffering, lost earning capacity, and future medical expenses.
3. Right To File A Suit
Florida Statute § 440 prohibits an injured worker from filing suit against an employer and/or co-worker. This is because the laws allow for weekly benefits and payment of related medical expenses.
Situations In Which Personal Injury & Workers’ Comp Overlap
Both types of claims aim to provide compensation to the injured worker. But, there are situations in which an injured worker may be able to file both a personal injury claim and a Florida workers’ comp claim for the same injury. Examples include injuries caused by:
- A defective product;
- Flagrant or intentional conduct by the employer or another employee;
- A toxic substance; and
- Third party negligence.
Another area of overlap may occur when a workplace accident occurs in a workplace not required by state law to have workers’ compensation insurance. But, all employers in Florida are required to have workers’ compensation insurance — Texas is the only state that doesn’t require employers to carry workers’ comp insurance. If you’re injured at work and your employer doesn’t have state-mandated coverage, contact Schatt, McGraw, Rauba & Mutarelli to speak with an attorney. Personal injury claims are usually applicable in these situations.
Employees Not Covered By Workers’ Compensation Laws
The majority of workers in the United States are covered by workers’ compensation laws that provide them recourse for an on-the-job injury. But vessel crew members and interstate railroad workers are two classes of workers that aren’t covered by workers’ compensation laws.
Vessel Crew Members
Vessel crew members include any person who works on any type of boat or ship, whether as the captain or a crew member. Vessel employers aren’t required by any federal or state law to have workers’ compensation insurance for employees. However, injured vessel crew members are generally able to file a personal injury claim under the Jones Act. This federal law holds vessel employers liable for the reasonably safe working conditions for all vessel employees.
Interstate Railroad Workers
Interstate railroad workers are generally employed by a railroad company, which operates in more than one state. The Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) allows an interstate railroad worker to file a personal injury claim against an employer if a worker is injured on the job.
Workers’ Comp Lawyers In Ocala, FL
Filing a workers’ compensation claim and navigating the process can feel overwhelming, especially if your claim is denied. An Ocala lawyer with Schatt, McGraw, Rauba & Mutarelli can help with your workers’ compensation claim and help you decide whether filing a personal injury claim is applicable to your case. Our law firm routinely helps clients receive the benefits due to them and so they can begin healing after a workplace injury. Contact us today.