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Personal Injury vs Workers Comp: Critical Differences

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Workers' Comp vs Personal Injury


Need help to understand the workers’ compensation vs personal injury difference? Find out if workers comp covers pain and suffering, as well as information about workers’ compensation and personal injury settlements. In this article, we will discuss the difference between workers comp and personal injury, workers’ compensation and personal injury settlement, and workers compensation vs personal injury. We will also discuss the questions about do workers comp pays for pain and suffering, does workers comp covers pain and suffering, and what types of injuries are covered by workers compensation. Personal injury vs workers comp, which option to choose? Get answers to all your questions now from our qualified lawyers at Royce Injury!

What is Workers’ Compensation Law?

It is a compensation system that provides rules and regulations for workers who suffer injuries in the workplace. It covers compensatory benefits to the employees who get ill or suffer any injury during work that is not their fault. Workers’ compensation is a workers’ safety legislation that ensures that the employees and their families are not without financial remuneration and compensation if the workers suffer an injury at the workplace. 

Every State in the US has different provisions on what types of injuries are covered by workers’ compensation and what other relevant questions like this. However, the law requires all employers to provide a safe workplace for employees and medical treatment benefits if they get ill. The employer is also liable to pay wages if the employee has suffered injuries because of a hazardous workplace. Other benefits may include:

  •   Rehabilitation costs
  •   Vocational costs 
  •   Coverage for wages if the employee gets injured
  •  Duty to accommodate an employee if they have suffered a temporary or permanent disability
  •   Compensation costs. 

What is Personal Injury Law?

Personal injury law deals with injuries resulting from negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions of another person. This law aims to provide compensation for the injuries resulting from the fault of another party. Compensation can be in terms of medical bills, loss of wages, mental torture and agony, future prospects of employment, psychological and emotional damages, etc. To calculate the damages and extent of compensation you deserve, the injury attorney investigates, gathers evidence, talks to eyewitnesses, consults the experts, gets a police report, etc. 

Different types of personal injury lawsuits are traffic accidents, slip and fall, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, product liability, premises liability, wrongful death, etc. Personal injury cases require intrinsic legal expertise, and it is crucial to work closely with an experienced injury attorney to win the compensation you deserve. 

Key Differences Between Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury

Workers compensation and personal injury claims both deal with injury claims. However, they vary from each other in the following aspects:

  1. Determining who is at fault: Workers’ compensation provides compensatory benefits without the need to establish who was responsible for the injury. However, in injury lawsuits, you need to prove the liability of the at-fault party to win compensation.
  2. Scope of the compensation: Personal injury and workers’ compensation both deal with injuries but the scope of the kind of compensation that can be awarded in Workers’ compensation is limited to medical expenses, loss of wages, and rehabilitation costs. However, in personal injury claims, you can demand compensation for financial, physical, psychological, mental, and emotional damages.
  3. Legal process: Workers’ compensation is a streamlined legal process as compared to personal injury cases. In personal injury cases, you have so much leg work – evidence gathering, investigation, interviews, paperwork, legal proceedings, etc.  

When A Worker’s Compensation Case is Also a Personal Injury Case

In certain cases, an employee who has sustained an injury at the workplace can claim compensation under both workers’ compensation law as well as personal injury law. For Instance:

  • An employee who has suffered an injury in a traffic accident while being on job as a result of reckless driving by another person on the road. The worker can choose to seek worker’s compensation or initiate legal action for the injury against the driver.
  • An employee suffers an injury from a defective product or while using some equipment at the workplace. They have the option to apply for compensation under both laws for the injury sustained them due to defects, design defects, questionable material used, etc. 
  • An employee who has suffered an accident on a construction site caused by the negligence of a third party or lack of adequate safety measures can also claim compensation under workers’ compensation as well as personal injury law.
  • Compensation for injuries sustained by exposure to toxic, chemical substances, radioactive material, etc, can also be claimed under personal injury and workers compensation laws. 

Can an employer become a party to a personal injury case?

An employer can also be made party to a personal injury case if their employee is injured during the course of the job. In this sense, your employer can be vicariously liable for any injuries you may suffer on the job. 

Can you file a personal injury claim after being hurt at work? 

In most cases, you cannot claim personal injury compensation for being hurt at work. However, there are some instances and situations where you can file an injury lawsuit for injuries in the workplace. For example, compensation for any injury caused by a third party who is not your employer at your workplace can be under an injury lawsuit. Any intentional injury caused to you by your employer can also be dealt with under a personal injury lawsuit.


In a nutshell, workers who get hurt at work can claim compensation under both the workers’ compensation law and personal injury law. The primary difference between a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit is that injury claims are fault-based. However, in workers’ compensation claims injured worker does not need to prove the at-fault party to be eligible to win compensation. Consult an experienced injury lawyer to get an opinion on which option suits you better. 

Jason Royce Allen

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