The Difference Between Workers’ Comp and Personal Injury

Categories: Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law. | August 27, 2018

The biggest and most important difference between a workers’ compensation case and a personal injury lawsuit is the need to prove that someone is at fault.

In order to win a personal injury case, you have to prove that someone else is responsible for your injury or was negligent in some way. However, when you are injured on the job and decide to file a workers’ compensation claim, you don’t have to prove that your employer caused the injury. You are entitled to worker’s compensation benefits whether or not your employer did something wrong.

Below is an overview of some of the key differences between the two types of cases:

Personal Injury
To recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit:

  • Some fault must be found with the party that is being sued;
  • Medical bills are going to be covered, as well as additional damages like missed wages, lost earning capacity, and permanent impairment; and
  • Pain and suffering are factored into the equation.

Workers’ Compensation
A workers’ compensation claim, by contrast, has very different requirements:

  • It doesn’t matter who was at fault. Whether it was you or your employer who was negligent, it will not affect the amount of compensation you are entitled to;
  • Medical bills are covered, as are vocational rehabilitation bills, weekly missed wages, and permanent impairment benefits if the injury will result in a permanent disability; but
  • Pain and suffering are not factored into the benefits.

If you were injured on the job, contact the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Krol, Bongiorno, & Given Ltd. If a third party caused your accident, you may be allowed to file a third party claim against the individual or company that caused the accident. That means you could earn “double recovery” because you would have both a workers’ compensation claim and a third party personal injury claim. We will have a better understanding once we hear the specific facts of your case.