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Personal Injury

Personal Injury vs Workers Compensation

By | Personal Injury, Workers Compensation

When someone gets injured at work they assume their only option is to file for workers compensation. However, in some situations the injured worker is able to file a personal injury claim. Understanding the differences between a personal injury and a workers compensation claim are essential for obtaining maximum benefits. Although a personal injury can occur during work hours, filing them as a personal injury lawsuit or a workers compensation claim depend on different factors. The three main factors include:

Damages: One key difference in damages is workers compensation is not entitled to receive pain and suffering benefits. In a workers compensation case, the injured worker receives impairment benefits, medical bill coverage, and weekly compensation. However, in a personal injury lawsuit, you may receive all the damages that you suffered such as pain and suffering, lost earnings, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Determining Fault: Accidents happen everyday but in order to recover damages in a personal injury case, you and your lawyer must prove that the other person neglected the safety of his/her property. However, because workers compensation is a no fault system, you do not need to prove you, your employer, or co-workers did anything wrong in order to receive benefits.

Right to Sue: Once the injured worker files for workers compensation they cannot file a lawsuit against their employer. They forfeit their right to sue once they are in the process of receiving workers compensation benefits. However, in a personal injury case, the injured worker may sue for their injuries and suffering.

An easy way to determine whether to file for personal injury or workers compensation is to figure out who is liable for the injury. The difference between personal injury and workers compensation has to do with liability. Once you understand who is liable for the injury you can quickly see which position to take.

Hurt on the job? What are your next steps?

By | Personal Injury

Getting hurt on the job can be a stressful and frightening experience. Millions of workers are hurt on the job every year and injuries may be serious or potentially life threatening. Therefore, it is important to take action right away. There are certain steps and procedures that must be fulfilled in order to receive workers compensation benefits.

The first step after being hurt on the job is to notify your employer. If you are unable to notify them right after the injury has occurred, do so in the next 30 days. However, if the injury has accumulated over time, such as cancer from chemical exposure, you have 30 days after the diagnosis to let your employer know. If you do not notify your employer within 30 days of the injury you may lose the right to compensation benefits. Although a written notification is not required, it should be safeguarded for future reference.

The second step is to obtain medical treatment for the injury as soon as possible. Injured workers can receive treatment from their employers with the company doctor. After the initial treatment it is advised to follow up with additional appointments. The injured worker does not pay for the medical treatment(s) because it is required by law that employers carry workers compensation insurance to cover expenses.

The third step is to keep records of when you missed work. This allows you to keep track of money you are entitled to receive. If you have missed at least seven days of work you are entitled to receive lost wages benefits equal to two-thirds of your lost income.

The fourth step after an on-the-job injury is to keep a detailed account of your medical treatment and process. Keeping a record of your medical treatments, progress, and recovery will help to identify the state of your condition. This will prevent employers from encouraging you to come into work when you are not ready.

The final step is to follow up on your claim. The approval process is quick and benefits are received within weeks. However, if your claim has been denied you must call an attorney immediately. You have limited time to respond so it is important to take action promptly.

Do you have additional questions? We are here to help

 

Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Lawyer - Harry

What’s The Difference Between A Workers’ Compensation Case And A Personal Injury Case?

By | Personal Injury, Workers Compensation

Burden of Proof

The most important difference is that a personal injury claim is based on fault and a workers’ compensation case is not.   In order to recover damages in a personal injury claim, such as a car accident, slip and fall, or construction site accident, the injured party must demonstrate that the offending party was negligent and at fault for the happening of the accident. 

In workers’ compensation cases, employees injured on the job are not required to show that their employers were at fault for the happening of the accident in order for them to claim and receive workers’ compensation benefits.  In other words, workers’ compensation claimants do not need to prove that their employers did anything wrong for them to claim and receive workers compensation benefits.  Even when a claimant’s own negligence has caused his or her injury, the Workers’ Compensation Law still allows the injured worker to claim and receive benefits.

Different Damages

In a personal injury case, you are entitled to recover all of the damages that you have suffered.  This includes lost wages, lost wage earning capacity, past and future medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of life, and past and future pain and suffering.

In a workers’ compensation case, a claimant’s recovery is limited to wage indemnification for actual time lost from work, awards for permanent impairments, and payment of all related medical and vocational treatment.  Workers’ compensation claimants do not receive compensation for pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life.  Also, all monetary awards for lost wages and permanent impairments are limited by the Workers Compensation Law.

Before states enacted workers compensation laws around the turn of the 20th century, injured employees had to bring personal injury claims against their employers and prove they were negligence before they could receive any compensation.   The enactment of workers’ compensation laws ensured that all employees who were injured on the job would get some weekly benefits and would get their medical bills paid. In return, employees lost the right to sue their employers and coworkers for negligence and lost the right to collect damages for pain and suffering.

Still have questions about Workers’ compensation or personal injury? Contact us.

About Losi & Gangi

The law firm of Losi & Gangi is a general partnership of attorneys concentrating the majority of their practice on workers’ compensation matters and personal injury law.

What To Do If You’ve Been Injured In An Accident

By | Personal Injury

Being injured in an accident can be an extremely traumatic experience and one that leaves many people feeling helpless and confused. 

The first and most important thing anyone who has been injured in accident should do is seek medical treatment.  Your health is the highest priority – please receive the appropriate medical assistance and treatment for your injuries before doing anything else.  When seeking medical treatment make sure that you give your physician an accurate history of how the accident occurred as well as a complete list of all the injuries you’ve sustained. 

If you believe your injury is the result of someone else’s negligence, the next thing you should do is contact a personal injury attorney.  A personal injury attorney can evaluate your claim and explain the legal process including filing deadlines, statutes of limitations and other important requirements.  A personal injury attorney can also investigate your claim, gather and preserve evidence and represent your interests in dealing with the insurance companies.     

Presenting a claim for personal injuries is not something that can be successfully done without the assistance of experienced legal counsel.  Having an attorney who will guide you through every step of the process will assure that your rights are protected and help you maximize your recovery.

Do you have additional questions? We’re here to help

About Losi & Gangi

The law firm of Losi & Gangi is a Professional Limited Liability Company whose practice is concentrated in the areas of workers’ compensation matters and personal injury law.

The firm consists of partners Jeffery D. Gangi and Harry G. Modeas, associate attorney Thorice M. Jacobs and Brett A. Miller. Patrick J. Brown is of counsel to the firm.  We also employ a licensed workers’ compensation representative, Jay P. Boardway.