While both Workers’ Compensation and personal injury claims provide benefits for the injured, there are some major differences between the two. West Law Firm’s injury attorneys will first explain these distinguishing factors, then describe when injured workers may be eligible for both.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ Comp is a no-fault system designed to provide much-needed benefits to South Carolinians who are hurt on the job. Nearly all employers are required by state law to carry Workers’ Comp insurance, protecting them in the event of a workplace accident.
Because it is a no-fault system, injured workers are not required to prove who was to blame for their accident. This means that you could be eligible for compensation even if you are at fault. Workers’ Comp covers medical costs as well as 2/3 your average weekly wage.
What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
Personal injuries can result from any type of accident or negligent act, such as car accidents, slip and falls, medical malpractice, dog bites, etc. In contrast to Workers’ Comp, those who file personal injury claims are eligible for “intangible damages” in addition to reimbursement for medical expenses and lost wages. These “intangible damages” cover non-economic consequences of the accident, like pain and suffering.
Can I File For Both?
In most cases, injured workers are only eligible for Workers’ Compensation. But if a third party (not the employer or co-worker) is responsible for the accident, you may be able to file for both. For instance, if a forklift malfunctioned and caused a workplace accident, the manufacturer of the forklift may be liable. Or if another driver caused a wreck while you were driving a company vehicle, that other driver would be considered the negligent third party.
In these scenarios, the injured worker could file for Workers’ Comp with your employer AND file a personal injury liability claim against a third party. Remember, this only applies if the personal injury claim is filed against someone other than your employer.
Your Berkeley County Injury Attorneys
Filing for compensation can be complicated, especially if you are filing two claims simultaneously. To ensure you get the benefits you deserve, trust the experienced attorneys here at West Law Firm.
If you believe you may be eligible for both Workers’ Comp and personal injury benefits, get in touch today to schedule your free consultation. Give us a call at 843-761-5626 or click here to get your appointment on the books!