Every year, millions of workers are injured on the job. The commonality of workplace injuries may be high, but this fact does not make a catastrophic workplace injury any less devastating. A spinal cord injury (SCI) or traumatic brain injury (TBI) can change someone’s life forever, and many costs are associated with life after a catastrophic injury. If you or a loved one has sustained a catastrophic injury due to an injury in the workplace, you may be able to receive compensation for the injury through a workers’ compensation settlement. Workers’ compensation insurance covers over 94% of all employees in the United States. Contact a DC workers’ compensation lawyer today to see if you or your loved one are entitled to receiving workers’ compensation for a workplace injury.
There are many differences between workers’ compensation cases and personal injury cases. The three main differences are that, in a workers’ compensation case, proof of fault is not required, the injured person does not have the right to sue their employers or co-workers, and the injured worker will not receive compensation for pain and suffering.
In a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff’s legal team must successfully prove fault on behalf of a party or multiple parties. Personal injury lawsuits require proof of fault in order to recover compensation for the plaintiff’s injuries. The party or parties who are held at fault under the law are responsible for compensating the injured person for their injuries. If no fault is found in a court of law, then the plaintiff will not receive compensation through their personal injury lawsuit. However, in a workers’ compensation case, no proof of fault is required to receive compensation for injuries. Fault is never considered under workers’ compensation laws. Under these laws, all employees are entitled to receiving compensation and benefits through their employer if they are injured on the job, despite who was at fault for the injury. Even if a worker is injured at work due to their own negligence, they are still entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
In a personal injury lawsuit, any worker has the right to sue their employers or co-workers if those parties were at fault for the injury. For example, if someone improperly handled construction equipment on the job and injured their co-worker as a result, the person who handled the equipment can be held at fault through a successful personal injury lawsuit. However, workers’ compensation laws in DC and across the nation ensure that, if a worker receives benefits under workers’ compensation, that worker does not have the legal right to sue their employers or co-workers. Through workers’ compensation, the employer covers the injured worker’s medical bills and lost wages and that employer is guaranteed that the injured worker will take no further legal action against any party within the company for their injuries. There are two types of workers that are exempt from this rule: interstate railroad workers and workers on boats. Both of these types of workers are not entitled to workers’ compensation, but they are entitled to the right to sue their employers or co-workers for their injuries.
Through a personal injury lawsuit, an injured worker can receive compensation for their pain and suffering, among receiving compensation for factors such as medical bills, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity. This is not true of workers’ compensation settlements. Workers’ compensation cases can only provide an injured employee financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, vocational retraining, and permanent impairment costs. No worker is entitled to benefits for their pain and suffering under workers’ compensation.
The main similarity between workers’ compensation cases and personal injury cases is that in both types of legal action, you will need an experienced attorney at your side to help you navigate the legal process.
There are two main types of settlements for workers’ compensation cases: lump-sum settlements and structured settlements. Lump-sum settlements result in a one-time payment with all necessary financial coverage from your employer or their insurance company. Structured settlements result in several smaller payments over a set period of time that is agreed upon in the settlement. Structured settlements can take place over one year, ten years, or even longer.
Hiring an experienced DC workers’ comp legal team can help tremendously in determining whether a lump-sum settlement or a structured settlement is right for you. An experienced legal team is also necessary in the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim, determining the exact amount of compensation you deserve for your injury, and navigating your state’s legal process until the claim is settled. Workers’ compensation settlements can be complicated, as your employer and their insurance company may not offer you the compensation you deserve, or your employer and their insurance company may even reject your settlement offer. If a settlement is not agreed upon, the workers’ compensation claim proceeds to trial and a state court is put in charge of determining the proper compensation value. This is why it is vital to have a knowledgeable DC workers’ compensation attorney on your side that can fiercely advocate for the financial compensation you deserve. The Spinal Cord Injury Law Firm is experienced in receiving full compensation for our clients under workers’ compensation systems, and we are ready to fight for you.
Workplace injuries are all too common across the United States. Fortunately, workers’ compensation laws are implemented in all 50 states to protect workers from the costs they may incur from a serious injury on the job. If you or a loved one has experienced an SCI, TBI, or another catastrophic injury in the workplace, contact The Spinal Cord Injury Law Firm at 1-877-SCI-FIRM today for a free legal consultation. A DC workers’ compensation lawyer can fight for your right to a full financial recovery under your state’s workers’ compensation laws.
Kelley is an asset not only to the SCI community, but a force to be reckoned with. Anyone would be lucky to have her fighting on their side! – Sunni
After my wife had a traumatic brain injury we had so many questions. Kelley took the time to answer all of our questions and worked hard for us. Kelley is an excellent lawyer. We were lucky to have her guide us through a difficult time. – Jose