If you've sustained an injury at work, you may have been asked by a well-intentioned person: "So what are you going to do – file for workers' comp or file a lawsuit?"
These two remedies are neither interchangeable nor a matter of preference, but they’re often confused. You can get a better grasp on them when you begin with three simple distinctions, brought to you by the most distinguished workers' compensation lawyers in Las Vegas.
- Who is eligible to file?
Workers' compensation: This recourse is available only to employees who have been injured in the course of doing their job in the workplace. Workers' compensation is a form of insurance taken out by an employer, the benefits of which are made available to injured employees.
Personal injury: This recourse is open to those who have suffered an injury in virtually any conceivable place – and not only a workplace but also a business, a private home and, most frequently, a vehicle.
- Does fault matter?
Workers' compensation: Fault is a non-issue in a workers' compensation case. A petitioner must prove only that an injury occurred on the job as a result of a function performed as part of that job. The claimant is not required to prove the employer or a co-worker did anything wrong or were complicit in the injury. Moreover, if an employee was somehow negligent – and this negligence resulted in an injury – the employee is still entitled to workers' compensation benefits.
Personal injury: Fault matters entirely in a personal injury case. A plaintiff must prove someone's actions or inactions (meaning negligence) caused the injury to occur. Put another way, accidents in which no one is at fault would not propel a personal injury case forward. While unfortunate, such incidents in which no one is at fault happens all the time and are simply labeled as accidents. For example, someone who slips, falls and suffers a broken ankle in a store should not proceed with a personal injury lawsuit unless he or she can prove the business owner failed to adequately maintain the property and this negligence caused the slip, fall and injury to occur.
- What type of monetary compensation is available?
Workers' compensation: Claimants can receive weekly compensation, permanent impairment benefits, vocational rehabilitation and reimbursement for medical bills. Claimants cannot recover damages for pain and suffering.
Personal injury: Unlike workers' compensation cases, plaintiffs can sue for pain and suffering -- and often do. Compensation in a personal injury case is meant to ensure the quality of life of the injured person is restored to the greatest degree possible. When it is not possible to reach this benchmark, the most skilled personal injury lawyers in Las Vegas fight hard to ensure that a settlement includes:
- The cost of long-term medical care.
- The cost of physical rehabilitation.
- The payment of wages the injured person would have earned if he or she had not been injured.
- The costs of vocational training so the injured person can find work in a different field with a long-term disability.
- Additional compensation for long-term pain, as well as mental and emotional anguish.
Obviously, there is a lot more terrain to navigate in a personal injury case. This is why if you or someone you care about has been personally injured or injured at work, you want the most skilled workers' compensation lawyers in Las Vegas at your side. You want Greenman, Goldberg, Raby, and Martinez, who have represented thousands of people in southern Nevada who have been injured since 1970.
GGRM could represent your best chance to attain all the resources needed to fully recover what's been lost as the result of an injury. Along the way, you'll enjoy the benefit of working with the most loyal and tenacious advocates you'll ever find. Call GGRM at 702-388-4476 for a free consultation.