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Workers' Compensation vs. Personal Injury Lawsuits

Workers' Compensation vs. Personal Injury Lawsuits

| Apr 3, 2018

When workers are injured on the job, many are unaware of what they should do next. Some relatives might prompt them to file a workers’ compensation claim, while others might urge them to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, these two types of claims aren’t the same, and depending on the state in which you live, one kind of claim might prevent you from filing the other.

For example, in the state of South Carolina, most workers file a worker’s comp claim if they have been injured on the job. It is often an exclusive remedy to protect employers from much more costly personal injury lawsuits. However, there are incredibly narrow exceptions that allow employees to file a personal injury lawsuit against their employer.

According to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission website, Workers’ compensation claims allow an injured worker to collect compensation for medical bills, lost wages, disability, and even job retraining if the employee needs to train for another position after the accident. Personal injury lawsuits, on the other hand, include these costs in addition to pain and suffering and additional punitive damages designed to punish the negligent party for his or her carelessness.

Workers’ comp. is supposed to provide more certain protection for workers than a personal injury claim because it doesn’t require the employee to prove negligence. Employers and their insurance company in a workers’ comp. case are often liable for work-related injuries, and if an injury happens because of work duties, the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company must pay benefits to the injured worker.

Because workers’ comp. tends to cover only a small portion of an employee’s wage while he or she recovers, a worker does have the option to pursue a third-party workplace injury claim in appropriate cases. This type of claim is a lawsuit against someone other than an employer who is responsible for a workplace injury. For example, independent contractors who work with the employer, manufacturers of defective equipment, outside vendors and contractors, and public utility providers can all be sued if they were partially or fully liable for a worker’s injury.

If you’re interested in discussing your case with an experienced South Carolina work injuries lawyer, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Contact us at 888-612-7001 or fill out our online form to schedule your free case consultation today.

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