If you are injured at work, you generally expect that your worker's compensation claim will clear without any problems. When it does not, you may have to hire a worker's compensation law attorney, or you may have to hire a personal injury lawyer. This situation just became a little more confusing unless you sort out what kind of lawyer you really need. Here is how to tell the difference.
Your Job-Related Injuries Were Entirely Accidental
Through no fault of your own and no fault of your employer's, you were injured. It could have been something as simple as throwing your back out when you tried to lift a load with good body mechanics, but the load was too heavy for you and you did not know that when you tried to lift it. It could be something as complicated as splatters of chemicals that got around or under your protective eye goggles, and your sight is permanently affected.
When the description of the incident sounds like something completely accidental and no one could have possibly predicted that it would have happened, that is a worker's comp claim. It should be paid. If it is denied, it should be challenged by a competent lawyer, especially if the injury/accident will affect your ability to work for the rest of your life.
Your Injuries Contained an Element of Predictability
Now, if your injuries were the result of someone else horsing around at work, or your boss telling you to do something you know is dangerous and foolish, that steps over the line into personal injury law. Clearly, someone else is at fault for your work-related injuries. These injuries could have been intentional, such as a fight breaking out in the break room at work and you got clocked in the jaw and nose while trying to duck out of the line of fire.
The injuries could also have been the result of negligence, as is the case with a boss or employer that demands that you operate faulty equipment, and then the faulty equipment burns you, crushes limbs or digits, etc.. If there is an element of predictability as the result of someone else's bad behavior, you can sue the person or persons or company for your injuries instead of filing a worker's comp claim. If there is any proof of negligence, then it definitely is a personal injury case, and not a worker's comp case.
Work with a workers compensation law attorney if you are worried about your claim.
Hello, I'm Christina Miller. Have you ever been fascinated with why the law works the way it does? Ever since I was in junior high, I had an intense interest in anything related to our legal system, whether it be a crime drama on television, a judge show or a legal case covered on the news. I followed it all. As time progressed, I began learning about how the actual legal system worked and not just the fictionalized version of our legal system. This has lead me to start writing my own blog posts about law that I hope will help others.