Left turn

How a Personal Injury Claim and a Workers Compensation Claim Can Overlap

Workers’ Compensation is a kind of insurance that employers are required to have for their employees in Indiana. It provides benefits for workers who become sick or who are injured as a result of their job. Employees don’t have to prove that the company employing them was necessarily at fault to receive these benefits. Also, the benefits begin on the first day of work.

The good news is that workers’ compensation covers your medical bills, lost wages, and permanent impairment. The bad news is that only ⅔ of your salary is paid while you are unable to work. This also doesn’t take into account any second or third job you may have needed to make ends meet and which you are now unable to work. There are also maximum benefit caps. For example, Indiana caps total compensation for temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, and permanent partial disability at $390,000 per person.

What if you could also make a personal injury claim? In certain cases, you can sue a negligent third party, but there are a lot of overlapping and complicated issues between a personal injury claim and a workers’ compensation claim. This is why you will need an attorney who is experienced in both workers’ compensation and personal injury cases and how to navigate the intricacies of both of them at the same time.

Example:

Let’s say you work for Federal Express. You’re making a delivery to someone and you’re rear-ended by a UPS truck. Your biggest concern is going to be about your job with Federal Express. You’re injured, and you have a workers’ compensation claim now against your employer Federal Express.

You also have a personal injury case against the UPS driver who rear-ended you and caused your injuries. There are a lot of overlapping issues and complexities between the workers’ compensation case and the rear-end collision case against the UPS driver.

For example, you will not collect double compensation. If you win your case against UPS, you will need to reimburse whoever paid your workers’ compensation bills out of your settlement.

This doesn’t mean that there is no point in pursuing a claim against a negligent third party; it is just something to take into account.

Other Examples:

  • If you are a professional truck driver involved in an accident, you could pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver as well as your workers’ compensation claim with your employer.
  • If you work for a pizza restaurant and are bitten by a loose dog while delivering pizza, you could pursue a personal injury case against the dog owner as well as the company you work for.
  • If you work in an office and your chair collapses, injuring your back, you could pursue a claim against the manufacturer who made the faulty claim as well as your workers’ compensation claim against your employer.

Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Cases:

  • In a workers’ compensation claim, you don’t have to prove that anyone was at fault. You do have to prove a negligent third party in a personal injury claim.
  • Workers’ compensation is designed to help you, but a personal injury case can make you “whole.” This means that it would put you in the same financial situation you would have been in before the injury or illness.
  • You cannot be compensated for pain and suffering by workers’ compensation, but you can in a personal injury case.
  • Workers’ compensation covers weekly compensation, permanent impairment benefits, medical bills, and vocational rehabilitation.
  • Personal injury cases entitle you to recover such damages as lost earnings, lost earning capacity, medical bills, future medical expenses, permanent impairment, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
  • If you do not receive enough money to be “made whole” in your personal injury case, workers’ compensation insurance can’t take money from you.

As you can see, deciding whether to pursue a personal injury case along with your workers’ compensation claim is a complicated business. It’s imperative that you consult a personal injury lawyer that handles both worker’s compensation claims and personal injury claims. We do that.

Let the skilled workers’ compensation attorney at Crossen Law Firm guide you through the process of pursuing workers’ compensation in Indianapolis. If you are unsure of whether or not you have a qualifying personal injury, we can help you find out. Then we can make sure that you get the money you are owed.

Call 317-401-8626 or contact us online today for a free consultation.

 

Video Transcript:
There are a lot of overlapping issues between a personal injury claim and a worker’s compensation claim. Let’s say for example, you work for Federal Express. You’re making a delivery to someone and you’re rear-ended by a UPS truck. Your biggest concern is going to be about your job with Federal Express. You’re injured, you have a worker’s compensation claim now against your employer Federal Express. You also though have a personal injury case against the UPS driver who rear-ended up and caused your injuries. There’s a lot of overlap and complex issues between the worker’s compensation case and the rear-end collision against the UPS driver.

One such example is, whoever pays for your medical expenses from FedEx, they want their money back from whatever money UPS pays to you as a result of this settlement. It’s imperative that you consult a personal injury lawyer that handles both worker’s compensation claims and personal injury claims. We do that.

Categories