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What Is the Difference Between a Personal Injury Claim and a Workers' Compensation Claim?

worker wrapping their hand in gauze

No matter how it happens, being injured in a serious accident can leave you in need of compensation to make up for your medical expenses and lost wages. The good news is that different types of insurance plays a big role in covering those who have been injured in certain accidents. Although you may have heard about personal injury and workers’ compensation claims, you may not know the differences between them and how they apply to you.

Below, we discuss the distinctions between these two types of claims and how our team can help you, no matter how or where your injury was sustained.

How Personal Injury Claims Work

1.) Fault Determinations

Personal injury claims, including those involving car accidents, motorcycle accidents, dog bite, or slip and falls, revolve around a concept known as fault. To successfully file a claim, an injury victim must prove that the other party failed to uphold their duty of care and acted negligently, directly resulting in the claimant’s injuries. Due to Nevada’s modified comparative negligence rule, one may only pursue a claim if they were less than 50% responsible for the incident as well.

2.) Damages Available

In personal injury claims, you are entitled to all the damages you incurred as a result of the accident and your injuries. These include two categories of damages: economic and non-economic. Economic damages include past, present and future medical expenses, lost wages, and lost earning capacity. Non-economic damages will include pain and suffering, emotional distress and anguish, lost quality of life, and loss of consortium.

3.) Ability to Sue

When you file a personal injury claim against a negligent party, the person’s insurance coverage will be utilized first. For instance, if another driver caused your car accident, then you would file a claim through their car insurance company. However, in some instances, the at-fault individual’s insurance may not be enough to cover the entirety of your damages. In cases like these, you can file a lawsuit in order to ensure that you are not left with out-of-pocket expenses.

How Workers’ Compensation Claims Work

1.) Fault Determinations

One of the biggest differences between personal injury claims and workers’ comp claims is the importance of fault determinations. In Nevada, workers’ compensation operates on a no-fault system, meaning that it does not matter whether a negligent employer or a worker was responsible for a work-related accident. If the employer was injured during their scope of employment, regardless of fault, the person can successfully pursue workers’ comp benefits.

2.) Damages Available

For workers’ comp claims, you are entitled to benefits that cover the costs of your related medical expenses and lost pay. The types of benefits available will depend on whether you sustained a temporary or permanent injury and whether you have to be out of work completely while recovering or if you can do modified work. Additionally, injured workers do not get compensated for pain and suffering damages when filing a workers’ compensation claim.

3.) Ability to Sue

If a worker was injured on the job due to a negligent employer, they may assume that they can file a lawsuit against their employer for failing to maintain a safe work environment. However, according to Nevada’s workers’ compensation laws, an injured worker is actually prohibited from filing a lawsuit against an employer who provides workers’ comp coverage. The employee may be able to sue a negligent third-party, as long as this party is not the employer.

Advocating for Those Injured Across Las Vegas

Being injured in any type of accident is traumatic enough. You shouldn’t have to worry about figuring out what type of claim to file, getting all the paperwork completed on time, and negotiating with an insurance company that only wants to protect its profits. At Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen, we want you to know that you don’t have to go through this alone.

Our team has been representing those injured in Las Vegas and across the state of Nevada since 1985. Whether you believe that you need assistance filing a personal injury claim or a workers’ compensation claim, our team will leave no stone unturned when it comes to pursuing the best possible outcome on your behalf.

Contact our team at (702) 505-8115 to learn more about your legal options during a no-fee, no-obligation case review!