Personal Injury vs. Workers’ Compensation: What’s the Difference?

man with a broken leg, laying on the couch, typing on a laptop computer

The Three Main Differences

Sustaining an injury, whether on the job, on the road, or anywhere else in life, can lead to many questions. One of the most stressful being concern over how you will pay for your treatment and be able to afford missing work, if need be.

While there are many similarities between the legal action that can be taken through a personal injury or workers’ compensation claim, there are also many differences. Here are the main three that you need to know.

1. Presence of Fault

The first key difference between personal injury and workers’ compensation claims is that fault is required for personal injury recovery, while it is not required to obtain benefits from workers’ compensation coverage.

Recovering Compensation in Personal Injury

To recover damages in a personal injury case, one must be able to prove that their injuries were caused by the negligence of another person. Along with this, Mississippi observes a contributory negligence doctrine that reduces the amount of compensation that one could receive for their injury by the percentage of fault that they contributed to their accident.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

In a worker's compensation claim, however, fault does not need to be present in order for someone to recover damages. In fact, the Mississippi Workers Compensation Commission classifies it as a “no-fault insurance plan” required for any workplace having five or more regularly employed workers. This means that you can recover benefits for any injury, illness, or death resulting from job-related activity.

2. Type of Lawsuit

Contrastly to personal injury claims, injured employees are not permitted to sue their employer for their injuries. Generally speaking, all medical expenses and lost wages should be covered by your workers’ compensation benefits. However, if you find there is an issue with the amount of compensation received or if you are being neglected compensation, you can pursue legal action to recover your benefits.

3. Damages Recovered

Both a personal injury and workers’ compensation claim allow you to recover damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, and future disability payments, if needed. Where they differ, however, is that you cannot seek damages for pain and suffering through a workers’ compensation claim.

Although there could be many reasons for this, the biggest is that workers’ compensation insurance was initially created to simplify the process between a worker's injury and receiving payments from their employer. As the amount of pain and suffering that one may endure after an injury can vary from person to person, it creates a more complicated process and is therefore not typically allowed as part of your benefits.

However, Mississippi does recognize that there may be “compensable consequences” resulting from your injury, such as severe depression or disability. In these cases, you may be able to receive additional compensation.

How We Can Help

Gulf South Law Firm is an established Mississippi law firm with thousands of winning case results to our name. Our team is skilled in personal injury and workers’ compensation litigation and is ready to help you retain compensation for your injuries.

If you or a loved one are looking for legal representation following a workplace or other injury, call (228) 231-3989 or fill out the form on our website to get in touch with a member of our team.

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