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What is the Difference Between a Workers’ Compensation Claim and an Injury Claim?

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

Crystal Lake Personal Injury AttorneyWork injuries can happen to anyone. Whether due to an equipment accident or fall, long-term exposure to hazardous chemicals, or another reason, work-related injuries can lead to suffering and financial hardship. If you or a loved one were injured while working, you may be dealing with mounting medical bills and other expenses. Additionally, you may be left with painful symptoms that prevent you from working. Fortunately, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and possibly more through a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim.

Workers’ Compensation in Illinois

Workers’ compensation insurance covers expenses related to worker injuries and illnesses. Workers’ compensation also replaces part of the injured worker’s lost income. In Illinois, workers’ compensation is “no-fault” which means that you do not have to prove that your employer or another party was at fault for the injury or illness. In most cases, an injured worker is entitled to compensation for an injury as long as the injury occurred at work and as a result of work duties. This means that you can recover compensation through worker’s comp even if your own carelessness led to the injury. There are some exceptions to this rule. An injured worker may be ineligible for compensation if he or she was intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, engaged in “horseplay,” or sustained the injury while in a physical fight he or she initiated.  

Personal Injury Lawsuits Against a Third Party

Illinois workers’ compensation laws prohibit an injured worker from suing his or her employer except in very rare circumstances. However, if a party other than your employer caused your injury, you may be able to sue that party. For example, if you suffered an injury on a construction site because of a contractor’s negligence, you may be able to sue the contractor.

Unlike workers’ compensation, personal injury claims are fault-based. This means that you will need to show that the other party’s negligence or intentional actions caused your injuries. A personal injury claim also differs from a workers’ compensation claim in that a successful personal injury claim may help you recover damages beyond what you could get through workers’ compensation.

Damages in a personal injury claim often include the full amount of the injured person’s lost income, his or her lost earning capacity, medical expenses, and non-financial damages like pain and suffering, disfigurement, and loss of quality of life.

Contact a McHenry County, Illinois Work Injury Lawyer

If you were hurt at work, contact the skilled Crystal Lake injury attorneys at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC to discuss your options for seeking financial compensation for your damages. Call 815-338-3838 for a free, no-obligation consultation.




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