Differences Between Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation Claims
After suffering a workplace injury, many workers have a common question in mind regarding the difference between a personal injury claim and a workers’ compensation claim. Another question they are faced with is if they can claim both. There can be a complex intersection of personal injury and workers’ compensation laws for certain work-related injuries. Therefore, it is important to understand the difference and the relation between the two.
Unlike other states, Ohio’s workers’ compensation system is unique as it administers workers’ compensation claims through the constitutionally-established state insurance fund called the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
Proof of Negligence
All personal injury claims require the victim to prove that the other side acted negligently. In order to recover damages in a personal injury claim, it must be shown that the other party was at fault and that the injuries were a result of such fault. This is not the case with a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Ohio.
Ohio follows the no-fault system when it comes to workers’ compensation claims. This means that the worker does not need to prove any kind of fault on part of the employer to make a successful claim. The benefits under the workers’ compensation system are provided regardless of whose fault caused the injuries. Further, the law in Ohio makes it nearly impossible to sue an employer for a personal injury claim. The victim may file third-party claims if other parties are involved.
Primarily, damages awarded under a workers’ compensation claim compensate the victim for medical expenses and lost wages. However, in a personal injury claim compensation for non-economic damages such as “pain and suffering” may also be claimed.
Personal injury claims may take weeks, months, or even years to settle. In Ohio, Workers’ Compensation Claims are reviewed within 28 days after being notified by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Further, the time limitation to file a personal injury claim is two years and for a workers’ compensation claim, the same is one year.
Effect Of A Personal Injury Settlement On Workers’ Compensation Benefit
While a successful personal injury claim may not reduce the amount of benefits awarded a workers’ compensation claim, however, the same may be used to reimburse the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation for the full amount already paid to you for the same injuries.
Contacting An Ohio Workers’ Compensation And Personal Injury Attorney
Both these claim have their pros and cons. The best course of action after suffering a workplace injury is to contact an experienced team of attorneys as soon as possible to get the maximum compensation possible. At Ziccarelli & Martello, our attorneys have the necessary experience and skills to help you determine and understand which type of claim is the best for your particular case and if you can claim both. Contact us today for a free consultation.