When you’re injured at work, you may be aware that you are entitled to coverage for your injuries under workers’ compensation laws. Many people, however, fail to understand the important differences between a claim filed under workers’ compensation laws and a claim filed as a personal injury case.
The two forms of injury are very different, as is the way the law treats them. Learn the difference between a work injury and personal injury claim, and how a workers’ compensation lawyer can help when your claim is denied.
Work Injury Cases
When you are injured in the course of your employment, your injury should be covered under workers’ compensation laws. Every employer is required to carry insurance covering any injuries their employees suffer in the course of their work. Whether it’s a fall resulting in a break or sprain, an accident you suffer on the way to a client’s house, or a repetitive motion injury like carpal tunnel, workers’ compensation kicks in to take care of it.
What Workers’ Comp Covers
In these cases, your coverage will take care of your medical bills, lost wages and recovery costs, but that’s all. There is no fault involved, and you cannot sue your employer for things like pain and suffering, lost relationships or other damages. Workers’ compensation coverage exists only to take care of any injuries you suffer, though this can in some cases include some degree of disability coverage.
Personal Injury Cases
In a personal injury case you need to demonstrate that your injury was caused by someone else’s actions, inaction or negligence. If you trip on a sidewalk due to a large crack that the owner should’ve known to fix or address, this falls under negligence.
These sorts of cases allow you to recover not just medical bills, but pain and suffering, emotional damages, lost relationships, lost potential earnings and a variety of other kinds of compensation. However, unlike workers’ compensation, it doesn’t kick in automatically and requires a court case.
Suing Your Employer
Unfortunately, you cannot sue your employer for a workplace injury. When you are hurt in the course of employment, workers’ compensation kicks in immediately. You must report your injury and file the proper claim. Your employer, as well, has responsibilities they have to fulfill.
Sometimes a workers’ comp claim is denied. This can happen when you or your employer fails to fulfill their obligations, or because the employer or insurance company feels that you are not actually as injured as you claim to be. When this happens, you may need to file suit to challenge the denial.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you have been denied workers’ compensation for any reason, it’s important to hire a Winston-Salem workers’ compensation lawyer to handle your case. It can be very difficult to prove to insurance agencies that your injury is severe enough to merit the coverage you’re requesting. A qualified workers’ comp attorney knows how to challenge denied claims, gather necessary evidence and get you the compensation you deserve. If you live in the Winston-Salem area and are in need of legal help pursuing your claim, contact Lewis & Keller for a consultation today.