Irvine workers' compensation lawyers

The Difference Between Workers’ Comp and Personal Injury Claims

Irvine Workers’ Compensation Lawyer 

Irvine workers' compensation lawyers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses rose by 7.5% in 2022, reaching 2.8 million cases. Suffering an injury or illness while on the job is more common than people think. 

Whether getting into an accident while driving for work or becoming ill while working in healthcare, work-related injuries and illnesses can put people out of work for weeks, months, or years.

If you sustained a workplace injury, you may be wondering if you need to file a workers’ compensation claim, a personal injury claim, or both. Our Irvine workers’ compensation lawyer can answer your questions and concerns during a free consultation. Call (949) 850-6767 for legal representation.


What Is a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Workers compensation insurance in Irvine, CA

Workers’ compensation is insurance that protects both employers and employees when an employee is injured or becomes ill while performing their duties. It pays a range of benefits to injured workers, and can include partial wage replacement while the employee is out of work, reimbursement for medical treatment, and physical therapy. Workers’ compensation is separate from unemployment benefits and disability insurance. 

To file a workers’ compensation claim in California, the injured worker must first notify their employer at the time of the accident or as soon as possible after becoming aware of the injury. The employer will then file a workers’ compensation claim with their insurance company, and the injured worker should be given a copy of that report. 

You should know the status of your claim within 90 days. If you do not hear anything, assume your claim has been accepted. If it is accepted, you will begin receiving benefits like temporary or permanent disability benefits, medical benefits, supplemental job displacement benefits, or death benefits. 


What Is a Personal Injury Claim?

Injured workers may have a workers compensation case

Personal injury claims are different from workers’ comp claims in a couple of ways. In a personal injury claim, you have to prove that someone else was negligent for your injury. In a workers’ comp claim, you do not have to prove fault, but you do need to show that your injury happened while on the job. 

Another difference between the two claims are the recoverable damages. Personal injury claims offer a wider range of damages, such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and punitive damages. If you suffered a personal injury, it is best to speak with a personal injury lawyer to discuss if you are eligible for compensation. 


Workers’ Compensation FAQ

Workers compensation lawyers in Irvine, CA

Can I file a worker’s comp claim and a personal injury claim?

Typically, you cannot sue your employer for a workplace injury. However, there are a couple scenarios where you would be able to file a personal injury claim. If your workplace accident involved a third party, such as a manufacturer of a defective product, a driver of another vehicle, or a subcontractor on a construction site, you may have a third party claim in addition to your workers’ comp claim. 

If an employer intentionally injures you, you may also be able to sue your employer for personal injury damages, such as pain and suffering, that are not covered by workers’ comp. 

I am not a U.S. citizen, can I still file a workers’ compensation claim?

Yes. Under California Labor Code 3733(b), non-citizens can still receive workers’ compensation benefits. This right is extended to temporary, seasonal, part-time, and undocumented employees. 

What if I am an independent contractor?

In California, only regular employees are eligible to receive workers’ compensation insurance. Therefore, independent contractors like Uber drivers and other gig workers cannot file workers’ comp claims. 

However, they can sue another party if they were injured in an accident like a car accident. The independent contractor will have to prove that the other party was negligent and caused the injury. 

Can my employer fire me for filing a workers’ comp claim?

No. It is against the law for an employer to fire an employee for obtaining workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer tries to retaliate against you, contact a workers’ compensation attorney immediately. You can also file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner’s Office

What does a workers’ compensation attorney do?

Sometimes, workers’ compensation claims are not as straightforward as they seem. Paperwork can seem confusing and daunting, or the employer may not take responsibility. In these cases, an  Irvine workers’ compensation lawyer can help you make sense of your situation and rectify any issues or discrepancies.

It is important to hire someone who understands California workers’ compensation laws. Like personal injury laws, workers’ compensation differs from state to state. 


Talk to Our Irvine Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

Irvine workers compensation attorneys

If your injury is relatively minor and your employer cooperates with your claim, there is really no need to hire an Irvine workers’ compensation lawyer. Unfortunately, the process of obtaining workers’ compensation benefits is not always so smooth.

If your employer refuses to file a claim or denies that your injury was work-related, speak to an experienced workers’ comp attorney as soon as possible. Suffering from a painful injury or ongoing illness can put strain on you, your family, and your finances. Our Irvine workers’ compensation lawyers work for you to get you the financial compensation you deserve.

Woodbridge Accident Lawyers is a top personal injury law firm in Irvine, CA. Our award-winning legal team has settled numerous cases for injured victims of motor vehicle accidents and workplace accidents. Call our law office today to schedule a free consultation.

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