While an injury on the job may very well constitute a personal injury to a person, worker’s compensation law is very different from personal injury law. Generally, worker’s compensation law will apply whenever a person in injured “on the job”, but as with almost any area of the law, certain exceptions apply. As both the processes and the allowable damages differ under each of these bodies of law, it is important to establish whether or not your injury truly occurred on the job and who exactly is responsible for that injury. A South Bend attorney can help you determine the answers to these questions and quickly recoup your losses for the injury suffered.
Generally speaking, fault is not as important in worker’s compensation cases as it normally is in a personal injury lawsuit, though any South Bend attorney will tell you there are exceptions to this rule. In general, if a person is injured on the job, they will be entitled to recovery under worker’s compensation law. Yet a South Bend attorney handling a personal injury lawsuit will generally need to prove the cause of the injury as well as the damages suffered. In addition, the party responsible for the injury has certain defenses that may limit recovery that are not available in a worker’s compensation case.
Though the issue of fault may make a worker’s compensation case appear more appealing to an injured individual, the recovery that can be obtained by a South Bend attorney is limited in the work comp case. Again, speaking in general terms, a person injured on the job will be allowed to recover only for medical expenses, disability and, in some cases, retraining. This limitation on recovery attempts to balance the interests of the employers with the interest of the injured person. In personal injury law, the South Bend attorney will attempt to assure that the injured party is “made whole” following the injury. Recovery may include not only medical bills, but also recovery for lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, loss of earning ability and more. Arguably, worker’s compensation law does not allow for the injured party to be “made whole”, as many of the above mentioned recoveries are not allowed.
Though most cases where a person is injured on the job will fall under worker’s compensation law, it is important to contact a South Bend attorney to ensure you receive the recovery you are entitled to receive. For example, if you are injured by someone other than your employer while on the job, you may have recourse beyond work comp laws and the ability to recover the additional damages mentioned above. The same may be true if the employer knowingly or intentionally subjected the employee to a hazardous work environment. Each case will present a unique set of facts that will determine the body of law that will prevail. If you have been hurt on the job, contact Sweeney Julian to speak with one of our South Bend personal injury attorneys today to determine if you are entitled to recovery beyond that allowed by worker’s compensation law.