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What is the Difference Between Personal Injury and Workers’ Comp?

Posted in Workers Compensation on May 23, 2023

When individuals sustain injuries on the job and when they are harmed due to the careless or negligent actions of another individual or entity, they should be able to recover compensation. However, the route to recover compensation after a workplace injury usually looks different than the route of recovering compensation for an incident caused by another person or entity’s negligence. Here, we want to discuss the difference between a personal injury claim and a workers’ compensation claim.

How Personal Injury Claims Arise

Personal injury is an area of law revolving around the process of recovering compensation for those who have been injured due to the negligent actions of others. This can include the negligent actions of another individual, entity, or company.

The vast majority of personal injury claims are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers or the at-fault party before a personal injury trial becomes necessary. However, sometimes, trials are necessary in order to successfully resolve a personal injury claim with the victim recovering compensation.

Personal injury claims arise in a wide variety of ways throughout Arizona. Some of the most common types of injury claims occur due to the following types of incidents:

  • Car accidents
  • Accidents involving commercial trucks or buses
  • Pedestrian or bicycle accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Boating accidents
  • Slip and fall incidents
  • Defective product incidents
  • Medical negligence
  • Nursing home abuse or neglect
  • Intentional acts of violence

This is certainly not a complete list of the ways that personal injury claims arise throughout this state, but it does give you an idea of the types of incidents that lead to a personal injury claim. The entire process of a successful personal injury claim revolves around proving that the at-fault party was negligent in some way, meaning that they breached the duty of care that they owed other individuals, given the situation they were in at the time.

How is a Workers’ Compensation Claim Different?

Workers’ compensation claims often arise due to the same types of incidents as the personal injury examples mentioned above. However, workers’ compensation is designed specifically to help workplace injury victims recover compensation, and under this system, individuals do not have to prove any negligence in order to receive benefits. Workers’ compensation insurance in Arizona is a no-fault system, which means individuals can recover compensation regardless of who or what caused the injuries in the workplace.

In almost all situations, individuals who receive workers’ compensation benefits are not able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the person who caused their injuries. There are some cases where a work injury could give rise to a third-party personal injury lawsuit, but only if the injury occurred due to the negligence of a third party aside from the employer or a coworker (sometimes, a personal injury lawsuit can be filed against an employer if they knew or should have known about a potential hazard and failed to remedy the situation or if they intentionally caused the worker harm).

Working With an Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured due to the negligence of another individual or if you have been harmed at work, we encourage you to reach out to a skilled Phoenix workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can help guide you through the process of recovering compensation, including coverage of medical bills, lost income, property damage expenses, and pain and suffering damages.