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What is the difference between a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit?

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2015 | Workers' Compensation

Workers’ compensation is a no fault system in which an employee who is injured on the job gives up her right to sue her employer in exchange for benefits provided under Illinois law. After filing an Application for Benefits with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, your case is assigned to an arbitrator who oversees any disputes that may arise between you and your employer.

Unlike other personal injury cases, such as automobile accidents or slip and falls, an injured employee does not need to show the employer was at fault for his or her injuries. Generally, injured workers only need to show their injuries occurred in the course of and arose out of some aspect of their employment. There is no requirement to prove the employer was negligent. On the other hand, a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit must show that another person’s negligence caused her injuries.

Another difference between personal injury claims and workers’ compensation is the type of compensation the injured individual can receive. In a personal injury suit, non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, disability, or loss of a normal life can be included in their claim. On the other hand, workers’ compensation is limited to that person’s disability and largely dependent on the wages earned to determine the value of a case.

Illinois workers’ comp laws also require the employer to pay for the injured worker’s medical expenses and time off due to an injury. These benefits provided under the law protect injured workers from financial difficulty if they remain off work due to an injury. Should any disputes arise between an injured employee and their employer, the arbitrator assigned to your case will hear and decide these issues.

In all, workers’ compensation is designed to provide a quick and efficient means of ensuring an injured employee receives medical and payment benefits after an on the job injury. If you or a family member has any questions regarding a potential workers’ compensation claim, please contact our offices for a free legal consultation.

The attorneys at Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid are committed to representing people who have been seriously injured and incur significant medical expenses as a result of work related injuries. Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid continue to handle workers’ compensation claims and all types of other personal injury cases in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Will and Kendall Counties and all throughout the Chicagoland area.