Should I File for Personal Injury or Workers’ Compensation?

While Illinois residents may realize that it is possible to hold someone legally responsible for causing injuries, it is important to understand that different scenarios create different liabilities. Pursuing the wrong course of action could waste time, resources and effort. It might be beneficial to consult an experienced attorney to understand what one’s legal options are.

When someone is injured while performing tasks related to their employment, they will most likely be entitled to workers’ compensation. One of the benefits of workers’ compensation is that there is no need to litigate against one’s employers to receive them. It is a no-fault system, which means the injured employee does not have to prove who’s fault the work-related accident was. However, it is important to know that it is often the injured employee’s only remedy—it is considered a substitute for a claim against one’s employer. So while injured workers are automatically entitled to workers’ compensation, employers are also automatically protected from lawsuits. Injured workers are generally entitled to compensation if their pre-existing condition worsens because of their work, if they contract a disease, or if their injury was caused while on the job.

Personal injury, on the other hand, revolves around the system of fault. For example, if someone is injured in a car accident, he or she must prove that the other driver was responsible for causing the accident and the resulting injuries. Therefore, there is no automatic entitlement to compensation. Personal injury lawsuits cover injuries caused by a wide range of incidents, such as those from motor vehicle accidents, premises liability and truck accidents.

If a sales associate slips and falls in the store they are working at, they would most likely be entitled to workers’ compensation. However, if a shopper on the same premises slips and falls in the same manner, he or she would be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. Who to file the claim against may also differ, depending on the circumstances. In order to ensure that one is pursuing the correct course of action, consulting an experienced attorney may be one way to proceed.

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