It’s not uncommon for Hoosiers who are seriously injured on the job to assume Indiana’s workers’ compensation laws will help ensure their damages are paid. Given that they were injured on the clock, it seems like an automatic, right? Well, not exactly.
In fact, there are a number of situations in which an injured Indiana worker may also have the right to file a personal injury claim, even though they were on the clock and acting in an official work capacity.
Understanding the difference between a personal injury and a work injury is important to help ensure you receive the appropriate types of compensation available to you under Indiana law.
Is It a Personal Injury or Work Injury?
To help determine what type of claim you have, liability must be clearly established. In other words, “Who is at fault for your injury?”
To file a personal injury claim in Indiana, your attorney must be able to establish full or partial (no less than 50%) negligence on one or more parties.
For example, let’s say your neighbor’s dog broke free from its leash and bit you, or you were rear-ended while sitting at a stoplight, or you slipped and fell in a grocery store that failed to clean up a spill. In any of these scenarios, your attorney may file a personal injury claim in an attempt to seek damages from the negligent party’s insurance company.
By comparison, Indiana’s workers’ compensation claims are designed to pay your medical bills in the event that you sustain a work-related injury. The difference? Negligence doesn’t play a role.
For example, let’s say you injured your back while picking up a box in a warehouse or you are experiencing pain due to carpal tunnel syndrome. In either instance, it may be possible for you to receive workers’ compensation, even if you are found to be at fault for your work injury.
However, there are some work-related scenarios that aren’t as straightforward with regard to your potential case type(s), such as if you were hurt while working on a construction site.
If you were injured on a construction site, your attorney will investigate to see if one or more parties, not including your direct employer, shares any negligence for the accident.
In many instances, construction site accident cases will focus on a subcontractor and/or defective construction equipment. If liability can be established against a party other than your direct employer, then you may have the right to pursue a personal injury claim and a workers’ comp claim for your injuries.
As you can see, gray areas sometimes exist when it comes to work injuries, and workers’ compensation may even attempt to deny your claim.
If you don’t fully understand Indiana law and how liability can affect your rights, you may be missing out on the opportunity to file one or more claim types.
For this reason, it’s always recommended that you ask an experienced Indianapolis personal injury attorney for a free legal consultation to help you determine if you have one or more potential cases.
What Types of Damages Can You Seek?
If your attorney determines that you have a personal injury claim, Indiana law gives you the right to seek compensation for damages that include but are not limited to:
- Your medical bills, including any costs related to future therapy and/or treatments.
- Lost wages from time off work.
- Pain and suffering.
As mentioned above, in the vast majority o personal injury cases, your attorney will seek compensation from the negligent party’s insurance company, whereas work injury benefits are paid by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy.
If your attorney determines that you have a worker’s comp claim, you may qualify to receive one or more receive the following types of compensation:
- Your medical bills, including future costs of physical therapy
- Loss of income
- Permanent impairment compensation
- Temporary disability benefits
Unlike a personal injury case, a worker’s comp claim will not allow you to recover damages for pain and suffering.
Also, it is important to understand that no matter which case type you have, Indiana has strict timelines with regard to how long you have to file a claim. If your timeline officially expires for either case type, you will no longer have the right to seek compensation.
Learn More About Your Case Type & Legal Rights
If you’ve sustained a serious injury, Matt Boulton can help you determine whether or not you should seek compensation by filing a personal injury claim, or if you need the help of a workers’ compensation attorney.
Matt has been helping injured Hoosiers for more than 20 years with a variety of injury case types, including:
- Car accidents
- Semi-truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Dog bites
- Slip and falls
- Wrongful death lawsuits
And no matter your case type, Boulton Law Group offers a Zero Fee Guarantee, meaning you will never be charged for legal advice regarding your work injury or personal injury claim. Also, you owe the firm nothing until we win your case.
To speak with Matt today, call 317-350-2680, or write to us by using our confidential contact form. Matt personally reviews all website contacts received by our firm.
Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning personal injury attorney with more than 20 years of experience helping seriously injured people throughout Indiana reclaim what was taken from them. His firm was created for for the client who expects exceptional service and passionate, successful legal representation.