When Should You File
a Personal Injury Claim?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private industry employers in 2018. Fortunately, personal injury and workers' compensation laws exist to compensate employees when work-related injuries and other forms of accidents occur. However, there may be circumstances that make it more beneficial to file a personal injury claim.
At Gama Law Firm we can evaluate your situation and provide guidance and options for recovering fair compensation for your injuries. With over 60 years of combined experience in personal injury cases, we have the experience and expertise necessary to help you fight to protect your rights. We proudly serve clients in Denver, Aurora, Parker, Centennial, and Castle Pines, Colorado.
How Are Personal Injury and Workers' Compensation Claims Different?
Employees who are injured as a result of a work-related accident have the option of filing either a personal injury claim or seeking workers' compensation. Personal injury and workers' compensation claims may overlap, however, they are quite different.
The primary difference between the two is that a personal injury claim requires the injured individual to establish fault and liability before they can recover damages for their injuries. Conversely, Colorado regulations do not require the claimant to identify the at-fault party to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Furthermore, the two claims differ in the damages that are able to be recovered. A personal injury claim allows victims to recover damages for medical expenses, future medical treatment, lost income, disability, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering whereas damages in a workers' compensation claims must relate to the employer-employee relationship, including medical bills, lost earning capacity, vocational rehabilitation, or disability.
Circumstances in Which You'd Want to File Personal Injury
Deciding which claim to file will depend on your situation. Below are some circumstances where filing a personal injury claim may be more advantageous:
- When the injury involves an illegal or toxic substance
- When the injury involves a defective product (which may allow you to recover claims against the product manufacturer
- When your injury was intentionally caused by the employer's conduct
- When your employer doesn't have workers compensation insurance
- When your on-the-job injuries were injury was caused by the negligence of a third-party who doesn't work for the company (For example, if you were driving a delivery truck when you were hit by a distracted driver, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver.)
Advantages of Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Filing a personal injury claim allows you to seek full compensation for all of your injury-related losses, such as:
- Immediate and future medical needs
- Out-of-pocket costs related to your injury
- Lost income and lost future earning capacity
- Emotional distress, pain, and suffering.
- Loss of consortium, support, companionship, and enjoyment of life
A personal injury lawsuit allows you to recover both economic and non-economic damages.
Circumstances in Which You'd Want to File Workers' Comp
There are also situations in which filing a workers’ compensation would be more appropriate including:
- When the injury was your fault to some extent
- When you don't have substantial evidence to prove that another party was at fault for the accident
- When you are completely at fault for the accident
Filing a workers' comp claim may limit the damages you are able to recover but you will likely receive your benefits (payments) within a short period of time.
How Legal Counsel Can Help
Being involved in a work-related accident can be really overwhelming. The resulting injuries may have a significant impact on your physical, financial, and mental health. If you were injured in a work-related accident, you need a knowledgeable attorney to help protect your rights.
The experienced attorneys at Gama Law Firm have devoted their careers to representing clients vigorously in personal injury and workers' compensation matters. We will review your case, conduct a thorough investigation, establish fault, and determine case-value. We will fight zealously to protect your rights and attempt to help you pursue fair financial compensation for your injuries and damages.
Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Colorado
If you were hurt at work and need guidance in filing a claim, call Gama Law Firm for a free one-on-one consultation. Our attorneys will discuss your legal options and determine how to proceed with your claims. We will fight compassionately to protect your rights and help you pursue your rightful compensation. We are proud to serve clients throughout Denver, Aurora, Parker, Centennial, and Castle Pines, Colorado.