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Workers Compensation Law Vs. Personal Injury Law (in the USA)

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As a personal injury and workers compensation lawyer I am often asked, what type of lawyer do I need if I was hurt at work? Today I was help my readers distinguish between these two fields of law that seemingly can overlap.

The most critical thing that divides the two is that a personal injury claim is assessed on fault while a workers’ comp case is not. Meaning, in order to legally be entitled to start a civil lawsuit against someone they must be at fault, or negligent, in a way which can be proved in court. On the flip side, if someone is injured at work they are entitled to benefits without having to prove any fault whatsoever. According to the workers law book, it really does not matter who is at fault. However, if a worker was injured and the employer has insurance, they cannot request compensation for pain and suffering.

The bottom line of what we just learned is that a person who is eligible to sue on the civil level can potentially make a lot more money than a worker suing their employer. Pain and suffering is something that many personal injury law sharks push hard on in court. This is logical as they work on contingency (a commission from the winnings) and will do anything (literally) to squeeze the other side for as much money as possible. Now, if you were injured at work, where you cannot get paid for pain & suffering, your potential for a lottery payout is nil, but you can still get your fair share. However, there is another little trick in workers compensation that one can play to increase there earnings. There are special workers compensation doctors that help people inflate their losses and injury expenses thereby allowing them to make more money.

Workers Comp Vs. Personal Injury Day to Day:

Workers Compensation Lawyer:On a day by day level a Workers compensation claim attorneys spends their time working hand in hand with doctors to fight insurance companies that are trying to low-ball their client. Meaning, after someone gets injured at work they are made an offer by their employers insurance company. If they are not happy with that offer they can turn to an attorney who will work on contingency to try to get them a larger payout. It's a win win situation for both sides so many people who were injured at work will proceed with an attorney after the settlement offer is made. At this point, it's all up to the doctors and the lawyers to gather evidence and make a claim that the injury did not warrant the amount offered. They will usually do this by exaggerating the injury and loss of income of the client.

Personal Injury Attorney: These attorneys also have to gather evidence from doctors but are more focused on proving the negligence of the other party. This requires interviewing a lot of witnesses, collecting evidence, analyzing video, inspecting documents and much more. It is a long tedious process but the idea here is for the attorney to bully everyone around the case until he attains the incriminating evidence that proves negligence. The term "personal injury sharks" has been coined due to the need of this type of legal professional to be ruthless and tough as nails in order to break witnesses down until they cave and prove the negligence at hand. They get paid a lot more money than workers comp attorneys as the cases can yield much more money.

Contributed by: Shulman & Hill Personal Injury Law Brooklyn 26 Court Street 21st Floor Brooklyn, NY 11242 718-852-4701