Personal Injury vs. Workers’ Comp: What’s the Difference?

March 2015

Personal injury lawsuits and workers’ compensation claims are sometimes confused, but there are key differences between the two. If you have been injured on the job, it’s important to speak to an attorney right away, as there are strict time limits that apply to your workers’ compensation claim.

Workers’ Compensation Claims

When you’re injured at work, your work injury case falls under Iowa workers’ compensation law. Injuries that arise out of and within the scope of your employment are governed by state Workers’ Compensation law. Once you have a workers’ compensation case, you can’t file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer or its insurance company for any injuries or damages you received related to your on-the-job injury.

If you file a workers’ compensation claim, you must be able to prove that you sustained your injury at work and that your injury was related to your job. You don’t have to show that anyone’s negligence or fault caused your injury. You still have a workers’ compensation claim regardless of your fault, your employer’s fault, or even the absence of fault. This is different from a personal injury lawsuit, in which the injured party must be able to prove that another’s negligence caused the injury.

Personal Injury Lawsuits for Workplace Injuries

In specific circumstances, it’s possible for someone injured at work to bring both a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit. When a worker is injured on the job by a defective or dangerous third-party product, the worker may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the product’s manufacturer while also bringing a workers’ compensation claim against his or her employer and its insurance company. In the personal injury case, the worker would have to prove that the third-party product caused the injury. These are complex cases that require the skill and experience of a lawyer who understands both personal injury law and workers’ compensation law.

Iowa Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

If you have been injured at work, it’s important to speak to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. Contact Attorney Ed Keane today at (712) 234-3088 to discuss your case.

This website has been prepared by Keane Law Firm for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.