You may have both!
If you are in an accident and sustain an injury while in the course and scope of your employment, then you will likely have a workers’ compensation claim. Although your employer or a co-worker may have been negligent and caused your injury, your only remedy against your own employer will almost always be in workers’ compensation.
However, if you are in the course and scope of your employment and a third party causes an accident, then you may also have a personal injury claim. For example: Betty works for a delivery company. While on her daily route in her company-provided vehicle, she is rear-ended by another vehicle owned by a national transportation company and being driven by the national transportation company’s employee. Betty will probably have a workers’ compensation claim due to the fact that she was in an accident while at work. In addition, she may have a personal injury claim against the national transportation company for the negligence of its employee causing the car accident.
If you have both a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury claim, then your employer and its workers’ compensation carrier may intervene in your personal injury action in an effort to recover any payments made in connection with the workers’ compensation claim. This can be a very confusing and complicated process.
There are many aspects to every case which often require a careful review of all of the facts and circumstances. There are also major differences between a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury claim. The most glaring difference is a very familiar term of art, "pain and suffering." This is a benefit available in the personal injury claim, but not in the workers' compensation claim.
Mensman Law handles both workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. We are here to help you answer any questions you may have and pursue any and all benefits which may be available to you.