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What's the difference between personal injury and workers' comp?

New York residents may be aware that the type of injury they suffer in an accident plays a significant role in the amount of compensation they can recover. However, they may not be aware that the place where the accident occurred might also be important. Factors such as what the injured party was doing when he or she got injured could play a big role in determining if someone can pursue a personal injury lawsuit or a workers' compensation claim.

A workers' compensation claim is a state-mandated program for employees who were injured in connection with the work they do. However, workers' compensation claims do not cover injuries that resulted from the workers own clumsiness or that were not suffered while the employee was working. The benefit of workers' compensation programs is that employees receive benefits regardless of who was at fault. This means the injured employee is excused from having to prove fault and causation. However, since workers' compensation must be recovered from employers, the amount of compensation received is often modest. It does cover medical costs, costs for retraining, replacement costs and compensation for permanent injuries.

Personal injury lawsuits revolve around proving fault and can result from any number of injuries caused by someone else's negligence, including motor vehicle accidents, slip-and-fall accidents on another's premises and medical malpractice. The type of injuries that a personal injury lawsuit may be based on is unlimited, and there is no requirement that they must be suffered while working. The type of compensation one can pursue in a personal injury lawsuit includes what can be recovered in a workers' compensation suit, in addition to compensation for pain and suffering.

Pursuing a workers' compensation claim might preclude someone from filing a personal injury lawsuit in some situations. Therefore, it is important to understand one's options for compensation after a personal injury.

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