One thing that can confuse people is the difference between a workers' compensation case and a personal injury case. Of course, this confusion often comes up when you're dealing with both types of cases simultaneously. This situation can occur if a third party was involved in your accident. Here's what you need to know.
How Your Workers' Comp Case Affects Your Personal Injury Case
Your third-party lawsuit, or personal injury case, can and will occur normally. The major difference is that the insurance company that administers your compensation benefits can place a lien on the damages awarded in your personal injury case.
A workers' compensation lien is a claim against your possible earnings. The lien will lock the amount paid to you through workers' compensation (WC). This is to prevent you receiving funds twice for the same thing. Anything over the lien amount is yours. If you receive an exceptionally large amount in WC benefits, then it can mean your personal injury settlement will all go towards paying it back as well as the lawyer.
How this all works can vary depending on your specific situation and how the insurance company handles liens. Your lawyer can also negotiate on your behalf to try to lower the amount of the lien.
How Your Personal Injury Case Affects Your Workers' Comp Case
It's important to remember that workers' compensation does not pay for pain and suffering. What it typically pays for is medical expenses and lost wages. The process usually happens quicker than that of a personal injury case, which means that you can have some relief while you're still going through the phases of your case.
Your personal injury case doesn't really impede on your workers' comp case. However, you can use medical information you receive during your workers' comp case to help you in your personal injury case.
The opposite is true as well. If you're facing a particularly tough road towards your benefits, the discovery process of your injury case may turn up information that can help.
Do You Need Two Lawyers or One?
In both types of cases, you should either have a lawyer or consult with one. Remember that many personal injury attorneys also have experience with dealing with workers' compensation as well. That's because the two cases can show up together a lot of the time.
You don't particularly need to hire two different lawyers. Just go with a legal service that has a good history of dealing with both. Try contacting a firm such as Robinson & Kole for more information.
My husband does much of our auto repair work himself. We do all that we can to save a dollar when we can, and doing the repair work saves us a small fortune each year. Unfortunately, all of the money that we have saved over the past 15 years has gone to pay the medical bills that we have accumulated during the last several months after a floor jack failed and dropped our car on top of my husband. A few days after the incident, I contacted an injury attorney. I have created a blog to help others that have been injured due to faulty products find some sort of resolution.