If you have been injured at the workplace, in the course of performing your job, you may question whether you should file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim. Workers’ compensation benefits and personal injury law both protect the injured, but they are very different in two important ways.
Difference between workers’ compensation claims and personal injury claims
Workers’ compensation and personal injury claims differ in several ways, most notably the type of compensation available and the issue of fault. In workers’ compensation claims, the injured worker may receive compensation for medical bills that are a result of the accident, temporary disability if they are unable to return to work in the short-term, and permanent disability benefits in certain situations. In personal injury claims, the injured party may receive compensation for medical bills related to injuries sustained in the accident, property damage, or another type of loss that is a result of the accident.
In workers’ compensation claims, the benefits available to injured workers are provided regardless of who is responsible for the accident. The compensation is “no fault” compensation. Workers are protected without the fear of retaliation from an employer. Personal injury law, however, is based entirely on the issue of fault. Someone else’s negligence — reckless, irresponsible behavior – must have caused the accident in the first place, otherwise there is no basis for a personal injury claim.
Time limits for filing a claim
The statute of limitations – the legal timeframe for filing a claim in the court system – for workers’ compensation claims and personal injury claims is the same in New Jersey: two years from the date the injury occurred. Or, in the case of a workers’ compensation claim, two years from the time the worker became aware that the injury or illness was related to his or her employment. In the case of workers’ compensation claims and personal injury claims, this timeframe is very important: if you do not file your claim before the two-year deadline passes, your case will not be heard in the court nor will you be able to recover any compensation for the injuries or damage you sustained.
Injured at work? Unsure what to do? Let us help
When you have suffered an injury at work, it raises a number of questions regarding your legal rights, the protections provided under the law, and the best course of action in your situation. Let us help. At Lomurro Law, our experienced legal team has been serving New Jersey families and workers for more than 130 combined years. We listen, advise, and advocate on your behalf to recover just compensation for your injuries. Contact a member of our team today at 732-482-9285 or online to arrange for a confidential consultation to discuss your case. Lomurro Law has convenient offices in Freehold and East Brunswick.