How is Workers Comp Different From A Car Crash or Other Injury Case?
Three Differences of Car Crash Case and Work Injury Case
The three ways that a civil like a third-party case like a car crash case is different than a work injury case. People get confused, they think the rules are the same and the attorneys' fees are the same and all. But actually a work injury workers comp case is very different than a car crash case. So here are the three ways they're different.
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Proof Of Negligence
First, in a car crash case, you have to prove that the person who caused the crash was negligent. You have to prove they did something wrong. In a work injury case you do not have to prove your employer was wrong. All you have to prove is that, you were an employee at the time that you got hurt and that you were working doing your job. It's a simple way of saying what lawyers say in a fancy way in the course and scope of employment.
If you're an employee you got hurt on the job doing your job you're supposed to be covered by workers comp. But in a car crash case, you got to prove the other side was negligent, in other words, that they did something wrong.
The second thing is that, attorneys' fees are very different. Workers comp is simplified and streamlined but that doesn't mean that there aren't crazy delays in work injury cases because there are. But when you compare the details and the amount of work an attorney has to do in a car crash or civil litigation, you compare the work that they have to do in those circumstances to the work that they have to do in a comp case it's way more work.
As a result the attorneys fees are higher in a car crash case compared to workers comp. If you read any of my other articles, you know that in a comp case attorneys fees are almost always 20% of what the lawyer gets you and you never pay out of your pocket.
In a car crash case, attorneys' fees are usually a third or maybe forty percent of what the attorney wins you. Because at the end of the day, if you can't resolve a car crash case, it's a full jury trial. So that takes a lot of knowledge, skill, expertise and time to get ready to do it. That's the other big difference in a worker's comp or work injury case. The attorneys' fee is way less than in a car crash case.
The Benefits You Get
Moreover, the last thing is, what can you get in the case? In a work injury case you can get paid for the time that you're off work, you can get your medical bills that are related to the work incident paid, and at the end of the case you can get a lump sum of money to pay you for the difference in your body. That's called PPD or Permanent Partial Disability. It's a lump sum of money at the end of the case and it's meant to compensate you for the change in the function of your body or in some cases like in a disfigurement case, it's the change in the appearance of your body.
In a car crash case or in any third party civil litigation case it's a completely different story. You can claim your medical bills, you can claim your time off work, you claim your pain and suffering. We can't claim pain and suffering in a worker's comp case you can in a car crash third party civil litigation case at the courthouse.
The Jury Decides
Loss of a normal life or disability like the loss of your ability to enjoy the pleasurable aspects of life. Let's say you love to go bowling with your friends before your car crash now you can't Bowl at all. You can ask for money for that explicitly. There's also a ton of other things you can ask money for in a third party case. Loss of consortium, meaning the companionship and the sexual stuff with a spouse. There's all disfigurement you can ask for in a third party case.
In a third party car crash case, the way it works is that it is usually a judge or a judge and a jury who decide. They listen to the damages and the sky's the limit. If you get in front of a jury and the jury decides that your ability not to bowl anymore is worth a million dollars, a judge and jury can give that to you but you'll never get that in a worker's comp case.
There's A Trade Off
The way I tell people to think about is, there's a trade off in workers comp and third party cases. In a car crash case, you have to prove the other guy did something wrong but the sky's the limit as to damages. In a comp case you don't have to prove that your company did anything wrong but the damages are limited in a way that I described in another article. The third thing is, basically the damages are completely different.
Those are the three things that set a third-party car crash litigation apart from workers comp and I hope that it helps you understand what you're up against no matter how you were injured.
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