What is the Difference between a Workers’ Compensation Claim Vs. a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

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What is the Difference between a Workers’ Compensation Claim Vs. a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Workers’ Compensation Claim

A work injury case is an administrative claim governed by Iowa Workers’ Compensation law. If an injury arises out of, and in the scope of employment, and your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance coverage as required by Iowa law, then you have a workers’ compensation case. If you do have a workers’ compensation case, then you cannot file a regular civil lawsuit for damages related to your workplace injury against your employer or its insurance carrier. The Iowa Workers’ Compensation Act is in place to protect injured workers from various aspects of civil lawsuits and to provide timely benefits, but it also protects employers from lawsuits by their employees from on-the-job injuries.

In a workers’ compensation claim, you have to show that your injury was sustained while at work, and it was in fact job related. If you are able to prove this, you should be entitled to benefits. With workers’ compensation claims, you do not have to prove that anyone was at fault or caused your injury – so it doesn’t matter if you were at fault, your employer or no one at all.

Personal Injury in the workplace

Unlike workers’ compensation claims, in personal injury cases, you must be able to prove not only causation like in a workers’ compensation case but also fault such as negligence. In circumstances in which the injured worker’s injury was caused by a third party – such as a defective product – then there may be grounds for a lawsuit against that third party, in this case the manufacturer and you would also have a workers’ compensation claim against your employer and its insurance company.

Getting a lawyer who understands these two areas of law is important for your case. We, at the Beattie Law Firm, are experienced in both workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. Because of the window of time you have for both personal injury and workers’ compensation, you should contact an attorney immediately. Our consultations are free should you have any questions related to a work-related injury or personal injury case. Give our attorneys at The Beattie Law Firm a call at 515-263-1000.