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Can You File a Personal Injury Claim and Get Workers’ Comp for the Same Injury?

September 13, 2021

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Almost all employers in Ohio are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees and themselves after workplace injuries. When workers get hurt on the job, that insurance means that employers typically avoid direct liability for injuries and damages—and personal injury lawsuits are off the table.

But sometimes, injuries can happen at work, or in the course of fulfilling job duties, that are caused by others’ negligence—including people and parties who aren’t associated with the employer. When that happens, injured workers can potentially file both a personal injury claim AND a workers’ compensation claim.

Here are a few common scenarios that can lead to injured workers filing and successfully winning both types of claims.

A negligent driver crashes into you while you’re driving for work-related purposes.

Many jobs require employees to drive either their own vehicles or company vehicles. Whether they’re meeting clients or delivering goods, these employees face the same risks as all other drivers when they’re on the road. And if they’re involved in crashes, they can file both personal injury claims against the drivers who hit them and workers’ compensation claims with their employers.

A property owner (not your employer) fails to address a hazard and you slip and fall.

If you need to enter another person’s or party’s property while working, it should be free from dangers and hazards. If it isn’t, you may slip, trip, or fall and be seriously injured. As with a car accident, you may be eligible to file an injury claim against the property owner for failing to ensure the premises was safe AND a workers’ compensation claim with your employer because you were injured while on the job.

A contractor or employee of another company injures you while you’re at work.

In many industries, including construction, there may be contractors and employees from multiple companies working on a single job site. Those workers may be in close proximity to each other, and they may put each other at risk. When a worker gets injured because another worker was negligent, but they are employed or paid by different companies, the injured worker can file a personal injury claim against the negligent worker and be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, too.

A product you use at work is defective and it injures you.

Workplaces are often filled with various devices, products, and machinery. When one of those products is defective, it can put you and your coworkers at risk. And if you get hurt by a defective product, you may be able to sue the manufacturer for their negligence while also being eligible to collect workers’ compensation benefits because your injury occurred while working.

Your employer didn’t have workers’ compensation insurance.

If you get hurt at work through no fault of your own and your employer either failed to purchase workers’ compensation insurance or isn’t legally required to do so, you may be able to seek compensation from them directly. This is a common scenario for certain domestic and agricultural workers, as well as contractors who aren’t covered by workers’ compensation benefits.

You May Need to Pay Back Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits with Your Personal Injury Settlement

If your injury is eligible for both a personal injury settlement and workers’ compensation benefits, note that the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) may have a claim to some of your personal settlement money—especially if the BWC has already paid for some of your medical bills and/or lost wages.

However, both claims can be active at the same time, and in many cases, it’s advantageous to file both. This is because workers’ compensation benefits are often paid out sooner, allowing you to pay your bills while you wait for your settlement check. Meanwhile, personal injury settlements often pay more (they include compensation for pain and suffering, which workers’ compensation does not) so you will still have money left over even after paying back the BWC.

Get Our Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyers on Your Side Today

Both personal injury claims and workers’ compensation claims are complex enough on their own. But when they’re filed at the same time and for the same injury, they can get even more confusing. That’s why it’s important to have a law firm on your side with a track record of success in both.

When you contact Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, we’ll build your personal injury and workers’ compensation claims in a way that maximizes compensation and minimizes frustration. If you were injured through no fault of your own and now need money for your medical bills and lost wages, that’s exactly what we’ll set out to get you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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