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Post-injury, should you file a lawsuit or seek workers' comp?

If you have been injured while at work, you may be wondering what your legal options are. If your employer’s negligence contributed to your injury, you may be tempted to sue. However, you may be even more concerned about receiving your workers’ compensation benefits. The question of whether to file a lawsuit, pursue workers’ compensation benefits or both is a personal one. But thankfully, it is also a question that an experienced attorney can help you navigate.

In general, you may either collect workers’ compensation benefits or file a personal injury lawsuit. In most cases, you may not do both. The reason behind this divide is that the one of the primary purposes of workers’ compensation is to serve as a substitution for personal injury damages. However, every work-related injury case is different and on rare occasions, it may be possible to pursue both options.

In most cases, workers must choose whether to file for workers’ compensation benefits or to file a personal injury lawsuit. It is important to know that even this decision may be restricted by state law, depending on your circumstances. In addition, if you are somehow barred from collecting workers’ compensation benefits, you may need to pursue a personal injury suit simply to ensure that your employer is held accountable for the harm that you have been caused.

As a result, it is generally a good idea to speak with an attorney experienced in cases like yours about your legal options. By understanding the benefits and potential drawbacks of each option, you can make an informed decision moving forward.

Source: Findlaw Injured, “Workers' Comp or Lawsuit? 3 Considerations,” Brett Snider, Oct. 1, 2014

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