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The Differences Between Personal Injury & Workers Compensation Cases

Work Comp vs. Personal Injury
Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici /

You live in the Des Moines area and just got injured on the job. Now what? You can either file a personal injury lawsuit or a workers’ compensation claim. Here’s the difference between the two:

Workers’ Compensation Case

Filing for workers’ compensation is the more common way to go since most employees are already covered. Workers comp is a state-by-state insurance policy and you do not need proof of fault to receive benefits. In exchange though, you give up your right to sue your employer for personal injury. With workers’ comp cases you just need to prove that the injury happened on the job and is connected to the work the employee did on a daily basis.

Once established, you will receive non-taxable income at two-thirds the amount you were making before the injury. Medical care for the injury, compensation for a permanent injury, and any job retraining you might need are covered. Survivors of those who pass away on the job are also entitled to benefits.

Personal Injury Lawsuit

You can only file a personal injury lawsuit if your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance and you’re able to prove another person caused your injury, or if the accident happened outside of the workplace. If someone else is at fault, you can be compensated for any damages the injury caused. It can be difficult to prove that, but once you do, you can show proof of the amount of damages from the personal injury and get reimbursed for them. Settlements often include medical bill coverage, property damage, lost wages, and loss of future earning capacity.

Whether you slipped and fell, developed a chronic back injury, or sprained, strained, or tore a muscle, you can receive compensation. Call us at 515-244-9907 to schedule a free consultation and get your case moving quickly — so you can receive benefits sooner rather than later.