Can I File a Personal Injury Claim for a Work Accident?

If you’ve been injured at work, you may find yourself wondering whether you can file a personal injury claim for a work accident. When you’re looking to the immediate future and all you see is medical debt, missed wages, and other looming expenses, the above question becomes an important one to answer.

In California, you can file a personal injury claim for a workplace accident—but only under limited circumstances. In most cases, you would file for workers compensation coverage under your company’s workers comp insurance policy.


Workers Comp vs. Personal Injury in the Workplace

Workers compensation is designed to cover workplace injuries, and you can be compensated for the following when you file a claim:

  • Missed wages
  • All accident-related medical expenses
  • The cost of household services
  • Disability
  • Death benefits

Even if your claim is denied, you probably can’t file a personal injury lawsuit, but you can file an appeal. An attorney can help you file for workers comp benefits to minimize the likelihood of a denial.

Personal injury lawsuits arising from workplace accidents can only be filed in particular circumstances. Those situations are listed below:

  • If your employer intentionally hurts you (e.g., pushes or strikes you or intentionally puts you in harm’s way)
  • If your employer does not have sufficient workers comp insurance
  • If you’re injured by a defective product at work
  • If a third party other than your employer injured you at your workplace


Pros and Cons of Workers Comp and Personal Injury Lawsuits

The upside of filing for workers comp benefits is that you’ll begin receiving payments right away. The downside is that there are specific limits as to how much compensation you can receive.

With personal injury lawsuits, the process can be a lengthy one, and while you wait, you’ll receive no compensation at all. However, you can recover compensation that covers the full extent of your damages, including compensation for intangible damages like pain and suffering and emotional trauma.


Your California Workplace Injury Attorney

If you have been injured at work, call a California personal injury lawyer with Golden State Lawyers, APC. We can help you decide whether you should file a workers comp claim or a personal injury claim. Call us at 408-279-4222 or complete our contact form at the bottom of this page to schedule a free consultation.