At Hanning & Sacchetto, LLP, our Whittier attorneys represent clients throughout California who are pursuing workers’ compensation and personal injury claims. Before we can create a customized legal strategy for each person’s claim, Californians need to know the critical differences between the two so we can put our legal experience to work in the best capacity.

Workers’ compensation and personal injury claims

What are the Major Differences in Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation Claims in California?

Workers’ compensation claims and personal injury claims in California are two distinct legal processes that individuals can pursue when they are injured.

The key differences between these two types of claims in California include:

Eligibility and Parties Involved

  • Workers’ Compensation

The California workers’ compensation system is designed for employees who are injured on the job. It is a no-fault system, meaning that employees are entitled to benefits regardless of who is at fault.

  • Personal Injury

Personal injury claims can be filed by anyone injured due to the negligence or intentional actions of another party, no matter where the incident occurs.

Fault and Liability

  • Workers’ Compensation

It is a no-fault system, meaning that injured employees do not need to prove fault or negligence on the part of their employer. They are entitled to benefits as long as the injury occurred within the scope of employment.

  • Personal Injury

In personal injury cases, the injured party (plaintiff) must establish that the other party (defendant) was negligent or at fault for the injuries. This requires demonstrating that the defendant’s actions or omissions breached a duty of care and directly caused the injuries.

Types of Compensation

  • Workers’ Compensation

Injured employees can receive benefits for medical expenses, temporary and permanent disability, vocational rehabilitation, and death benefits for survivors. These benefits are generally paid through their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.

Benefits are typically limited to specific statutory amounts and are not subject to punitive damages. The amount of compensation is usually based on the nature and severity of the work-related injury.

  • Personal Injury

Personal injury claims typically seek compensation for various damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and other losses. Compensation is usually sought from the at-fault party’s liability insurance or personal assets.

Personal injury claims can seek economic and non-economic damages, including pain and suffering. There are no fixed statutory limits on the amount of compensation that can be awarded.  Additionally,  punitive damages may be available in cases of extreme negligence or intentional harm.

Legal Processes

  • Workers’ Compensation

The process for filing a workers’ compensation claim is generally administrative and does not involve a lawsuit unless the worker’s claim is denied initially and during an appeal. Then, our skilled California workers’ compensation attorneys will take the necessary legal steps to pursue results for each of our client’s unique needs.

  • Personal Injury

Personal injury claims typically involve filing a lawsuit in civil court. The process can be more complex, involving negotiations, discovery, and potentially a trial.

Third-Party Claims

  • Workers’ Compensation

In some cases, injured employees may be able to file personal injury claims against third parties (other than their employer) whose negligence contributed to their injuries.

  • Personal Injury

These claims are specifically for pursuing compensation from the at-fault party responsible for the injury.

Contact Our California Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Hanning & Sacchetto Today

If you have suffered a California workplace injury or illness or a personal injury because of another party’s negligence, contact our experienced workers’ compensation and personal injury attorneys in Whittier today by calling (562) 698-6446 to schedule a free consultation.