Workers’ Compensation vs. Personal Injury

Posted On November 9, 2022 personal injury
injured worker with leg trapped in forklift

At The Flood Law Firm, we help workers who have been injured on the job due to the negligence of others. Though we can assist you with filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, our primary focus is preparing a personal injury case against a negligent third party.

It is crucial to explore all of your legal options after a workplace accident. Please call The Flood Law Firm at (860) 346-2695 today for a FREE consultation. Our attorneys handle third-party work injury claims throughout Connecticut from offices in Middletown, Waterbury, Danbury, and Bridgeport.

How Workers’ Compensation Is Different from Personal Injury Claims

Most employers in Connecticut are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. When a worker gets sick or injured as a result of their employment, workers’ comp covers expenses related to the worker’s injury or illness.

There are two primary ways in which a workers’ compensation claim differs from a personal injury case. If you have been injured on the job, it is important to be aware of how issues of fault and compensation are handled:


Workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” system. As such, workers do not need to prove that someone else (such as an employer, a coworker, etc.) is responsible for a work-related injury or illness in order to obtain benefits. By the same token, employers who carry workers’ comp insurance are generally immune from liability for injuries sustained by their workers (see Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Act § 31-284).

Meanwhile, proving fault is a prerequisite for recovering compensation in a personal injury claim. You need to present evidence that your injuries were caused by the negligence of another party.

Read More: How Does the Personal Injury Claim Process Work?

Although fault is not a factor in a workers’ compensation claim, injured workers should still be aware of what role negligent third parties may have played in an on-the-job accident. Third parties can be held liable for a worker’s injuries if it is shown that their negligence led to the accident. Workers may be able to bring third-party liability claims against:


Another important difference between personal injury claims and workers’ comp is the compensation available. Workers’ comp benefits are limited to the following:

  • Medical expenses related to the work injury
  • Wage replacement payments
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Disability benefits (for those who qualify)
  • Scarring and disfigurement (if applicable)
  • Additional benefits for permanent partial disability (in accordance with Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Act § 31-308a)
  • Death benefits (if a worker is killed on the job)

Workers’ comp makes no provision for the loss of the worker’s future wages as a result of an injury or occupational disease. In addition, workers’ compensation benefits do not cover pain and suffering or other forms of non-economic loss.

In a personal injury claim, on the other hand, compensation can be sought for all of the victim’s losses. This includes:

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • All lost wages to date
  • Loss of earning capacity (i.e., the loss of future income)
  • The cost of traveling for medical care
  • Modifications to your home and vehicle
  • Assistive devices
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Wrongful death damages

A personal injury lawyer can account for all of the damages you have sustained as a result of another party’s negligence. If you were injured on the job, a knowledgeable attorney can investigate to determine if one or more third parties are liable for your losses.

When Can I Sue for a Work Injury?

It is not uncommon for someone who has been injured on the job to have both a workers’ compensation claim as well as a personal injury case. We commonly see this in construction accidents, for example. However, construction is certainly not the only industry where the negligence of one or more third parties can lead to an accident.

Prompt investigation is essential for determining if you have a third-party case. Third parties may be held liable for work-related injuries sustained as a result of negligence. You might have a third-party claim if your injuries were caused by a third party’s:

  • Violation of work safety regulations
  • Negligent hiring and supervision of workers
  • Failure to provide workers with adequate training
  • Hazards on the premises
  • Failure to provide personal protective equipment
  • Unsafe operation of tools, equipment, machinery, and vehicles
  • Product malfunctions and design defects
  • Improper storage and handling of hazardous and toxic materials

It can be difficult to know if third-party negligence was a factor in your work injury. Your first priority should be to seek medical attention for your injuries, then consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

Explore Your Rights After a Work Accident

At The Flood Law Firm, we are committed to the well-being of our clients. When someone contacts us about a work injury case, we look beyond workers’ compensation to identify any additional legal remedies. Often, this involves bringing a personal injury claim against one or more third parties.

Compensation in a personal injury case can encompass any and all damages you suffered on the job as a result of someone else’s negligence. Our work injury lawyers can gather evidence on your behalf, prove third-party liability, and pursue the full compensation you deserve.

For a FREE consultation, please contact The Flood Law Firm today.

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