What is the Difference Between Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation Claims?

Learning Center

Free ConsultationWhile workers’ compensation and personal injury claims are often conflated with one another, they are very different areas of the law in Illinois. Because they can be easily confused, we have broken down the differences below.

Workers’ Compensation

The most important thing about workers’ compensation law is the fact that it is only applicable in cases of employees being injured while at work. One exception is when an employee is injured at work by someone not affiliated with the employer — such an instance falls under both personal injury law and workers’ compensation law.

Some other key points about workers’ compensation law include:

  • In almost all circumstances, initiating a workers’ compensation claim is the lone recourse of an employee who has been denied compensation for a workplace injury.
  • Claims are initiated with and decided by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
  • In a workers’ compensation case the employee does not have to prove his employer was negligent. The Illinois workers’ compensation system is not technically a no-fault system, because there are certain defenses available to the employer.

Personal Injury

Personal injury law applies to individuals who are hurt by others, either due to their actions or inaction. Negligence on the part of the defendant must be proven, and this negligence must also be proven to have caused the injury in question.

Some important points about personal injury law include:

  • Plaintiffs in personal injury cases can recover for pain and suffering. Petitioners in workers’ compensation cases can never recover for pain and suffering.
  • There are several defenses available to defendants in personal injury lawsuits that are not available to defendants in workers’ compensation claims.
  • Personal injury claims are adjudicated by a court and usually decided by a jury.

Contact Rubens and Kress

Whether you are seeking workers’ compensation benefits or have sustained a personal injury, Rubens and Kress is a Chicago law firm that is on your side. We can talk to you about the difference between workers’ compensation and personal injury law in Illinois, and we can help you get the compensation you deserve. Since there is no fee unless you collect, you know that we will work hard on your behalf. You can contact Rubens and Kress online, at 312-201-9640, or toll-free at 1-866-890-9640.