Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Boise Idaho Personal Injury Lawyers - Workers Comp Attorneys

What's the difference between a personal injury and a workers comp claim? 

This is a common question.  Most every employer in the state of Idaho is required to carry workers comp insurance.  If you are hurt on the job, the workers comp laws of Idaho ensure that there is coverage for you.  Personal injury, on the other hand, occurs when you are injured by someone other than your employer.  In a personal injury law suit you file a civil claim against the party who has injured you.  They may or may not have insurance that will cover your damages.

When you are injured on the job it is critical that your report your injury immediately to both the Idaho Industrial Commission and your employer.  If you do not report your injury within 60 days you can lose all your benefits.  Another difference between personal injury and workers comp is who covers the bills associated with your injury.  In a personal injury you are personally responsible for paying your medical bills and then trying to collect the cost from the party who injured you.  With workers comp, your bills are sent directly to and covered by (all reasonable and necessary bills) the insurance carrier.

Another difference between personal injury and workers comp is coverage of lost wages.  If you are injured in an accident not related to work and you file all the appropriate paperwork, you will be entitled to time-loss benefits which is compensation for lost wages if you are off the job for more than five days.  You also may qualify for temporary total disability benefits if you doctor confirms that you cannot work.  These benefits last until you have recovered to the maximum degree of recovery and are released by your doctor to work again.  If you are not completely temporarily disabled, you may qualify for temporary partial disability benefits.  In a personal injury law suit, if you miss work and are temporarily or permanently disabled, you won't collect any payment until you have settled with the insurance company or received and collected on a judgement against the party that injured you.

Death benefits are also provided by workers comp.  In general, your spouse will receive 500 weeks of death benefits.  This can change, however, if your spouse remarries.  In addition, your children, up to 3 total, will receive benefits until they turn 18.  Again, with personal injury, there is no guaranteed coverage for death benefits.  Any money you receive to compensate your loved ones will only come from a settlement with the insurance company or a judgment when you win the personal injury law suit.

So if workers comp sounds so good, why would you ever need a workers comp attorney?  You may ultimately decide what the Idaho Industrial Commission determines is reasonable and necessary or a full benefit does not actually meet your expectations, your out of pocket expenses or is commiserate with your injuries.  For workers comp cases in Idaho you are not allowed to file suit in civil court, like you would with a personal injury case.  For workers comp you have to file an appeal and have a formal hearing.  Prior to going to the formal hearing you may also want to go through mediation.  Mediation is non-binding upon you so if you still don't feel like you are getting what you deserve you can request a formal hearing.  Workers comp attorneys assist you in these matters.  They present your case before the formal hearing board or negotiate with the Industrial Commission lawyers during mediation. If mediation doesn't work for you The Idaho Industrial Commission  lawyers and your workers comp attorney or attorneys will have a binding legal hearing to determine what your benefits should be.

There is one situation where your injury may be taken to a civil court.  If you are injured at work but a third party is involved, in addition to filing for benefits under the workers comp laws of Idaho for the amount of the injury caused by your employer, you can sue the third party for the injury or the amount of the injury they caused.

If you have been injured on the job and need to speak to a Boise Workers Comp Attorney, please give us a call, (208) 472-2383.  We offer a free consultation.  Give us a call and see what we can do for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment