Employees oftentimes have some misconceptions about workers compensation, and how they may be entitled to receive it. Many employees think that in order to obtain workers compensation, their employer has to be negligent in leading to their injury. This is not the case, and in fact it is a merging of two distinct concepts that envelop a similar field of law. To help clients better understand the law, it is important to clarify the differences and examine the relationship between workers compensation and work injury damages.
After a worker has been down the workers compensation route, and it is found that their whole person impairment is 15% or greater, they then become eligible to claim work injury damages, if they can prove that their injury was a result of their employer’s negligence.
Under common law, an employer may be liable for an injury sustained by an employee, if it is established the employer:
- Had a duty of care.
- That duty of care was breached.
- The injury caused the employee a loss as a result.
- The employee sustained an injury as a result of that breach.
If negligence is satisfied, an injured worker is eligible to obtain a larger amount of lump sum damages, as opposed to workers compensation. An injured worker may be entitled to past economic loss and future economic loss up until the age of retirement. It is worthy to note however, that successfully resolving a claim for work injury damages brings an end to the workers entitlement to workers compensation benefits.
By comparing both workers compensation and work injury damages, it is clear to see there are some distinct differences between the two. Although there is a relationship between the two, with workers compensation possibly leading into work injury damages, due to the no fault component, workers compensation is more readily available to workers injured during the course of their employment, while work injury damages can provide a greater amount of compensation for workers who have suffered more severe injuries and can establish negligence.
If you are an employee that has been injured in the course of your employment, you may be entitled to compensation. For more information, and to arrange a free, no-obligation assessment of your workers compensation claim, please contact Stacks Goudkamp on 1800 251 800, or alternatively, make an online enquiry.