Workers’ Compensation vs. Personal Injury Claims: What You Need to Know in Nashua

March 28, 2024

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Employees hurt in their Nashua workplace often assume that workers’ compensation and a personal injury claim are the same. However, this could not be further from the truth. These legal channels are different, entailing unique criteria and limitations.

Before seeking legal action through a Nashua personal injury lawyer, it is vital to understand the differences and pursue the one that fully compensates you for the injuries sustained. 

What Is a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Workers’ compensation claims are a form of workplace insurance that replaces wages and covers medical expenses for injured employees.  

In Nashua, these claims are filed with the New Hampshire Department of Labor and fall under a no-fault system. This means injured employees are entitled to benefits regardless of who is at fault. However, to ensure compensation, filing must be done within two years of the injury date or when the employee knows about the injury.

Criteria for  Workers’ Compensation Claim in Nashua

  • The injured individual is an employee of the company at the time of the injury. Independent contractors often are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
  • The injury occurred during job-related duties or activities within the scope of their employment.
  • The injured employee sought medical treatment from an authorized healthcare provider approved by the employer or the workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
  • The employer was notified of the employee’s injury within 30 days of the incident or when it was discovered.

What Is a Personal Injury Claim?

Personal injury claims are related to harm suffered because of another party’s negligence or intentional actions. These claims cover many accidents, including slips and falls, auto accidents, product liability, and medical malpractice cases. 

However, to be awarded compensation, these claims require the injured party (plaintiff) to establish fault and prove the defendant was negligent. Additionally, they must be filed within the statute of limitations in the appropriate Superior Court or District Court. This statute ranges from one to several years from the date of discovery of the injury.

Criteria for  a Personal Injury Claim

  • The defendant owed a “duty of care,” i.e., the defendant had a legal obligation to act rationally and prevent harm to others.
  • The defendant intentionally acted negligently or recklessly, thereby causing harm to the plaintiff.
  • A direct link exists between the defendant’s actions (or failure to act) and the plaintiff’s injuries. 
  • The plaintiff has suffered actual damages due to the defendant’s actions. These damages may include medical expenses, lost salary, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more.

Pursue Fair Compensation with Michael Kelly Injury Lawyers

Ultimately, the choice between workers’ compensation and personal injury claims depends on the circumstances of the injury and the desired outcome. While workers’ compensation offers immediate benefits to injured workers, these are typically limited to medical expenses and missed wages. They do not include compensation for additional hurt, such as pain and suffering. 

On the other hand, personal injury claims allow individuals to seek full compensation for all damages but require substantial evidence of negligent or wrongful conduct. Additionally, these claims often involve lengthy legal proceedings and litigation costs. 

To make the best choice, consult an experienced Nashua personal injury lawyer, like Michael Kelly Lawyers. Here, you can find the guidance you need to make informed decisions, ensuring you pursue the compensation you rightfully deserve.

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Michael D. Kelly has a diverse background that provides a breadth of legal knowledge that he draws upon in serving his clients. Kelly compiled an excellent academic record during his three years at New England Law in Boston.