Can I have both a workers compensation claim and a personal injury claim for the same injury?

car accident at work

Can I have both a workers compensation claim and a personal injury claim for the same accident and injury?

It depends, The “Exclusive Remedy” Rule is what governs this in Georgia.

The basic rule in Georgia if you are injured on the job is that the Georgia Worker’s Compensation Act (O.C.G.A. § 34-9-1 et seq.) provides your only remedy. These means you cannot sue your employer directly for damages. You can only file a claim under workers’ comp insurance. No matter how severe your work injuries most of the time you can only use workers’ compensation as a way to recover for your damages. Georgia workers’ compensation law actually prohibits an injured worker from pursuing any other claim against his employer.

The good news is that if someone other than a co-worker or your employer caused your injury, you may also be able to bring a personal injury claim in addition to a worker’s compensation claim. For example, if you are in a car wreck while working and the other driver was at-fault, then you could sue them directly for damages on top of your Georgia Workers Comp claim.

Another way you can file a lawsuit for damages for you work injury is if your injury was caused by a dangerous or defective product. For instance, if a worker had his or her fingers amputated because of a defective design of a power saw then the manufacturer of the saw may be liable for the damages. These are very complex cases and it is not recommended that you try to pursue these cases without a very experienced attorney to represent you for settlement of your injuries.

Isn’t that a double recovery?

NO! Going after both a workers comp and personal injury claim for the same incident is not a double recovery. This is for two main reasons:

Workers’ Compensation claims do not pay anything for pain and suffering damages: You read that right. Georgia Workers’ Comp cases only pay for lost wages (a percentage), medical treatment, and permanent disability rating. Workers’ comp cases don’t make a person whole. Personal injury claims give injured workers the opportunity to recover money damages for their pain and suffering.

  • Workers’ Comp insurance may have a right to repayment of certain medical bills. This is called subrogation.

What should I do if think you have a workers’ comp and personal injury claim in the same accident?

It is very important to contact us as soon as possible to make sure you are receiving all the Georgia workers’ comp benefits you are entitled to, including medical treatment and lost wages. As far as the personal injury claim is concerned, it is extremely important to hire an experienced Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer right away so that they can gather and preserve important evidence to get the most out of your case.

I received a letter from my workers’ comp insurance company saying they are entitled to receive money from my personal injury settlement. What should I do now?

Good question. The letter you received from your workers’ comp adjuster is know as a subrogation lien. It is important to contact an attorney as soon as you receive this letter so that they can take the appropriate legal action. Georgia law says that the workers’ compensation insurance company can only be reimbursed, or subrogated, out of a personal injury settlement if the injured worker is “made whole” by the settlement. Being made whole means that every dollar of compensation you are entitled to has been recovered. Often times in personal injury cases there is not enough insurance coverage available to pay for everything. If this is the case in your claim, your Georgia workers’ comp attorney will be able to prevent the workers’ comp insurance company from being able to get any of your personal injury settlement money.

We are an experienced Georgia workers' compensation and personal injury lawyers. We are work injury lawyers, car wreck attorneys, wrongful death attorneys. We handle injury cases all over the state of Georgia. We have offices in Hartwell and Athens Georgia. If you are too injured or unable to travel to our office we are glad to come to you. We also have the latest technology available to us in our practice and we can sign you up via email or text message and be able to go to work right away on your injury case.

We handle cases for clients often who have both workers’ comp and personal injury cases arising out of the same accident. If you would like more information about this please contact us right away. We can help.

We know how to handle workers compensation and personal injury claims arising from same accident and will keep you informed of what is going on in your case. It is important to contact us early in the process so that we can help guide you and get everything you deserve. Call today to set up a consultation with one of our workers' comp and personal injury lawyers today.