Yes, it is possible to file a workers’ compensation claim and a civil lawsuit in Maryland. However, it is important to understand that filing a civil lawsuit has a different purpose than filing a workers’ comp claim.
Workers’ compensation is a state-mandated program that provides benefits to employees who are injured or become ill as a result of their job. Benefits can include medical expenses, income replacement, and death benefits.
Workers’ compensation is typically the sole remedy for workplace injuries. This means that an employee cannot file a civil lawsuit against their employer without extenuating circumstances.
A civil lawsuit, on the other hand, is a legal action filed by an individual or group to recover damages for injuries that were not caused by their job.
To succeed in a civil lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent or otherwise at fault for the injuries. Because of this higher burden of proof, civil lawsuits typically result in larger damage awards than workers’ compensation claims.
What’s the Difference between Filing a Civil Lawsuit and a Workers Comp Claim?
If you’ve been injured at work, you may be wondering whether you should file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Both types of claims can help you get the money you need to cover your medical expenses and lost wages. However, there are some key differences between the two.
Workers’ compensation claims are typically handled by state-run programs, and they follow a specific set of rules. In most cases, you won’t be able to sue your employer if you file a workers’ compensation claim. However, you may be able to sue a third party if their negligence contributed to your injuries.
Personal injury lawsuits are filed in civil court. They are not subject to the same rules as workers’ compensation claims. You can sue anyone whose negligence caused your injuries, including your employer. However, you will need to prove that someone else’s negligence caused your injuries, which can be difficult to do.
Why File Both?
Workers’ compensation claims resolve many of the injuries that occur in the workplace. This is always the first step. No matter the circumstances, you should always be sure to file a workers’ compensation claim for any injuries sustained at work as soon as possible.
Failing to do so can cost you your right to recover any potential benefits. It might also harm a personal injury claim.
Sometimes, claims are more complicated and extend beyond the injured employee and their employer. There could be third parties involved who contributed to your injuries and that entity might be accountable separate from your workers’ compensation claim.
An injured delivery driver is an example of this. If a distracted driver hits a delivery person, it’s appropriate to file both a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit.
These are legally complex situations. It’s crucial to work with an experienced attorney to help you navigate the process from start to finish.
If you’re not sure whether you should file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit, an attorney can help you decide. They’ll understand the differences between the two types of claims. They’ll also make sure that you take the appropriate action for your case.
Have you suffered a workplace injury?
It’s important to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your legal options. An attorney can help you to understand any potential benefits available under workers’ compensation. They’ll also help you determine whether you have a viable civil lawsuit.
To learn more or to discuss your situation with an attorney, contact Shugarman & Mehring at 410.783.4200 or toll-free at 888.342.7200.