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The Distinction Between Worker’s Compensation and Ability to Sue for Full Damages in Delaware

A lot of people do not understand when you are hurt at work, most times, you are not entitled to get what you normally see on T.V. That is in terms of your pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment in life, and other things that are commonly associated with a personal injury.

If you are hurt at work, either it was something you did while at work, or something negligent by your employer, you are restricted to go under worker’s compensation, except if the employer intentionally tried to hurt you. Worker’s Compensation is something where you can get 2/3 of your lost wages up to a certain amount of money. You get your medical bills paid, and if you end up having a permanent problem with a part of your body, you can receive some money for that problem. Also, if you cannot work again, you can end up receiving money from your insurance carrier for your inability to work.

However, there are times you are hurt at work where you can receive both worker’s compensation and also sue for the personal injury aspect. That occurs when your injury at work occurred as a result of the negligence of a third party. In other words, you did not just hurt yourself at work in the normal course of doing things, or your employer did something that made you get hurt. It is when some type of independent contractor working for our employer or some other person or entity that is not employer caused your injury. A good example would be if you do construction. You work for a specific employer. If some other person working for another construction company does something that causes your injury, you can get worker’s compensation from your own employer, but you can also sue whoever the other person is employed by, if there was negligence that caused your injury.

Another good example is if you are driving the company motor vehicle on a work related matter. Someone runs a stop sign and hits your motor vehicle and causes injury.

Since you were driving on a job related situation, you are eligible for worker’s compensation. However, since it was also due to the negligence of someone else, you can also sue that person that ran the stop sign for personal injuries.

It sounds complex, but it is really not. I do not want to get into graphic detail, but if you are hurt by some person or business that is not employed by your employer, while you are on the job, you want to try to make sure the worker’s compensation pays for certain things, and your own car insurance pays for other things.

Many people do not think they are hurt and they can completely sue for everything that you would see on T.V. or read about in the paper for the types of problems that may end up occurring. That is not the case, unless there is some other third party beyond yourself or your employer.

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