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The Difference Between Workers' Compensation Claims and Personal Injury Claims

These Two Areas of Law Are Not The Same

By Eric Santoro

Managing Partner

Santoro Law Firm LLC


Many people think that workers’ compensation claims and personal injury claims are one and the same. They are not!


In fact, they're governed by completely different laws. Personal injury claims are fault-based claims. These include car accidents, slip and falls and medical malpractice, just to name a few. Here in Connecticut, these lawsuits are filed in Superior Court.

On the other hand, workers’ compensation claims are administrative claims governed by statutes that are based on a no-fault system. So it doesn’t matter who is at fault for an accident or injury that occurs to you at work.


The Workers’ Compensation Act solely deals with work-related injuries. Worker's compensation cases are not even what you might think of as traditional "lawsuits” at all. In fact, you’re not even permitted to sue your employer under the statutes of the Act.


One of the trade-offs in a no-fault system is that you cannot get compensation for "pain and suffering" or how your entire life may have been affected by a work-related injury in the same way as you might from a personal injury claim.


Worker’s compensation claims offer benefits that are limited and capped by statute. They're generally not meant to “take care” of you over the long term. Workers’ compensation benefits are really meant to act as a bridge between your workplace injury and the time of your re-employment.


People who have been injured at work very often call personal injury law firms, not realizing that many of these firms don't even handle workers’ compensation claims.


 

Eric Santoro is Managing Partner of Santoro Law Firm LLC, with offices in in Waterford CT and Norwich CT. For more than 20 years, he has been representing injury victims in the State of Connecticut. He has been a Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist in the State of Connecticut since 2012. He is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association, the Connecticut Bar Association’s Workers’ Compensation Executive Committee, the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association and the New London County Bar Association. He also acts as an Arbitrator for the Connecticut Superior Court in New London.​