The bigger the injury, the more sense it makes to sue the bad guy. But you don’t know until you talk to a lawyer.
When you sue the driver who hit you – as opposed to making a worker’s compensation claim – you are entitled to get back your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering caused by the accident.
When you make a worker’s compensation claim, worker’s comp takes care of your medical bills, pays you lost wages (which often aren’t quite as much as your usual earnings), and, if you have a permanent disability, might owe you for that. BUT – and it’s a big but – Worker’s comp gets to make a claim against the driver who hit you for every dollar it pays out for you.
It’s called subrogation. And sometimes, it makes it not worthwhile to file a lawsuit.
But here’s the catch. Often, Worker’s Compensation will agree to compromise their subrogation claim. Sometimes, as part of the compromise, they want you to give up the right to receive any further moneys from them.
So depending on the situation – for instance, if you know you are covered under your spouse’s insurance for further medical treatment, or if you aren’t anticipating much future medical care, or if you can quantify a whole lot of pain and suffering (an extreme example would be a paralysis or amputation case, or a severe disfigurement) – it might make sense to make a personal injury claim against the person who caused the accident.
A good lawyer can tell you what to do.
I have been a lawyer over 30 years. Every lawsuit like this is different, and if you think you can make both a workers’ compensation claim and sue the other driver, you need to talk with a lawyer. If you have been in an accident and don’t know what to do, call me, a Cincinnati personal injury lawyer, a call. My phone is 513-621-4775.
Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed. All discussions are limited to Ohio law unless otherwise indicated. And past performance cannot be used to predict future results.