The laws of the State of Arizona address "work related injuries" and "workplace injuries." While these terms sound the same, there is a difference that determines if the law considers your injuries a workers’ compensation case or a personal injury case.
When is it a Workers' Compensation Claim?
A workers’ compensation claim may be filed for injuries sustained while on the job, at a worksite, or while working at a construction site. The worker does not have to be performing his or her job related duties to be eligible for workers' compensation. Workers' Compensation is actually an insurance that the employer is required by law to have in case an employee is injured while working/on the job, becomes temporarily/permanently disabled, becomes ill due to circumstances surrounding their job, or even if an unfortunate death results from their job.
When is it a Personal Injury Claim?
An individual may be able to seek compensation and damages for injuries while at work in the form of civil litigation:
- If you were injured by a defective product, you might be able to bring a products liability action against the manufacturer of the product.
- If you were injured by a toxic substance, you might be able to bring a toxic tort lawsuit against the manufacturer of that substance.
- If you were injured because of your employer's intentional or egregious conduct, you might be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against your employer.
- If your employer does not carry workers' compensation insurance, you might be able to sue your employer in civil court or collect money from a state fund.
- If a third party caused your injury, you might be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against that person.
The line between whether an individual should file a workers' compensation claim, a personal injury claim, or both types of injury claim can sometimes be a grey area. If you are injured while at work or performing work related duties outside of your company’s four walls, it is important to find out what your legal rights and options are.