What is the difference between filing a personal injury case versus a workers compensation case?

Asked about 1 year ago - Chicago, IL

I was injured while on the job doing outside sales for a construction company. Signed 1099 as an independent contractor but treated as an employee. company had about 30 other salespeople all with signed W-2's. No one received salary, hourly, or benefits of any kind.

Attorney answers (8)

  1. Charles Joseph Michael Candiano

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You say that you were in sales. If your injury was caused by the negligence of anyone or anything other than a co-worker of YOUR company, You MAY have TWO cases. It is critical that you find counsel who is well-experienced in BOTH WC cases and Personal Injury cases because the effort MUST be coordinated on the two claims. Discuss your case with more than one attorney BEFORE you sign anything. Make sure that any attorney you choose has sufficient knowledge and experience to do the best job for you AND that they will take the time to explain what is going on, throughout their representation. There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to ask your attorney a question (or get an answer) for weeks. Good luck.

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  2. Jordan Lee Margolis

    Contributor Level 11

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    Answered . Your situation is common among Workers' Compensation matters and requires an attorney to review the parameters of your work factors. Iliinois law has many cases on point. Please see one of the many qualified attorneys here or in Chicago, who, like my firm, deal with these disputes every day.

    Jordan Margolis
    The Margolis Firm PC
    55 W. Monroe, Suite 3555
    Chicago, Il. 60603
    312-236-2201

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  3. Stephen Laurence Hoffman

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    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Workers' comp is your exclusive remedy for work injuries in Illinois and is not a lawsuit for negligence.

    Stephen L. Hoffman
    Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
    Chicago, IL
    773-944-9737
    stephen@hofflawyer.com
    www.hofflawyer.com

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  4. Deborah Gwen Roher

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    Contributor Level 14

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    Answered . Workers' compensation is a social insurance system set up about a hundred years ago to allow workers hurt on the job to get paid promptly, regardless of who was at fault, in a less adversarial setting than a courtroom, and under rules more favorable than those that existed in the world of tort law at the time. In return for receiving payments under this system, you give up some rights that you would have in the tort system, including a jury trial and the possibility of large damages. Whether you are supposed to be covered by an employer's insurance policy under the WC law is not up to your employer, and if the employer is supposed to insure its workers and doesn't, you may still be able to file a WC claim. I agree with previous responders that which system you fall into is a complicated question, for which you should consult an Illinois employment lawyer,

    Disclaimer: This site exists to provide information only. It is not legal advice. Answering your question does... more
  5. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your question should be whether your independent contractor status precludes you from workers comp, and a local workers comp lawyer can make that determination.

  6. George Ellis Corson IV

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You file a WC claim if you are an Employee, and a Personal Injury claim if you are an Independent Contractor. That part is easy. Determining which one you legally were is the harder part. A WC Attorney in IL can probably help you sort it out.

    We offer general concepts, but you should give ALL your facts to a licensed Attorney in your state before you RELY... more
  7. John F. Ayers III

    Pro

    Contributor Level 10

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    Answered . This is always a complicated situation made more problematic by the way Employer's try to categorize people, even when they are really employees. This is common in construction jobs, and you need help from an experienced attorney. A personal injury case can be filed when someone else's negligence causes your injury. A worker's compensation claim is filed when you were hurt on the job and you are covered by your employer's worker's compensation coverage. Many times there was no negligence involved in the injury. Even if the Employer was negligent, if you are an employee and worker's compensation is provided to you, you cannot assert a claim for personal injury against your company. Some construction companies try to avoid coverage by calling you an independent contractor. You should speak to an attorney.

  8. Joseph Andrew Brabender IV

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You will want to speak with a lawyer that has experience in both workers' compensation and personal injury, there are numerous attorneys who practice in both areas in Chicago.

    The attorney will determine if you are truly an employee or independent contractor (tax designations are often wrong) and the identity of the person or company responsible for the injury.

    If you are an employee and the injury was only caused by your employer then you will be dealing with workers' comp. If you are truly an independent contractor, your injury will fall under general negligence law. If you are an employee and were injured by a third party, both types of claims may be possible.

    You should schedule a consultation with a lawyer immediately, lawyers in this area generally do not charge for a consultation.

    Though we strive to provide accurate legal information in our answers on AVVO, our answer should not be construed... more

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