Licensed in Missouri and Kansas

The Difference Between Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury Settlements

Settling a workers’ compensation claim is unlike settling a personal injury case like a car accident or slip or trip and fall in many ways. Although both generally consist of an agreement by the insurance company to pay the claimant compensation in exchange for the injured person dropping their claim, the are practical differences.

The biggest difference is that workers’ compensation claims require court approval. Once settled, a form is presented to a workers’ compensation administrative law judge requesting approval of the settlement. The form helps the judge determine whether the claimant has been released from medical care and whether the claimant understands the rights he or she is giving up by settling the claim. Your settlement can only happen if approved by the judge.

Another major difference is that the money you get in a workers’ compensation claim is not meant to compensate you for all of your losses. In a personal injury case, you are entitled to compensation for medical bills, wage loss, and pain and suffering, among other things. In workers’ compensation claims, the money you receive is related to your level of impairment or disability after an injury. You get no money for pain and suffering and only partial compensation for wage loss. For this reason, you generally get less money in a comp claim than a personal injury claim.

A good difference between workers’ compensation settlements and personal injury settlements is that the attorney’s fees in comp claims are 25%, but are 33% to 45% in personal injury cases. So, although you get less money in workers’ compensation claims, your Kansas City personal injury attorney’s fees are usually less.

There are other differences between workers’ compensation settlements and personal injury settlements. If you would like to find out more, please contact our office at any time.