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Utah Legal Team

What’s the difference between personal injury and workers comp in Utah?

November 17th

What’s the difference between personal injury and workers comp in Utah?

Personal injury and workers compensation claims both let victims receive compensation for injuries suffered due to an accident, illness, or other circumstances.

While workers comp claims are work-related only, there are some situations where workplace injuries might be better served by a personal injury lawsuit instead.

There is some overlap between personal injury and workers comp cases. If you were hurt at work and you’re not sure where to start, read this first.

Burden of proof in personal injury vs. workers compensation claims

Did negligence play a role in your injury?

Negligence, in a legal sense, is when another person or entity fails to take proper or reasonable care, which results in harm or damage to someone.

When negligence is involved, a personal injury lawsuit may help give better closure to your case. That’s because personal injury cases hold the defendant accountable, motivating change in working conditions that can help others avoid injury in the future.

In many cases, personal injury lawsuits offer higher payouts than workers comp cases.

The drawback of filing a personal injury case is that you must prove negligence—unlike workers comp cases.

Benefits of personal injury vs. workers compensation claims

Workers compensation claims do not require you or your lawyer to establish negligence as a prerequisite for collecting benefits.

Workers comp cases are designed to help you recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and more—not necessarily to assign blame in an accident.

The downside with workers comp claims is that they can often pay out smaller amounts than personal injury cases.

For example, personal injury lawsuits can involve monetary compensation for pain and suffering, while workers comp cases do not.

Can I file both a workers compensation claim and a personal injury claim?

Workers compensation cases allow injured workers to receive compensation for their injuries, thereby releasing their employer from liability.

In most cases, accepting a workers comp settlement means you won’t be able to file a personal injury lawsuit.

However, there are some situations where it’s possible to file both types of cases.

Imagine you were injured operating defective machinery at work. Your employer was unaware of the defect. You may be able to seek workers compensation benefits through your employer, while simultaneously filing a personal injury lawsuit with the equipment manufacturer.

Meanwhile, if you were injured in a car accident on your way home from work, you may want to consider a personal injury case instead.

Should I hire a lawyer?

Were you hurt at work in Utah?

Whether you believe that you have a valid workers comp case or personal injury case, it’s vital to consult with an attorney first to weigh your options.

Utah Legal Team has experience with both workers compensation and personal injury cases in Utah. Contact us for a free consultation, and let us help you win the compensation you deserve.


Mike McKell is known as an attorney who brings passion to representing both his clients and constituents. He is the founding partner of McKell Thompson Hunter and a current member of the Utah Senate.

*The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.

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