If you, the worker, cause an accident during the course and scope of employment, workers’ compensation will cover the incident. Workers’ compensation is no-fault based which means that it is irrelevant who caused the accident so long as the requirements are met.
Similarly, if another driver causes the accident, this too will be covered by workers’ compensation.
However, in the event that you, the worker, are injured by another motorist, you may have two claims available to you. The first claim is a claim of workers’ compensation and the second claim is a personal claim against the third-party driver.
The main difference between a claim against a third-party and a workers’ compensation claim is an award for pain and suffering. Workers’ compensation does not cover any claims you may have for pain and suffering.
Unlike worker’s compensation benefits, a claim under pain and suffering is not calculated using a formula. Rather, a jury would determine what the appropriate award would be for pain and suffering.
In many respects, this is a subjective award unlike other types of benefits which have a clearer measure. So long as you can show that you are suffering from an injury which you will have to bear the rest of your life, you may be successful on a pain and suffering claim.
Pain and suffering may also be shown through embarrassment, if for example, you have a scar or a lost limb which alters your physical appearance and affects your mental state.