Serious workplace injuries can result in painful physical injuries, and it can also cause a great degree of pain and suffering. If this describes your circumstances, you might be wondering if your workers compensation claim can include pain and suffering as damages. After all, in a personal injury claim outside the workplace, a victim can include them if appropriate. However, workers compensation works differently. Because there are exceptions to nearly every rule, contact a workers compensation lawyer to confirm how the laws may or may not apply in your case.
Workers Compensation Benefits as They Apply to Pain and Suffering
Workers compensation is intended to reimburse employees who were injured on the job. It usually does not fully compensate them for their salary or wages they’re losing by not being able to work. However, an injured worker can reasonably expect the benefits to cover medical bills, physical rehabilitation, and other costs directly related to their injury. In return, the worker cannot sue their employer. In addition, when it comes to the pain and suffering they may be experiencing due to their injury, they cannot include them as damages. If they also experience depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder, they are also not covered by workers compensation benefits. This is very different than personal injury claims.
When a Third Party Causes Pain and Suffering
One of the primary exceptions to the rule that an injured worker can’t sue their employer or receive compensation for pain and suffering is when a third party is at fault for the accident. A workers compensation lawyer will need to review the details of your case to confirm, but if a third party caused your injury, they might be held liable. If that’s the case, you may have the legal leeway to sue them and/or include pain and suffering if in fact those are among your damages. If you’re not clear what a third party is in this context, an example would be a delivery driver who runs their truck over you while you are working at a construction zone. The driver, and possibly also their employer, might be held liable for your injury. Depending on the circumstances, your employer might also be held liable, though only partly. Using this same scenario for an example, you might file for workers compensation benefits with your employer, but sue the delivery driver for additional injury costs, including pain and suffering. The potential complexity of such a case demands the legal expertise of a seasoned workers compensation lawyer.
Proof of Pain and Suffering
If you are allowed to pursue compensation for pain and suffering, you will need to prove you suffered them, or are still suffering from them. This is true whether you’re pursuing them from a third party, or as an exception to the rule for workers compensation. When you work with a workers compensation lawyer, you can gain a better understanding of what is considered adequate proof from a legal standpoint.\
If you were injured at work and would like to benefit from the guidance of a knowledgeable attorney such as the workers compensation lawyer Memphis TN locals trust.
Thanks to authors at Darrell Castle & Associates PLLC for insight into Workers’ Compensation Law.
The legal firm of Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. has successfully represented many work related injury cases. Our attorneys are here to help. Contact Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. today for a free initial consultation.