If you were recently injured while working, you are probably entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation is the system in the United States that pays for certain eligible expenses of injured workers, as long as their injuries are work-related. Most people who take advantage of workers’ comp for the first time understandably have a lot of questions about the system. This is one of the reasons why it is generally a good idea to speak with a New Jersey workers’ comp attorney before submitting a claim. Seeking legal guidance from the experienced team at Rispoli & Borneo P.C. helps to ensure that you’ll receive the maximum payout that you’re entitled to.
One of the questions that people often ask our firm’s New Jersey workers’ comp attorneys involves whether workers’ comp covers pain and suffering. The answer to this question, like most information related to workers’ comp, both has a straight-foward answer and is subject to numerous exceptions.
Pain and Suffering
Workers’ comp generally only compensates injured workers for objective financial losses. For example, your hospital bill might be $1,000. Because you can put an exact dollar value on the expense, it is a special compensatory damage, and workers’ comp would compensate you fully for it.
However, pain and suffering does not have an objective monetary value. You might argue that you should be compensated for the pain you experienced, but because the monetary value of pain and suffering is subjective, it falls in the category of “general compensatory damages,” and workers’ comp generally will not cover it.
Losses commonly covered by workers’ comp include:
- Hospital bills
- Medicine purchases
- Lost wages
- Mobility equipment purchases
Remember, to be covered by workers’ comp, the loss needs to be the direct result of the injury. If you have questions about whether certain expenses will be reimbursed by your coverage, don’t hesitate to as a New Jersey workers’ comp attorney for guidance.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
Unlike workers’ comp cases, you can receive compensation for pain and suffering and other general compensatory damages if you file a personal injury lawsuit. This may make you wonder if you can choose not to file a workers’ comp case, and file a lawsuit instead. This is usually not an option, as the workers’ comp system is meant to prevent work injury lawsuits in most cases. However, there are exceptions to this rule and a New Jersey workers’ comp attorney can clarify whether your unique circumstances “fit” into one of these exceptions.