When someone is injured during the course of employment, he or she often qualifies for workers’ compensation coverage. Workers’ comp covers the costs for your medical care, lost income, job retraining, survivor benefits, and a handful of other expenses. What it doesn’t cover is pain and suffering such as anger, sadness, humiliation, frustration, etc.
Workers’ Comp and Lawsuits
When someone is injured on the job, he or she is typically covered by workers’ compensation. Employers have this as an insurance against being sued, as much as it is a protection to the worker against losing a lawsuit and not receiving compensation at all. If the injured individual chooses to file a workers’ compensation claim or is required to file the claim, he or she is unable to sue the employer, as stated by the law.
Some workplace injuries that qualify for workers’ compensation are actually due to a third party. While you forfeit the chance to sue your employer after a workplace injury covered by workers’ comp, you could sue someone else. For example, if some equipment malfunctioned and that’s what caused your injury, you may be able to sue the equipment manufacturer. If a coworker was the direct cause of your accident, you may be able to sue that individual to pay for pain and suffering expenses. If you were in a car accident while on your way to a service call for work, you may be able to sue the at-fault driver. Your lawyer can help you pinpoint the exact cause of your injury if you wish to follow this route.
Sometimes your workplace injury has an additional consequence that may fall under the category of a mental or emotional disorder. For example, you may have chronic pain from your workplace injury. Feeling pain all day, every day may lead to deep depression or a lack of sleep. While depression and sleep disorders would typically fall under pain and suffering compensation, in this case, they would be considered compensable consequences of the injury you received at work. Workers’ compensation may be recovered in such a situation.
Contacting a Lawyer to Get Started
Any time you are in an accident at work, it can benefit you to get the help of an attorney. If you were injured during the course of employment, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. If you wish to seek pain and suffering, contact a workers’ compensation lawyer, like a Port St. Lucie, FL, workers’ compensation lawyer, to get started with the process.
Thank you to the experts at Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt for their insight into workers’ compensation and the law.