Workers’ Comp and Pain and Suffering

Workers’ Comp and Pain and Suffering

If you are an employee in the United States, you should at least have a basic understanding of workers’ compensation. If you are ever injured and need to file a claim, it will be beneficial to already understand how the process works. One common question is whether workers’ comp pays for pain and suffering. You can learn the answer to this question, as well as every type of compensation provided by workers’ comp, from this guide.

Pain and Suffering

“Pain and suffering” is actually a legal term. It is the most common example of damages in the general compensatory damages category. This type of damage accounts for all losses that were not financial in nature. The point is that the concept of pain and suffering is something that usually only exists in personal injury lawsuits.

Workers’ comp does not pay for pain and suffering. It also does not pay for any general compensatory damages. To put it another way, workers’ comp only pays for financial losses and does not provide any compensation for non-financial suffering.

If pain and suffering is something accounted for in personal injury lawsuits, you may be wondering if you can opt for filing a lawsuit against your employer or a co-worker, rather than a workers’ comp claim. If the injury qualifies for workers’ comp, then filing a lawsuit is not an option. However, if the injury was caused by a third party, the injury was caused intentionally, or the injury does not qualify for workers’ comp for some other reason, then filing a lawsuit is a viable option.

What Is Compensated?

If pain and suffering and other general compensatory damages are not covered, then what is? Workers’ comp focuses exclusively on providing compensation for all financial losses. Specifically, the goal of workers’ comp is to return an injured employee to the financial state he or she was in prior to the injury. This means any type of financial loss will be compensated, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Medicine purchases
  • Miscellaneous injury-related purchases
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earning ability

The thing to remember is that only financial losses which were the result of the injury are compensated. If the injury indirectly leads to damage to property or other miscellaneous expenses, workers’ comp will not pay for them. While the system is pretty straightforward, it can sometimes be hard to understand the workers’ comp regulations. If you have any questions, it can be helpful to speak with a workers’ comp lawyer, like a workers’ comp lawyer in New York.
Thanks to Polsky, Shouldice, & Rosen, P.C. for their insight into pain and suffering as it relates to a workers’ comp case.