The aftermath of a work-related injury may cause physical discomfort and psychological distress that can last for a long time. In such situations, it's natural to wonder: does workers’ comp cover pain and suffering? Unfortunately, it doesn't. However, consulting with a work injury lawyer can help the affected party understand their rights and check if they have additional claims.
Legally, what is pain and suffering?
In a personal injury lawsuit, you can generally seek compensation for pain and suffering. Legally, these two refer to the adverse effects of an injury on your physical, emotional, and mental well-being and the quality of your life. Examples are chronic physical pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances.
Pain and suffering damages are non-economic, meaning they're not intended to cover financial losses, like expenses for therapy sessions. Instead, these damages aim to compensate you for experiencing the abovementioned issues.
Some workplace accidents can cause debilitating physical and emotional pain to victims. And learning that workers’ comp does not cover these benefits can be frustrating.
Why are pain and suffering not covered in workers’ comp?
Workers’ compensation is designed to streamline the claims process between the employer and employee. It is a no-fault insurance system, so the worker does not need to prove the employer's negligence or liability. As a result, the affected party can recover medical expenses and wage loss benefits quickly. However, accepting this claim also means the employee waives their right to sue the employer for damages.
Pain and suffering are non-quantifiable and subjective. Including these non-economic damages would introduce more complexity into the process and could cause delays and disputes between employees and employers.
What can you receive through a workers’ compensation claim?
Workers' compensation requirements differ from state to state. But most insurers typically only cover:
● Salary replacement
● Healthcare cost reimbursements
● Vocational rehabilitation benefits
While you can't receive compensation for pain and suffering, workers' comp may also cover certain medical expenses related to the effects of an injury. For instance, you can claim costs for psychological counseling if a workplace accident caused you to have PTSD. Seeking the help of a competent workers’ comp lawyer
can help ensure you receive all the benefits you’re entitled to.
Cases Where You Can Get Compensation for Pain and Suffering
If your injury resulted from the negligence of a third party, such as a vendor of defective equipment, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against them. In rare cases where your employer deliberately hurt you, you could sue your employer outside of the workers' comp system and receive compensation for your pain and suffering.
Consult With a Workplace Injury Lawyer
If you suffer from a work-related injury and live in Louisiana, consult with the workers’ compensation attorneys at Murphy Law Firm. Our experienced lawyers will evaluate your case, identify all your options, and help you get all the benefits you deserve, including appropriate workers' comp settlement amounts. Contact us today.